Sea lion relaxing in the sun

San Diego Things to do: Visit La Jolla Village

See this guide, ‘San Diego Things to do: Visit La Jolla Village’ for valuable insight on visiting the magical beach front community of La Jolla Village near San Diego.

Written by
Maria Mancuso

One of the most popular Things to do in San Diego is a visit to the popular coastal village of La Jolla Village.  During your visit to La Jolla Village you can enjoy an afternoon of shopping, snorkeling among colorful fish and Seals and Sea Lions, Kayak in the sea caves and enjoy some amazing food at the many restaurants in La Jolla Village.

The following San Diego Visitors Blog article, ‘San Diego Things to do: Visit La Jolla Village,’ will help you make the most of enjoying your day (or two) discovering and enjoying this picturesque village.

Aerial shot of La Jolla in San Diego
Aerial shot of La Jolla Village.

Questions, Answers and Facts about Visiting La Jolla Village:

About La Jolla: La Jolla Village is a beautiful, coastal neighborhood that’s a part of the City of San Diego in San Diego County. La Jolla occupies 7 miles of beaches which is home to many beautiful homes on the dry side of the street and soft sandy beaches, Sea Lions and aqua blue surf.  

La Jolla Village is a short 12 miles, or a 25-minute car ride from Downtown San Diego and the San Diego International Airport.

La Jolla Village (commonly referred to by locals simply as, ‘The Village’) is a small and tightly knit beach community that is home to historical, grand hotels, amazing restaurants, and smaller quaint eateries, a variety of shops, art galleries, Yoga Gyms & fitness centers, Coffee Shops and more.

Life is easy in The Village.  Tourists have a lot of things to choose from to fill their day from very active to not doing much but soaking up the rays on the beach.  Instagram-worthy photo opportunities are around every corner during a visit to The Village. 

The Village is easy to get around by walking or rent a Golf Cart or one of the electric scooters or electric bikes available in the area.

Below is a list of some of the highlights ‘Things to do in La Jolla:’ 

Enjoy Breakfast: Start your day at one of the great breakfast spots.  Brockton Villa is located across the street from La Jolla Cove.  Dine outside for a great view of the beautiful ocean while you dine.  ‘Cody’s at the Cove’ is another break breakfast spot – see them in their new location up the street from their old, well known location on Prospect Blvd.  A new tasty breakfast option in the area is ‘Cove House’ with coastal views and outside dining.

Cup of coffee with foam
Start off with a cup of Coffee from Starbucks on Prospect, or just down the street is Living Room which is a great option for Coffee, teas, sandwiches and desserts.

Grab a cup of Coffee: Start off with a cup of Coffee from Starbucks on Prospect, or just down the street is Living Room which is a great option for Coffee, teas, sandwiches and desserts.  There is a Peets Coffee a block away on Girard Avenue.

Walk down to Ellen Scripps Park:  This beautiful park is the center point of the beach area of The Village.  Tourists and locals gather here to have picnic, toss around a football or Frisbee and just enjoy the clean ocean breeze.  

La Jolla Cove in San Diego
La Jolla Cove is a popular beach shared by beach lovers, swimmers as well as Sea Lions.  You watch the Sea Lions relax and sleeping on the beach and rocks and depending on what time of year you visit; you can see mother seals nursing their babies and teaching them to swim and hunt.

La Jolla Cove & Sea Lions: A short walk to one end of Ellen Scripps Park is La Jolla Cove. This beach area is shared by beach lovers, swimmers as well as Sea Lions.  You will be able to watch the Sea Lions relax and sleeping on the beach and rocks along the beach. Be sure to stay back at least 50 feet from all Seals and Sea Lions. Not only is it the law but depending on the time of year of your visit there is a good chance that mother Seals will be giving birth to the babies as well as nursing them and training them.  If you get too close, some mothers will leave their babies. So PLEASE stay back.

Snorkeling: Snorkeling is popular activity in this area for kids to adults off the many beaches in The Village.  You can bring your own Snorkel gear or buy or rent a complete Snorkel set at a few of the local stores.

Cave Store and Sea Caves: Venture a ¼ mile up the beach walkway and visit the famous Cave Store where you can learn a little more about the history of La Jolla Village.  You can take a short walk to the Sea Caves of La Jolla as well.

Rent a Kayak: Although this activity originates from La Jolla Shores, a neighboring village, this is a very popular activity that allows you to guide a Kayak along the coast and explore the La Jolla Caves from the water.  The clear water off La Jolla allows you to see a variety of Sea Life, Leopard Sharks (they don’t bite), bright orange Garibaldi fish and other variety of fish.  You can count on seeing Sea Lions up close and personal too!

