Things to do in La Jolla

Our most recommended things to do in La Jolla

La Jolla: Sea Cave Kayaking Tour with Guide

1. La Jolla: Sea Cave Kayaking Tour with Guide

Discover San Diego's Marine Protected Area, home to a variety of fish, birds, dolphins, turtles, sea-lions, and whales. With the help of an experienced guide, explore the famous Sea Caves of La Jolla and paddle inside Emerald Cave in a double kayak. Watch sea lions sunbathing on the rocks and swimming in the sanctuary. Marvel at the bright orange garibaldi as they stand out among the vibrant green sea grass and numerous other fish swimming around and delighting the eye. In the summer and fall months, tour groups will often see harmless leopard sharks, and you may also find grey whales in their migration during the winter. You might even see dolphins cruising alongside your kayak before you make your way back and prepare to surf your kayak back to shore.

San Diego: San Diego Zoo Safari Park 1-Day Ticket

2. San Diego: San Diego Zoo Safari Park 1-Day Ticket

The San Diego Zoo Safari Park is an adventurer’s safari paradise in Southern California. The 1,800-acre Safari Park is home to more than 3,000 animals representing more than 375 species—many living in wide, open field enclosures. So jump onto one of our thrilling array of tours and create memories of adventure for you and your family – all while benefiting the conservation of species here and in more than 35 countries across the globe. Welcome to a land of volcanoes, tropical rain forests, a treasure trove of biodiversity—and tigers. Sumatra is home to the critically endangered Sumatran tiger, along with other endangered species such as orangutans, rhinos, and elephants. Tiger Trail provides a journey to discover tigers and their current struggles within their island world. Lion Camp - Get nose to nose with our African lion pride—literally! Bring the kids up close to see lions that may come right up to the glass to check you out. Heart of Africa - The winding trails take you through an African forest and savanna to a serene lake. Stop and cool off at Jamison Research Island. Elephant Overlook - An elevated walkway takes you out where you can get a closer look at our Elephant Cam stars. Don't miss the youngsters born right here! Hidden Jungle - Enter our tropical greenhouse and experience a habitat of exotic birds, insect, and plants, home to our annual Butterfly Jungle event. Wings of the World Aviary - Everything in this free-flight aviary is designed to approximate the natural turf for over 140 birds of 40 species. Condor Ridge - Follow the trail of North American habitats and animals to see bighorn sheep and learn the great conservation story of the California condors. Other activities included in your admission: Elephant Enrichment - Watch our elephant herd enjoy morning treats. Discovery Station - This kid-friendly area is filled with musical instruments, puppets, books, craft activities, and wildlife “toys” and is designed to give children and their adult companions a playful space for animal-themed fun. Savanna Cool Zone - Walk through palm trees offering a gentle mist to three slippery critters that spout water: a turtle, a lion, and a crocodilian. Jameson Research Island Interpretive Center. Africa Tram Safari - Guided tour rides depart 10 a.m. until 4:15 p.m. daily (The Africa Tram Safari is an exciting expedition with brightly colored tour vehicles and our diverse animal collection creating a relaxing adventure. Lorikeet Landing - Watch our colorful rainbow lorikeets swoop down to enjoy nectar offered by guests. Exhibit entrance if free; lorikeet food is available for purchase to experience the thrill of feeding these birds by hand. Petting Kraal - Touch gentle deer and antelope. Have you “herd”? with Robert the Zebra - Robert the Zebra lives in digital, animated form on a large screen, where he can see the people who have come to visit. He asks questions, cracks jokes, talks about zebra life, and is very curious about humans. Frequent Flyers® Bird Show - An East African crowned crane in flight is a stunning sight viewed by only a privileged few, until now! The crane is one of the stars of the Park’s bird show, Frequent Flyers. The program lets you witness birds in full flight and focuses on a variety of birds from around the world. Animal Encounters - This interactive program gives you an opportunity to have face-to-face contact with the Park’s animal ambassadors like a cheetah, alligator, serval, and other rare and exotic animals. You may interact with trainers and ask questions about the species. Cheetah Tales - Come meet our cheetah ambassadors in Heart of Africa. Note: Schedules may vary or be canceled due to weather or animal health needs.

