Even though I live here, La Jolla’s beautiful beaches still take my breath away. To best sure you see the most scenic viewpoints, follow this route:
Starting at the south end of La Jolla – at La Jolla Boulevard and La Cañada Street – take La Cañada towards the ocean. You’ll have a good view of Bird Rock – literally a big rock offshore covered with birds – on your left just after you pass Avenida Cresta. This landmark gives its name to the surrounding neighborhood and is a popular surfing spot.
Continue north on Camino de la Costa, past a gaggle of beautiful homes, and jog left at Palomar Avenue. Now you’re on Neptune Place – witnessing drop-dead gorgeous Windansea Beach.
The surf shack on the beach is a designated historical landmark. For decades, Windansea’s surf has attracted the world’s best riders. It was also featured in Tom Wolfe’s book The Pump House Gang. For more information, see this Wikipedia site.
As you follow the coast, you’ll pass the Children’s Pool en route to the La Jolla Cove. From here, walk along Coast Walk (a pedestrians only dirt trail). The path, which starts to the left of The Cave Store, offers one of the most beautiful blue-water vistas in our Golden State.
After stretching your legs, take Prospect Street to Torrey Pines Road and make a left turn. Turn left again onto Princess Street and you’ll find yourself passing the Marine Room, home to the best beachfront dining in town.
Continue along the water, past the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club to La Jolla Shores Beach – another great spot for walking and very popular with kayakers.
To see more beaches, continue up La Jolla Shores Drive and turn left onto North Torrey Pines Road. Turn left at Torrey Pines Scenic Drive and follow signs to the Torrey Pines Gliderport . This spot offers a rare up-close-and-personal view of hang gliders and paragliders (tandem rides offered for the uninitiated). It is also my favorite off-the-beaten-path place for lunch. (See “A Picnic Table with a View.”)
From the Gliderport, continue north on Torrey Pines Road for a beautiful view of Torrey Pines State Beach. The Reserve above the beach offers more great views…guaranteed to take your breath away.