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La Jolla: The Jewel of San Diego

March 29, 2014 Destination North America No Comments Email Email

There are many treasures of this Mediterranean-style village that make La Jolla one of the most sought-after vacation destinations in Southern California:

luxurious and historic hotels and resorts; fine dining with breathtaking Pacific ocean views; retail shopping that rivals northern neighbors Rodeo Drive and South Coast Plaza; sophisticated, world-class arts and culture, and a strikingly beautiful setting complemented by endless outdoor recreational activities.

BEACHES AND WATER ACTIVITIES

La Jolla’s beaches and coastline are considered to be some of the most beautiful settings in the world, and its aqua waters provide endless options for fun and relaxation.

Picturesque La Jolla Cove is a favorite subject of photographers and painters from around the world, while Windansea Beach is best known for its beautiful scenery along with hard-breaking surf due to huge underwater reefs. Located just north of the village of La Jolla, La Jolla Shores was once recognized by the Travel Channel as one of the most family-friendly beaches in San Diego County, while Blacks Beach, a two-mile long, sandy strip situated at the base of majestic cliffs, is popular for surfing and nude sunbathing.151830_num457090_168x168

Kayaking and paddle boarding are popular along La Jolla Shores, while diving and snorkeling in the La Jolla Underwater Park and Ecological Preserve is a popular recreational activity. Scuba divers and snorkelers can encounter protected marine life in some of California’s clearest coastal waters with visibility often exceeding 30 feet.

RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES

Recreational enthusiasts can enjoy a wide range of outdoor activities in La Jolla, from paragliding above the blue Pacific to golf on an internationally recognized golf course.

Set above Blacks Beach atop dramatic oceanfront cliffs, just north of the village of La Jolla, the Torrey Pines Gliderport offers hang gliding and paragliding over the Pacific for the most adventurous.  At the nearby Torrey Pines Golf Course, golfers marvel at the views of the coastline while playing on one of the United States’ top golf courses.

The beautiful Torrey Pines State Reserve is a 2,000-acre reserve dedicated to preserving its namesake, the Torrey Pine tree, and other indigenous wildlife in its native environment. Visitors hike the 8 miles of picturesque trails encountering native plants and animals along the route.

RESORTS AND HOTELS

La Jolla is home to world-class resorts, luxurious boutique properties and historic hotels and inns.

Overlooking the Pacific Ocean and adjacent to the 18th green of the world-renowned Torrey Pines Golf Course, the Lodge at Torrey Pines is a AAA Five Diamond luxury resort that combines the elegance of Craftsman-style design with exceptional amenities including a full-service spa and acclaimed fine dining restaurant.  Located nearby and nestled on the coastal cliffs of La Jolla, Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa boasts 210 luxurious rooms, a lush spa and wonderful restaurants and lounges, all tucked away on a secluded ranch-inspired estate.

Often called “The Jewel of La Jolla” and set in La Jolla Village, the historic La Valencia Hotel overlooks La Jolla Cove and the Pacific Ocean and is a member of Preferred Hotels Worldwide.  Also located in the village, the historic Grande Colonial, a 2011 AAA Four Diamond winner, is an elegant European-style boutique hotel with 93 rooms and suites and an award-winning restaurant.

The La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club is an oceanfront resort located on La Jolla Shores that combines the charm of Old World Mexico with modern day luxuries. The property offers a private beach, championship tennis courts and world-class dining at its seaside Marine Room restaurant, a San Diego landmark.

SHOPPING

La Jolla is one of San Diego’s most desirable shopping districts known for sophisticated, designer apparel boutiques; original jewelry shops featuring exquisite gems, and galleries offering luxury rugs and artwork from around the world.  Sometimes called the “Rodeo Drive” of San Diego, La Jolla’s Prospect Street overlooks the Pacific Ocean and is lined with small specialty shops, boutiques, antique emporiums and art galleries.

Girard Avenue, intersecting with Prospect Street, features everything from Armani to Gucci, while the Upper Girard Design District offers numerous home furnishing boutiques ideal for shoppers seeking unique luxury home décor items. Bird Rock, located at the south end of La Jolla, also offers an upscale, eco-friendly environment for posh shopping.

ARTS, CULTURE & SCIENCE

From Broadway-bound theater performances to cutting edge contemporary art to scientific innovations that help change the world, La Jolla entertains and inspires visitors in unexpected ways.

The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego on Prospect Street is one of San Diego’s leading art institutions and features contemporary art works created since 1945. Located on the University of California San Diego campus, the Stuart Collection offers 16 site-specific works by leading artists of our time, including John Baldessari, Jenny Holzer, Robert Irwin and Nikki de Saint Phalle.

The Tony Award®-winning La Jolla Playhouse is one of the most respected and prestigious theaters in the nation, and theater-goers can enjoy original productions like Memphis and JerseyBoys before they perform Broadway.  The La Jolla Music Society presents classical music throughout the year, and its annual SummerFest program features internally recognized artists.

The Birch Aquarium at Scripps, situated on a spectacular site overlooking the Pacific Ocean, reflects the work of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, world-renowned for its oceanographic research and instruction. Also set on a spectacular site overlooking the ocean, the Salk Institute for Biological Studies is world-renowned for its medical research. Public tours, which focus on the institute’s unique architecture by Louis I. Kahn, are available.

ANNUAL EVENTS AND FESTIVALS

Throughout the year, La Jolla hosts a number of San Diego’s most exciting annual events and festivals.

The Farmers Insurance Open, an internationally recognized golf tournament, is played every January on the spectacular Torrey Pines Golf Course. The Annual La Jolla Festival of Arts and Food Fair takes place every June and features award-winning artists, gourmet cuisine, contemporary music and entertainment.

In August, various La Jolla locations provide spectacular settings for the annual SummerFest, a renowned chamber music festival.  In September, the La Jolla Rough Water Swim, the largest such swimming competition in the United States, takes place at picturesque La Jolla Cove.

For more information on La Jolla and San Diego, visit the San Diego Tourism Authority’s website at www.sandiego.org.

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