La Jolla Underwater Park: Kayak and Snorkel Tour

3. La Jolla Underwater Park: Kayak and Snorkel Tour

Kayak out into the reserve with your guides, who will lead the group to the best snorkeling spot on that day. One of your guides will drop anchor, secure your kayaks, and lead you snorkeling in the reserve, pointing out the marine life as you go.  Explore the area around the Seven Caves, set within a sea cliff, six of them only being accessible by kayak. Here, have the chance to swim with La Jolla’s best such as sea lions, garibaldi, bat rays, shovel nose guitar fish, and even dolphins and sea turtles, if you’re lucky.

San Diego: Go City All-Inclusive Pass with 55+ Attractions

4. San Diego: Go City All-Inclusive Pass with 55+ Attractions

The San Diego All-Inclusive Pass is an all-access pass offering the ultimate in convenience and savings for visitors to the area. Simply choose between a 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 7-day pass and save up to 45% compared to the cost of buying separate attraction tickets. With one single pass, you can enjoy dozens of popular attractions and fun things to do in San Diego. Visit the San Diego Zoo, LEGOLAND, The U.S.S. Midway, take a sightseeing harbor cruise, rent a bike, stand-up paddleboard or kayak, and much more. With a total of over 55 attractions and tours included with your pass, there is something for everyone and you can visit as many attractions as you like per day. The San Diego All-Inclusive Pass also comes with a digital guide including helpful attraction information including how to get there and opening times. Activities, attractions, and tours included on the San Diego All-Inclusive Pass: Theme Parks and Zoos • San Diego Zoo • SeaWorld San Diego • San Diego Zoo Safari Park • Belmont Park • Knott's Berry Farm • LEGOLAND California • Sesame Place (coming soon) Outdoors • San Diego Speedboat Adventures • La Jolla: 90-min Tandem Kayak Rental • La Jolla: Full-Day Snorkel Adventure • La Jolla: All-Day Bike Rental • La Jolla: Surfboard Rental • La Jolla: Stand-Up Paddleboard (SUP) Rental • San Diego Harbor: 2-hr SUP • San Diego Harbor: 2-hr Kayak Rental • Coronado: 90-min Tandem Kayak Rental • Coronado: SUP Board Rental • Coronado: Full-Day Bike Rental • San Diego Pier Fishing Tours and Cruises • 1-hr San Diego Harbor Cruise by Hornblower Cruises • Whale Watching by Hornblower Cruises • Whale Watch & Dolphin Tour - Beautiful Newport Beach • San Diego Hiking Tour • San Diego Sightseeing Walking Tour • Catalina Flyer (ferry to Catalina Island) • One Way Coronado Ferry • Petco Park Tours - home of the San Diego Padres • GoCar San Diego 30-min tour • Dolby Theater Guided Tour Museums and Places of Interest • USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum • Japanese Friendship Garden • San Diego Air and Space Museum • San Diego Natural History Museum • The Fleet Science Center with IMAX • Birch Aquarium at Scripps • Museum of Us • San Diego Automotive Museum • San Diego Model Railroad Museum • San Diego Museum of Art • The New Children's Museum • The Whaley House Museum • Coronado Museum of History and Art • Museum of Photographic Arts • Museum of Contemporary Art (Downtown) • San Diego Art Institute • The Gaslamp Museum at the Davis-Horton House • Mingei International Museum • The Plunge San Diego • Living Coast Discovery Center • Museum of Making Music • Hollywood Museum • Richard Nixon Library • UTC Ice Sports Center • South Coast Shop & Dine Package

