The town of La Jolla is a small coastal community located just north of San Diego and about 5 miles south of Solana Beach. There is a whole lot to do in this tiny area that makes it a nice stop when you are visiting the Southern California area. If immersing yourself in nature is your idea of a great day spent then La Jolla offers that for you.
The first is the critically acclaimed Torrey Pines Golf Course. It is a PGA level course that is used by the PGA for the PGA TOUR’s Farmers Insurance Open and in 2021 will be used for the U.S. Open. This course is a masterpiece of golf design and offers stunning views of the sandstone cliffs of La Jolla that you will not soon forget. With sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean and an immaculately maintained facility this golf course is a must play for golf followers. If you are not a resident of San Diego County however it is an expensive round but worth it to the purists.
The beaches of La Jolla are worth visiting. At the north end of the area is Torrey Pines State Beach which stretches over 4700 feet between the end watchtowers. Slightly farther south past the first set of cliffs is Blacks Beach. “Blacks” stretches a mile and a half from the middle of Torrey Pines along the coast down to the start of the Saigon walking trail. It’s a favorite spot among locals for surfing. Along that beach are multiple trailheads that take you from the beach up to parking or other amenities and behind the amazing sandstone cliffs that allow you to relax and enjoy the sun or the water. Further South from that is the Torrey Pines City Beach that allows you to jut up against the cliffs where the NOAA Biological Laboratory is located and the Scripps Coastal Reserve is located. The reserve allows you to walk around the natural wildlife of La Jolla with quiet walking paths and easy access.
If you are looking to get off the beach there are many other natural locations to visit in the La Jolla area as well. In the Torrey Pines State Reserve, there are many overlooks including Razor Point Trail that gets majestic cliffside views of the Pacific Ocean, there is also the High Point Overlook where you can get wide panoramic views of the area and learn about the founding of the area. Venturing south you can get to the Yucca Point Overlook for more scenic overlooks of the sweeping coastline and a local favorite Flat Rock trail that follows a shelf of sandstone out to a natural rock formation out in the Ocean that is a unique nearly flat formation of sandstone that is disconnected from the rest of the cliffs. Down by Black’s Beach is an easier to access lookout to sit and enjoy and you can also access a hang gliding rental facility there where you can go up and view the entire area from the air.
If you’re more into learning and science there are a couple of options for that as well. The first is the Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography supported by The University of California San Diego. It offers interactive tide pools for you to experience marine life up close and at low risk and is great to see the different creatures in the ocean with instruction as to how their environments are affected by human interactions. You can also sign up for feedings of certain animals and see examples of how different animals survive in the wild. They also have exhibits like shoreline sharks, a kelp forest, and a lookout plaza with different tide pools. They offer over 60 different habitats for you to discover.
If you are interested in higher education and research there is also the Salk Institute in La Jolla that is supported by The University of California San Diego. Jonas Salk was the lead physician who developed the first successful polio vaccines, ending centuries of suffering for families around the world. The institute is dedicated to his work and other work in biological research from things like aging, cancers, genetics, immune systems, metabolism, neuroscience, plant and protein interactions, and regeneration. They also host many events like science symposiums, concerts, and orchestral performances and monthly lectures on some of the most recent and intriguing scientific studies of our modern world. This is truly a destination for the scientifically curious visitors.
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