La Jolla, "jewel by the sea," is always fun with kids, year round. Little ones can play on the flat sand beach at La Jolla Shores, older kids can boogie board and snorkel, learn to surf, go paddleboarding or kayaking. Tidepools are fun to explore, look for sea lions lolling on the rocks, and discover Sunny Jim Sea Cave.
La Jolla Cove - The cove has clear turquoise water, sparkling in the sunlight, surrounded by kelp covered rocks. Bring your snorkels and masks for the kids to snorkel in the clear water.
Ellen Browning Scripps Park - Westward around the point from the Cove, plan a picnic at the grassy area, Scripps Park. Or just take a stroll along the sidewalk promenade. Also at Scripps Park, free concerts each Sunday, 2 - 4pm in the summer.
Seal Rock Reserve - Look for harbor seals and sea lions, frisking in the water around Seal Rock and lolling in rows on the comfy sandy beach at the Children's Pool. Sea lions have longer flippers and make all the barking noise. Seals are smaller, shyer and don't talk so much. Cute as they look, don't try to pet them.
Sunny Jim Sea Cave - One of La Jolla's old time secrets, step out of the bright sunlight, and walk down a long tunnel inside the rocky cliff to a sea cave at the end, waves rippling in the grotto. Entrance to the cave is through the Cave Store (1325 Coast Blvd.).
Coast Walk Trail
- After exploring Sunny Jim Cave, continue walking east around the cove on the Coast Walk Trail. Look for sea lions in the water and basking on the rocks, and pelicans having a party.
La Jolla Shores Beach - This is a pretty flat sand beach with gentle waves (and is one of our favorite beaches in San Diego). There's a mile of beach to run around, play in the water, swim, and great for kids of all ages, though it can be crowded in the summer. Boogie boards, wetsuits and snokels are available for rent.
Explore the tide pools. Look for crabs, sea anemones in the pools, and sometimes there are leopard sharks out in the shallow water.
, next to the beach, has picnic tables and a grassy area, plus playground
Kayaking and cave tours – What a memorable experience to explore the sea cliffes and La Jolla Caves from a kayak. Rent kayaks to go on out on your own, or go on a two hour cave tour (kids should be able to swim).
Learn to surf - La Jolla Shores is the perfect beach for kids to learn to surf. Surf lessons are available, both group and private lessons, wetsuits and surfboards are provided.
Birch Aquarium at Scripps - The Birch Aquarium features California marine life that lives in salt marshes, coastal lagoons, tide pools and deep canyons off the coast. Don't miss the big kelp tank with bat rays and rockfish, the giant octopus, and luminous exhibit of "sea jellies" - moon jellies, upside down jellies, sea nettles. From the outdoor touch pool (where kids can touch sea stars, sea urchins, spiny lobster and more), there's a spectacular view of La Jolla and beaches. This aquarium is a gem!