San Diego: Go City Explorer Pass - Choose 2-7 Attractions

5. San Diego: Go City Explorer Pass - Choose 2-7 Attractions

Experience San Diego's top attractions and tours and get up to 55% off combined admission with Go City's Explorer Pass. Simply choose 2, 3, 4, 5, or 7 top attractions from over 45 options and go at your own pace - you have 60 days to use your pass from first activation. Visit the world-famous San Diego Zoo or the USS Midway Museum. Explore more of the city with a hop-on hop-off trolley tour, or kayak and snorkel in beautiful La Jolla. The possibilities are endless. Your pass is fully digital and no physical card is required. Simply download your pass directly to your smartphone or print at home. Show your pass at each attraction for quick and easy entrance. Choose from the following things to do in San Diego with the San Diego Explorer Pass: Museums and Places of Interest • San Diego Zoo OR San Diego Zoo Safari Park (choose 1) • USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum • Belmont Park Ride and Play Pass • Maritime Museum of San Diego • Air and Space Museum • Birch Aquarium at Scripps • The Fleet Science Center with IMAX • San Diego Natural History Museum • Museum of Us • Living Coast Discovery Center • The New Children's Museum • San Diego Museum of Art • San Diego Model Railroad Museum • Japanese Friendship Garden • PETCO Park Tour - Home of the San Diego Padres • San Diego Automotive Museum • Museum of Contemporary Art (Downtown) • Mingei International Museum Tours and Activities • 2-Day Hop-On Hop-off Old Town San Diego Trolley • Living Coast Discovery Center • 1-hr San Diego Harbor Cruise by Hornblower • 90-min Best of the Bay Cruise by Hornblower • San Diego Speed Boat Adventures • Jet Ski Rental San Diego Harbor • Go Kart and Thrill Park • Whale Watching by Hornblower Cruises • Plunge San Diego • San Diego Fishing Tour • San Diego Hiking Tour • San Diego Harbor: Kayak Rental or Stand Up Paddle Board Rental • La Jolla: Kayak Rental, Snorkel Rental, Stand Up Paddle Board Rental, Surf Board Rental or Bike Rental • Coronado: Kayak Rental, Stand Up Paddle Board Rental, or Bike Rental • UTC Ice Sports Center • Speed Circuit: All Access • San Diego City & Beach Tours • 1-Hour Scooter Rental • GoCar San Diego Tours 1-Hour • San Diego City Tour • Patriot Jet Boat

San Diego: La Jolla City and Coast Guided Sightseeing Tour

6. San Diego: La Jolla City and Coast Guided Sightseeing Tour

Explore the charming La Jolla region of San Diego with a local guide and curated walking tour. Learn about the area's rich history dating back to the mid-1800s, visit Sunny Jim's Seaside Cave, and marvel at the extraordinary views of Scripps Ecological Reserve while hiking the Coast Walk Trail. Begin your tour with an overview of San Diego's history, including fascinating details about pioneers like William Heath Davis and Alonzo Horton. Understand how La Jolla became part of San Diego in 1850 and why it became a prime beach destination after area railroads were constructed in the 1890s.  Continue to Sunny Jim's Sea Cave, the original residence of Gustav Schultz who hired two Chinese laborers to dig a 144-stair tunnel from inside of his house to the cave below. Browse the gift shop and take photos with the group – or explore the tunnel on your own. Then it's time to walk along the rugged Coast Walk Trail, taking in the stunning panoramic views, including the Scripps Ecological Reserve. Further north, you'll spot University of California - San Diego and the famous Torrey Pines Golf Course.  Continue along the coast and pass through Ellen Browning Scripps Park. Listen closely as your guide details how Ellen's contributions left an everlasting impression on La Jolla. See La Jolla's amazing wildlife on full display including seals, sea lions, squirrels, pelicans, and cormorants. Embark on the next part of the tour to Children's Pool, a small beach partially protected by a seawall. This is a popular viewing area for harbor seals and a picturesque beach with a panoramic view. Conclude your tour with a stroll up Prospect Street in downtown La Jolla, passing several landmark buildings including the Museum of Contemporary Art, La Jolla Historical Society Wisteria Cottage Museum, Grande Colonial Hotel, and La Valencia Hotel.

