What to Do with a Day at La Jolla Shores Beach

Top Activities to Do While Visiting La Jolla Shores in San Diego

La Jolla Shores Beach in San Diego
Gina Tarnacki

La Jolla is famous for its upscale neighborhoods and gorgeous piece of coastline along the La Jolla Cove. Combine the view-worthy sidewalk by the cove and its adjacent high-end shops and manicured boulevards and La Jolla seems like a place ideal for a lazy walk or long, lingering meal. However, those in the know are aware that a day trip or vacation to La Jolla can actually be jam-packed with adventure as well thanks to La Jolla Shores Beach.

La Jolla Shores Beach is located north of the La Jolla Cove and is accentuated by a large strip of soft sand that lasts about a mile and the La Jolla Pier in the not-so-far distance. Since La Jolla Shores borders the back end of the La Jolla Cove, you get to experience the best of both worlds – the wide open ocean and the rugged cliffs and wildlife that brings animal lovers to the Cove each day. The location of La Jolla Shores also provides some fun water activities.

Kayak to Cliffs and Caves

Rent a kayak and take it to the rocky cliffs where you can see seals sunbathing and even swimming around you in the ocean. There are also tours that will take you into the caves of the cliffs for further exploration. Kayak shops are located just a few blocks from La Jolla Shores Beach and can be rented as part of a group tour or by the hour for independent use. Take heed of the tips you'll be given for entering and exiting the ocean as doing it incorrectly can mean getting capsized and drenched by the waves.

Surfing for Beginners

This area of the coastline at La Jolla Shores is ideal for beginner surfers. The waves are small, but break powerfully enough to provide needed gusto for getting up on the board, helping to ensure you won't get in over your head (literally and figuratively) while learning to surf. Check the signs on the sand that will have arrows pointing for which area you can surf in versus swimming or boogie boarding.   

Get Scuba Certified

The La Jolla Shores is one of the most popular spots for beginner scuba divers. Many certification classes in the area will have your first open water dive in the ocean take place at La Jolla Shores since it’s easy to access without needing a boat (which also teaches you how to swim in and out of the sea in your scuba gear) and is easy to navigate once on the bottom if you learn how to understand the (usually) gentle current. Just be prepared that even in summer, the water 25 feet down in San Diego is cold, even with a thick wetsuit!

Visiting La Jolla Shores

La Jolla Shores beach is bordered by the impressive La Jolla Shores Hotel, which has oceanview rooms plus a great oceanfront restaurant called the Shores Restaurant that non-staying guests can dine at, too. There are also several more hotels and restaurants in the little village area of La Jolla Shores; you’ll find activity rentals and souvenir shops there as well. These shops are located along Avenida de la Playa and it is a good place to start your day in La Jolla Shores.

For parking, there is a pay parking lot right by the grassy area (La Jolla Shores Park) next to the beach, or you can try to find free street parking along the residential streets that are adjacent to La Jolla Shores. Once your car is parked, you're ready to begin your day of fun at La Jolla Shores!