La Jolla Shores
La Jolla Shores Beach is a nearly a mile long. Near its center is Kellogg Park. Here, you will find grassy park areas with tables for picnics. By day the main beach is a busy swimming and sunbathing area popular among families. At night it's alive with the glow of beach fires.
The south end of the beach stretches towards La Jolla Cove’s calm waters. This attracts kayakers and divers who like to explore the underwater ecological reserve.
Kayaking is a very popular activity at La Jolla Shores. Small boats and kayaks can be launched directly into the sea from the end of Avenida De La Playa, the south end of Kellogg Park.
La Jolla Shores is the most popular location for scuba diving in San Diego and attracts both beginner and experienced divers. The south part of the coast here and is used as training grounds by scores of scuba diving students. The biggest attraction for diving in La Jolla is the San Diego-La Jolla Underwater Park Ecological Reserve, a 533 acre underwater marine preserve. Also, just 100 yards off-shore, divers will find La Jolla Canyon, which drops to 600 feet deep and Scripps Canyon, which drops to 1,000 feet deep. In addition to abundant sea life, this area is home to harmless leopard sharks during the late summer, an occasional California Blue Whale during the winter.
It also attracts ocean swimmers who train for swimming endurance races around the world. The one-way distance from La Jolla Cove to the La Jolla Shores boat ramp where you will primarily see kayakers is 2/3rds of a mile while the one-way distance from La Jolla Cove to Scripps Pier is 1.7 miles. The most recognized ocean swimming competition is the La Jolla Rough Water Swim. Started in 1916, the event takes place in late September. Over 2,000 participants swim either a 1-mile or 3-mile course.
The north end of the beach stretches towards Scripps Pier and Torrey Pines. This is a good area to go for a walk along the beach. The north end of the beach, better known as Scripps for the Scripps Institute of Oceanography and its landmark pier is favored by intermediate surfers and body boarders. Scripps Pier is not open to the public. If there is low tide, you can walk past the pier. From this point forward, you will be walking below tall beach cliffs so take precaution because they can collapse on occasion. About 600yd past the pier, you will come across an area of large volcanic rock from the Miocene era. This 11 million year old volcanic rock is referred to as Dike rock. The stretch of beach closer to Scripps Pier provides sunbathers very few crowds and a lot more space.
Those who want to play in the waves will need to stay to the south side of the beach while those who want to surf will need to stay to the north side. The life guards will have signs posted on where you can go. Lifeguards are on duty year-round. Generally, you will see them from 9AM – Dusk. La Jolla Shores is a popular spot for surfing classes and local surf club competitions, especially for kids. On Avenida de la Playa there is a number of great surf shops where you can take surf lessons.
Water temperatures are usually 60F during winter and 70F during summer. If that is too cold for you, there are wetsuits available for rent from local shops on Avenida de la Playa which is located a couple blocks to the south-east. Avenida de la Playa is also home to a few European style cafés and restaurants and businesses offering beach equipment rentals, including kayaks, dive equipment, and boogie boards.
While most visitors will spend their time looking at the waves, some will face the opposite direction and enjoy looking at the surrounding hillside full of multi-million dollar homes. The tallest hill you see towards the southeast is Mount Soledad.
At the north end of Kellogg Park is a children’s playground. Next to it is a map of the underwater ecological reserve. It is laid out over the ground with descriptions of the different sea animals found off-shore. Those who want to learn more about the local marine habitat should visit the nearby Birch Aquarium, which hosts field trips to the waters off La Jolla Shores.
The La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club comprises the southernmost end of La Jolla Shores Beach. The club is private property but the beach itself is public. Beyond that, the sand abruptly ends in front of the Marine Room Restaurant, where harmless Leopard Sharks often congregate in the shallows, offering snorkelers an exhilarating encounter. The Marine Room restaurant is famous for its high-tide dinners during the summer and high-tide breakfasts during the winter when waves come crashing up against the windows. After the Beach and Tennis Club, there are a few homes you will pass before the beach ends at La Jolla Cove.