La Jolla: Guided Snorkeling Tour

7. La Jolla: Guided Snorkeling Tour

Interact with marine animals at a safe distance and spend the day on this beautiful reserve with experienced snorkel experts to guide you. You will see marine life such as sharks, exotic fish, dolphins, seals, turtles and a multitude of sea life swimming amongst them. With four microhabitats to swim through, you will find a wide variety of underwater flora and fauna. With a small group, you’ll get a much more intimate experience of life underneath the water, with one of our guides and local lifeguards accompanying you while you swim. Guests must have a basic level of swimming to participate in this activity. As this is an introductory tour, families with younger children (age 5+) are also welcome, as well as people who feel more comfortable being guided in their snorkeling.

La Jolla: 1.5-Hour Surfing Lesson

8. La Jolla: 1.5-Hour Surfing Lesson

Has learning to surf been your dream? Your dream can become a reality on the calm waters of La Jolla Shores, the best spot to learn. Your experienced instructors are eager to share their passion for surfing with beginners and intermediates alike: no experience necessary, all equipment provided. Your instructors respect each student’s choice regarding his or her level of participation in the lesson, and comfort in the water. You’ll have fun learning how to surf in a safe environment. Your experienced instructor will teach you the fundamentals of surfing and ocean safety on land, before heading into the water to catch some waves with your group. Continually voted one of the best spots for beginner and intermediate surfers in San Diego, the calm waters of La Jolla Shores are an ideal place to learn how to surf in a fun, yet safe environment. Public and private options are available.

La Jolla: Kayak & Whale Watching Tour

9. La Jolla: Kayak & Whale Watching Tour

Experience the gray whale migration from the seat of a kayak. Leaving the waters of the Arctic and heading south to the lagoons of Mexico, gray whales naturally migrate past La Jolla during the winter. This is a non-polluting, non-threatening, and intimate way to experience one of the most majestic mammals on the planet. Your guides will lead the group about two miles out from shore, where you’ll stop at the best spots to view gray whales. Along the way you’ll learn interesting facts and history about the whales, other marine life, and the La Jolla Ecological Reserve. Keep in mind that gray whales are wild animals. While gray whales are abundant during the season, a sighting can't be guaranteed, although groups can often see dolphins, sea lions, harbor seals, and other marine life as well.

San Diego: City Highlights Tour with Hotel Pickup

10. San Diego: City Highlights Tour with Hotel Pickup

Make the most of your time in San Diego on a guided tour with hotel pickup. Whether you're on vacation with your family or in town for the day on business, you will be sure to fall in love with this city on the sea. The day starts with pickup from your accommodation. You'll then travel comfortably in an air-conditioned van to the city's best sights. Admire the white-sand beaches and rugged coastline of La Jolla and travel back in time on a stroll through the Spanish settlement of Old Town – the first European settlement in present-day California. Feel the energy of the Gaslamp Quarter, visit Seaport Village, and explore the resort city of Coronado. Finally, take a walk through Balboa Park and admire the chic and bustling eateries in Little Italy. At the end of the tour, you will be dropped-off at your hotel.

Top sights in La Jolla

Frequently asked questions about La Jolla

What top attractions are a must-see in La Jolla?

Other Sightseeing Options in La Jolla

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What people are saying about La Jolla

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 537 reviews

Excellent! You do not only see the coast and it’s uniqueness, but you hear about La Jolla’s and discover interesting facts!

Cali was the absolute best!!!! We had so much fun! We are going to come back in August and do another snorkeling trip!

Excellent trip, guides were informative and helpful. Highly recommend it!

Excellent ! Fun and got very wet ! Caves were amazing and sealife !

Surprisingly Easy to use. It really is as easy as scan and go.