Let’s Eat – Lunch:  The Village has many great restaurants and bars perfect for lunch.  

  • The Spot: The best bar food in town.  This nautical themed bar is a local and tourist favorite servicing a complete menu including a Lamb Bacon Blue Cheeseburger, Adult Mac & Cheese and the best Chicken Wings in town.  Oh yeah, they sling cocktails, beers and wines too.
  • Hennessey’s: This is an Irish themed Pub style bar that also serves a pretty good selection of Burger, Salads and other fair.
  • Burger Lounge: If you’re looking for great Burgers – this is the place.  Oh yeah, and you might want to try the Chocolate, Vanilla or Strawberry Shakes…you’ll walk off the calories.
  • Sicilia Bella: This place is Italian. Real Italian. The owner and his wife run the entire show and they do it well.  After a great lunch of Chicken Parmesan, Lasagna, or one of their other fine dishes, try their homemade Cannoli’s. Yum!
  • Puesto’s: If you like a great Mexican meal with a bit of a twist, give Puesto’s a try.  Their Lobster Tacos with a nice top shelf Margarita goes down nicely.

Let’s Eat – Dinner: Dinner in The Village is a difficult choice, there are a group of really good restaurants to choose from, Italian, Mexican, American, Indian, Sushi and more, here are a few:

  • Eddie V’s: This is a top of the ‘food chain’ dining experience.  Dine inside or on the rooftop with views of La Jolla Cove.  Enjoy the best steaks in La Jolla along with a complete menu of tasty seafood dishes.
  • George’s on the Cove: George’s has 3 levels of ocean view dining to choose from with a nice open-air bar on the top level.  Food is good but the views are what guests tend to come for.
  • Duke’s La Jolla: This is the West Coast version of the famous Duke’s in Waikiki.  They have a Hawaiian theme of course and food choices to match.  Inside dining on 2 levels and a large outdoor patio as well.
  • Donovan’s Steakhouse: Arguably the best steakhouse in The Village.  This award-winning restaurant delivers a white tablecloth experience with top quality Steaks, Seafood and an impressive collection of Wine.

Entertainment: Being a beach town there is not the selection of nightclubs and entertainment venues that you will have to choose from in Downtown San Diego. There are a few options for entertainment to choose from:

  • La Jolla Comedy Store: This is the sister location of the famous Comedy Store located on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood.  The La Jolla Comedy Store hosts many nationally known comedians as well as lesser known regional talent. 
  • The Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center: This spectacular venue is a newly opened performing arts center is the home of La Jolla Music Society and will hosts world-class performances throughout the year.
  • The Lot Movie Theater & Restaurant: This is how movies were meant to be enjoyed!  A full-service bar, restaurant and massive television screens across the viewing wall and this is all before you even get into the luxury theaters.  Once you are inside the theater, you lay back in the super wide, super comfortable reclining chairs and push a button to order from their complete dinner and drink menu.  This is not your parent’s movie theater.
  • La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego: This fine museum is just across the road from the beach and presents a continuous rotation of exhibits and ever-changing displays.

Art Galleries: The Village is home to several great art and photography galleries.  These galleries line Prospect Street and Girard Avenue.  Grab a Coffee and stroll the rows of fine galleries.

Getting Around La Jolla Village: The Village is quite accessible by foot once you get here.  There are a couple of steep streets you will encounter walking down to and back up from the beach. To explore The Village, you can choose to walk, rent one of the numerous electronic scooters, rent an electric bike or if you are with a small group, renting Golf Cart from La Jolla Golf Carts is the way to go!

What to bring and wear for our visit to La Jolla Village: A day discovering La Jolla Village will expose you to great food, great views, beautiful beaches, Sea life, and amazing weather.  You will be fine using common sense for what to wear; comfortable shoes and it is a great idea to bring your bathing suit, a second change of clothes, towel, sunscreen, hat and sunglasses.  

Everything else you may need can be bought at any of the small stores offering necessary items and there is a full size Von’s Grocery Store on Girard Avenue for cheaper prices on drinks, food and other items. 

San Diego has many wonderful neighborhoods and townships to discover during your visit and La Jolla Village is likely the most popular among them.  We hope our San Diego Visitors Blog article, a ‘Things to do in San Diego: Visit La Jolla Village,’ has given you a bit of insight and encouragement to make some time during your next visit to explore this beautiful beach town.

Check back to visit our San Diego Visitors Blog and San Diego Visitors Guide for more inspiration on all there is to do, see and experience on your next visit to San Diego!

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