The belvederes along the coast are picturesque reminders of La Jolla’s history.
Countless articles have been written about La Jolla, and when I read them I sometimes want to laugh out loud – or at least groan. To begin with, “La Jolla” does not mean “the jewel” in Spanish. That word would be “La Joya.” Close, but no cigar.
In fact, “La Jolla” is a corruption of the word the Kumeyaay (Native American tribe) used to call this area. The Spanish explorers may have thought this scenic location was a jewel, but they didn’t call it “La Joya.”
Also – and this would come as a surprise to some local residents - La Jolla is not a separate town. It is a community within the City of San Diego, just like Pacific Beach, Mission Hills, and more than another dozen places. That means that – for better or for worse – we share the same school district, fire department, sanitation district, etc.
Having said that, much of what travelers have heard is true. We (I’ve lived here most of my life) have gorgeous beaches and sandstone cliffs, a wonderful variety of shopping options, great restaurants, a very good selection of hotels, and a wide range of recreation options.
Our cultural advantages are less known. La Jolla Playhouse has won a Tony Award for Best Regional Theatre. Birch Aquarium at Scripps is a world-class facility. The La Jolla branch of The San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art is right in the village, and classical music concerts are offered by The Athenaeum Music & Arts Library and the La Jolla Chamber Music Society. In addition, the University of California San Diego (UCSD) plays a very important role in our community, and the La Jolla Historial Society works hard to preserve our heritage buildings and our traditions.
In short, we don’t just surf and sip wine here. La Jolla is a great place for families, adventurous travelers, culture vultures, “foodies,” shop-until-you-drop folks, AND those who want to surf and sip wine.
And visitors are always welcome.