How to Find the Best Place to Stay in La Jolla, California

If you're looking for the best place to stay in lovely La Jolla and want to be sure you don't make a mistake, you're in the right place. This guide is different than others, but don't go away just because you don't see a list of hotels right away.

Instead of summarizing a list of places with good ratings that you can find in lots of other places, I set out to do something more useful. I realize that you are an individual with preferences and needs. This guide is designed to help you find the best place to stay during your trip.

It gives you the information you need to figure out whether downtown is right for you - and where else in La Jolla might be better for your vacation plans.

It also includes all the insider information that those reservations websites don't tell you - and the things the local visitor's bureau may not want you to know, either, starting with this one: La Jolla hotel tax is 10.5%.

  • 01 of 05

    What You Need to Know About La Jolla

    Beautiful Sunset in La Jolla
    Beautiful Sunset in La Jolla. ©2015 Betsy Malloy Photography. Used by Permission.

    The town of La Jolla is located on the north side of the San Diego metro area, just off I-5.

    It's close to the University of California at San Diego (UCSD), but more importantly, it's the most scenic seaside town in the San Diego area.

    When we say La Jolla, that includes the Village of La Jolla (the cute little downtown part). It also includes La Jolla Shores, Torrey Pines and La Jolla Village, a confusingly similar-named area near the university and interstate.

    Before you start to pick a place to stay, you may want to know that La Jolla is right for you. You can check out these gorgeous reasons to visit La Jolla and use this guide to find out what to do with a day or two in La Jolla.

  • 02 of 05

    Finding the Perfect Hotel in La Jolla

    To find your perfect place to stay in La Jolla, you should know a few things about it first:

    No matter where you choose your hotel in downtown La Jolla, you're going to end up walking up and down the hill a few times.

    The main street going through downtown La Jolla parallel to the coast is Prospect Street. From there, the land slopes sharply down toward the sea. Coast Boulevard is a parallel street that's much closer to the ocean's edge. There are nice hotels on each street.

    Check the map. Don't assume all La Jolla hotels are close to the ocean, even though they may try to claim that they are. Use Google street view to take a look at the surroundings before you make you reservation.

    Torrey Pines is where you'll find some of the nicest - and priciest - places to stay. That's the area north of La Jolla Village along Torrey Pines Road.

    In La Jolla Shores, you'll find a couple of oceanfront hotels with nice views of La Jolla Village and La Jolla Cove. Although they look close to the village on the map, it's not feasible to walk there because of oceanside cliffs.

    Now you can find your La Jolla lodging like a pro. Use the same process we use to choose our recommended hotels.

  • 03 of 05

    Get the Lowest Rate for Your La Jolla Hotel

    Start by comparing prices and reading reviews of La Jolla hotels at Tripadvisor.

    Once you've picked a few good candidate hotels for your trip, check their location on the map to be sure you're staying where you want to. Then apply all the best tricks to get the lowest possible rate.

    If you want to be close to La Jolla but can't afford the prices, try nearby Sorrento Valley or Del Mar, which is north of La Jolla along the coast.

  • 04 of 05

    La Jolla Hotels We'd Go Back To

    I haven't stayed in all the hotels in La Jolla, but by far, the Lodge at Torrey Pines is my favorite. It overlooks one of the state's most gorgeous golf courses, its Craftsman-style design is eye-catching, and their restaurant is divine.

    I also enjoyed a stay at the Bed and Breakfast Inn at La Jolla several years ago.

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05

    La Jolla Vacation Rentals

    If you're looking for a chance to find out what it feels like to live in La Jolla -and save money at the same time, try my favorite way to find a place to stay. Airbnb lists rentals of all kinds. If you like your privacy, choose "Entire Place" when you do your search.