San Diego, 92037
Beach Chic Oasis
La Jolla is best known for opulent lifestyles and high-profile residents, but it's also a beach community with a rich history of art, architecture, and easy seaside living.
If you're interested in La Jolla homes & investment properties, click the button below to create an account with the San Diego MLS and start searching properties straight from the source.
Otherwise take a quick tour of La Jolla's neighborhoods and enjoy the Local's Guide to La Jolla below!
La Jolla Neighborhoods
La Jolla is a truly unique area spanning 7 miles of Pacific Ocean coastline just north of Pacific Beach ("PB"). It boasts gorgeous beaches & bluffs, marine preserves & hiking trails, a rich diversity of wildlife, and plenty of shopping, dining, and activities. It also houses UCSD, one of the top colleges for the sciences in the country, and some of the most desired public schools in the country.
La Jolla has several unique neighborhoods, each with its own characteristics & charm. We've highlighted a few of our favorites here, starting with Bird Rock, a gorgeous stretch of homes and local businesses along the coast as you head north from PB toward downtown La Jolla (known as "the Village").
Bird Rock is one of the most desirable areas to live because you have the accessibility of being right next to PB, but the seclusion and peace of mind that goes with life in La Jolla. For more details on specific small businesses and restaurants to visit in Bird Rock, check out our Local's Guide to La Jolla, below.
Between Bird Rock and the Village (downtown La Jolla) is another highly sought-after coastal La Jolla community, Beach Barber Tract. Another perfect location, close to the bustling Village, but still steeped in a mellow surfer community vibe (with a CEO price tag).
Rising up the hills just east of Bird Rock and Beach Barber Tract are more incredible La Jolla communities including the Muirlands, La Jolla Alta, La Jolla Mesa, and Country Club. These communities have spectacular views of the ocean and the rest of La Jolla as they wind up the hill towards the Mount Soledad Veterans Memorial Park.
The action can be found in the Village or in La Jolla Shores, which also has one of the best beaches in San Diego, stretching just north of the Village and the Cove.
For more specific tips on what to do, see, eat and what's going on in the La Jolla Real estate market, keep reading!
A Local's Guide to La Jolla
Table of Contents
La Jolla Beaches, Parks, Trails, & Activities
There are almost too many amazing options for things to do in La Jolla. Windansea Beach is a local favorite, good for surfing and swimming alike, located in the Beach Barber Tract area.
La Jolla Shores is the classic area beach with its wide stretch of sand, large grassy park, and trendy shopping and dining nearby. The beach is semi-protected by the cliffs on both sides and is great for swimming and kayaking. Because the La Jolla coastline shifts between sandy beaches and towering cliffs, there are a ton of sea caves to explore by kayak depending on the time of day.
This area is also a marine preserve, so you can see all kinds of marine life while swimming, scuba diving, snorkeling or kayaking, including fish, sharks, stingrays, crabs, lobsters, seals and sometimes even whales!
And if you're around during August or September, don't miss the chance to swim with the Leopard Sharks! During the late summer hundreds of them congregate just off the beach as part of their yearly mating ritual. They only eat critters that live in the mud—not humans. Check out this awesome video of a snorkel adventure in the Shores!
The kelp forests off La Jolla's coast create a one-of-a-kind ecosystem. Sometimes gray whale mothers use the cover of the kelp forests to protect their babies as they migrate up and down the California coast. You can explore them firsthand if you're brave enough to scuba dive, or you can get a closeup look while remaining dry at the Birch Aquarium. They have an amazing 70,000-gallon kelp tank which will transport you to the bottom of the ocean. Check out the live "kelp-cam" here!
During lobster season (from mid-October to mid-March) you can go "bugging" in these waters and catch the delectable local spiny lobster! But you have to work for your supper—you can only catch them by hand or hoop net. No traps or other devices. You can find the rest of the regulations here (click the drop-down for "Spiny Lobster").
For mellower adventures at the sea you can find the La Jolla Tide Pools and the Children's pool on the west side of the Village. The Children's Pool is an enclosed cove, partially protected by a sea wall, where the water is calm and parents like to bring their kids for stress-free play in the ocean.
North of La Jolla Shores you will find more amazing nature and beaches in the Torrey Pines area, which comprises UCSD and the northernmost part of La Jolla. First, there's Black's Beach, a somewhat infamous local beach which can only be accessed by scaling down a rigorous trail that cuts steeply through the cliff. It's known for being one of the most beautiful beaches in the area, and for being San Diego's only nude beach.
