Exploring La Jolla: My Top 5 Hidden Gems

Having lived in La Jolla my entire life, I never expected to do a post about the sites here.  Tourist season, packed beaches, and my love of the sun have inspired me to venture off the paved sidewalks to hidden spots of Californian paradise .  Here are my top 5 beaches and lookouts to rival those packed tourist locales La Jolla Shores and La Jolla Cove.

1. Camino de la Costa

Although entering the Ocean takes a little physical effort (climbing) and an adventurous spirit, it is well worth it.  Most of the time this spot is completely deserted save the occasional surfer.  The tide pools in the rocks also provide for hours of entertainment, and the view at sunset is of course phenomenal.

Directions from downtown La Jolla: Head south on Coast Blvd. Head past Wind and Sea on Camino de la Costa.  Right before the road veers away from the coast, you’ll see a turn around with 4 parking spaces.  In front of that will be a staircase onto a rocky outcropping.

2. Horseshoe

One of the less crowded beaches in La Jolla, this is where locals head in the summer to avoid the crowds.  On clear days the snorkeling can rival La Jolla Cove, and there’s even a few waves calling to the local surfers.  The undertow at Horseshoe can be extremely fierce.

Directions from downtown La Jolla: Head South on Coast Blvd. past Coast Boulevard Park (The grassy fields to the right).  You’ll veer slightly away from the ocean into a neighborhood on this road.  You’ll see two large white apartment buildings before you hit Prospect St.  If you see Prospect St.  you’ve gone too far.  Between these white apartment buildings is a cement walkway that leads down to the beach.  You should see a horseshoe if you’re in the right place.

3. Coast Walk Trail

Gaze past La Jolla Shores all the way to Del Mar on a clear day from this point or make your way up the Hill to reach La Jolla Cove and the Cave Store.

Directions from downtown La Jolla:  Head north on Torrey Pines Road toward La Jolla shores.  Turn left onto Coast Walk dr. drive to the end of the road.

4. The Cliffs

Hunt for coyotes or hike down to the beach along these hidden trails.  Hikes are short and moderately difficult with only a few steep inclines.

Directions from La Jolla Shores:  Turn left on La Jolla Shores dr.  Follow it up the hill.  At the top of the hill take a left on La Jolla Farms Rd. before you hit UCSD.  There are 3 entrances that can be found on La Jolla Farms Rd.

5. The Tide Pools at Scripps

At low tide, you can find everything from sea cucumbers to octopi. Please don’t pick anything up or take anything home as any change can affect this fragile ecosystem.

Directions from La Jolla Shores:  Head north on the beach past the pier until you hit the tide pools

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