San Diego has plenty of amazing offerings, and while the San Diego Marriott Marquis is a lovely hotel right in the heart of San Diego, when visiting “America’s Finest City,” we particularly enjoy being able to base ourselves in an area with surroundings that are less urbane and more natural. La Jolla, California, which is situated about 14 miles up the road from the San Diego Marina, fits the bill perfectly.
La Jolla is an affluent, seaside community which occupies over 7 miles of Pacific coastline. It is green and hilly, with lots of trees. It is also the home of UC San Diego and is a mecca of medical research as well as oceanographic facilities. There is a nice shopping mall near the La Jolla Marriott. The La Jolla Marriott is a fine, full service hotel, with most of the amenties of the Marriott Marquis, but it comes with a more reasonable price, and is situated in a more relaxed setting. On the same street as the Marriott, La Jolla Village Drive, you can head west a short distance (mile or two) to the coast, where you can enjoy La Jolla Cove and Caves, a great family area, and enjoy La Jolla village, which is just an amazing place to stroll, shop and dine. I sort of liken it to the Rodeo Drive of San Diego, only better, because the shops are really neat and it’s right on the coast in a beautiful cliffside setting. Here you can find items that are “just for me” as well as “me too” items. In other words, quirky and unique, or high end name brand. There are beautiful parks along the cliffs, as well as cliffside promenades. There are also a couple of museums (Museum of Contemporary Art and the Music and Arts Library), as well as the Birch Aquarium. This may make La Jolla Village sound like a big place, but it’s really not. It definitely has that coastal village vibe. Also, the homes are amazing and fun to look at. Not necessarily large, but well restored and quite nice.
La Jolla’s grandeur is its beaches, and if you head up Torrey Pines Road to La Jolla Shores Drive, you’ll find a number of offerings where some of the beaches are among the most breathtaking in California. There are dramatic cliffs and secluded coves. There’s a natural children’s pool, La Jolla Shores, a wonderful beach for swimming, snorkeling, diving and surfing, a Harbor Seal Preserve, and Black’s Beach beneath the Torrey Pines Glider port. Black’s Beach is accessible by taking a steep cliff path, and offers both a family area as well as a clothing optional (nudist!) area.
There’s something for just about everyone in La Jolla. When you next plan a visit to Southern California, consider a stay in La Jolla.