That's right, the "Full Monty" is the status quo down there, but it's usually worth braving for the gorgeous and isolated beach. To get there, follow signs for the Torrey Pines Gliderport, park nearby and you'll see signs directing you to the beach trail. And if you feel like jumping off a cliff, you can do that at the Gliderport before you leave. Fun fact: the Gliderport was established in 1928 and used by aviation pioneers including Charles A. Lindbergh. People have been jumping off that cliff for over 80 years. Daily tandem hang gliding and para gliding is available without a reservation, no prior experience necessary!
Finally, the northern part of La Jolla holds the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, which has miles of hiking trails, lagoons and state beach full of protected plant and wildlife species. The oceanfront hiking cannot be beat. Trails offer varying degrees of difficulty but are overall on the mellow side.
La Jolla Events & Other Fun Stuff To Do
There's never a shortage of a good time in La Jolla. For the latest local events, news and gorgeous homes, follow us on social media using the icons below. And don't miss out on these classic recurring La Jolla events:
The La Jolla Open Aire Farmer's Market, each Sunday from 9:00 am - 1:00 pm. Enjoy fresh local produce, prepared food, hand-crafted goods, & more! One of the best farmer's markets around!
See and be seen among glamorous people and gorgeous cars at the La Jolla Concours d'Elegance each April.
Enjoy a breathtaking oceanfront course for the La Jolla Half Marathon, also in April.
The La Jolla Art & Wine Festival is always a blast, held each October.
Sample food from various local restaurants at the Taste of La Jolla, also in October.
Enjoy music, activities, photos with Santa and more at the La Jolla Christmas Parade & Holiday Festival every December.
Connect With Us on Social Media to Keep Up on All Things La Jolla Living!
La Jolla Schools
La Jolla's public schools are some of the most sought-after in the country. In San Diego Unified School District, schools in each community are organized into "clusters," which consist of a high school, and the middle and elementary schools which feed into it. Click the link for more information on San Diego Unified School District Clusters.
The group of schools serving La Jolla is called the La Jolla Cluster, and consists of Bird Rock Elementary (K-5th), La Jolla Elementary (K-5th), Torrey Pines Elementary (K-5th), Muirlands Middle School, (6th-8th), and La Jolla High School. For a map of the schools in this cluster, click here.
Where to Eat, Drink & Enjoy Happy Hour In La Jolla
There are a ton of great places to eat, drink, and get a little tipsy (responsibly!) in La Jolla. The big names can be found with a quick Google search, so instead of reiterating those here, we've highlighted our favorite local treasures. Listed in order from south to north as you wind up the coast. Call us anytime for a locals-style tour! 858-230-8644
Bahia Don Bravo: We raved about this place on the PB page too because they have 2 locations. The original is in Bird Rock. Best Mexican food in San Diego, hands down.
Beaumont's: Located in Bird Rock, this is a favorite spot among locals. Great food & they often have live music! Try their famous bloody mary!
The Promiscuous Fork: Gourmet sandwiches and beer. Need we say more?
The Shack: A mellow beachy sports bar on the edge of Bird Rock & the Beach Barber Tract. Great bar food, cold beer, pool tables and a really nice outdoor patio that's pet and kid friendly.
Hotel La Valencia: This historic La Jolla hotel was built in 1909 and it continues to shine as a classy staple in the heart of the Village. Enjoy happy hour on the spectacular oceanview terrace!
Brick & Bell: A charming local coffee shop in the Village, known for their pastries and mini-scones!
The Spot: Great classic American food served until late at night in the Village. Perfect spot for a burger & a beer!
Brockton Villa: Known for a can't-miss brunch and ridiculous views of La Jolla Cove. Try the Coast Toast!
Piatti: Italian fine dining at La Jolla Shores. The home-style Italian food is out of this world. You'll be hooked as soon as the bread and dipping oil comes. Highly recommended!
La Jolla Real Estate
The La Jolla real estate market is one-of-a-kind, and it's heavily in demand. It's one of the strongest real estate markets in the country, despite the big price tag. There are a lot of old homes still, providing good opportunities for high-end "fix and flips."
If you own a home in La Jolla, you might be surprised at how much you could sell for. There is a severe shortage of homes for sale in La Jolla and overwhelming demand. This market gives you incredible leverage during the initial contract negotiations, which you must take advantage of in order to make the escrow process as smooth and predictable as possible. If you'd like a free home value analysis or to discuss the strategies you should employ when it's time to sell your home, give our broker Lauren a call today!
La Jolla Real Estate By the Numbers
We update these stats each month. The numbers you see below represent last month's sales activity.
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