Things to do in
La Jolla

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Top sights 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 kayak inside Emerald Cave. 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.

La Jolla: Guided Snorkeling Tour

2. 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 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 Explorer Pass - Choose 2-7 Attractions

4. 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

5. 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: 1.5-Hour Surfing Lesson

6. 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.

The La Jolla Tour

7. The La Jolla Tour

La Jolla is arguably the finest part of this city, it is to San Diego what Beverly Hills is to Los Angeles. Many of San Diego’s wealthy and fabulous come here to live, and although that in and of itself would mean little, the reasons behind it are the foundation of why this area of the city would draw anyone in. La Jolla Cove, speaks of yesteryear with all of the little-known beaches . See its mysterious cave and secret tunnel entrance, its gentle but rugged cliffs and abundant marine life, its posh shopping and dining district, the stunningly quaint and sequestered shores nestled and hidden in the sylvan tumbles of verdant cliffs. This three hour, fully escorted, semi-private driving tour will introduce you to marvelous physical beauty, and a sense of soaring human presence with the most subtle human footprint. This three hour sightseeing tour is available daily at 1:00 PM.

La Jolla: Guided E-Bike Tour

8. La Jolla: Guided E-Bike Tour

Discover the picturesque coast of the La Jolla neighborhood on a scenic tour by e-bike. Along the route admire the panorama of La Jolla Cove and the coastline from downtown all the way to Pacific Beach. Start the tour in the heart of La Jolla and begin your adventure along the California Coast. Ride to La Jolla Cove and the Ecological Preserve to check out one of the most stunning viewpoints in the area. From the cove, continue along the coastline to the Children’s Pool where about 100 seals can often be seen lazing about in the sun. Take a brief break here to chill out and enjoy mother nature. Pass gorgeous multimillion-dollar homes right on the water’s edge all the way to the local beach known as Wind ‘n Sea. Stop here for a quick moment to relax and to watch the surfers at this world-class break. From Wind ‘n Sea ride through a beautiful neighborhood known as Bird Rock. From Bird Rock, ride onto Pacific Beach for a stop at The Crystal Pier, before heading back to La Jolla.

La Jolla: Ultimate Self-Guided Combo Tour

9. La Jolla: Ultimate Self-Guided Combo Tour

Experience La Jolla, San Diego, on a combo self-guided tour that takes you on a walking tour of the coast and a driving tour of the neighborhood. Experience a tour developed by local guides, creative writers, and professional voice artists via an app that functions as a guide, narrator, and map. Start by downloading the Action Tour Guide app that will function as your personal guide, audio tour, and map all in one. Start your walking tour by the parking area for the Coast Walk. Continue to the coast and get your first look at the breathtaking La Jolla Cove. Walk along the waterfront and learn how La Jolla got its name. Spot some of the neighborhood’s most iconic birds. Pass where La Jolla’s first tourist cabins once stood. Take in one-of-a-kind views while hearing about the Kumeyaay tribe who once lived here. Along the way, be sure to keep your eye out for seals and sea lions and learn how to tell the two apart. If you’re lucky, you might get to spot an orca whale off the shore. Next, see Seal Rock. If you haven’t spotted a seal yet, this is the place where your luck will change. Snap some photos to remember these unique creatures. After, see Children’s Pool Beach where kids and seals swim side by side. Afterward, hear about the town’s unlikely mascot, Rags the Donkey, and legends about a mysterious stranger known as “The Judge.” Then, stop at Cuvier Park, one of the most popular wedding spots in the entire country. Nearing the end of the walking portion of your tour, visit the famous tide pools that are bursting with aquatic life. Throughout the tour, enjoy animated videos that let you visualize what you cannot see. Next, start the driving portion of the tour. Cruise along the coast and hear about the brothers who bought all this land for less than $2 per acre and the woman responsible for the town’s longstanding cultural institutions. Visit the historic La Jolla Woman’s Club and hear about Ellen Browning Scripps, La Jolla’s most important figure. Next, see the beautiful Wisteria Cottage and take in beautiful views. Then it’s on to the Athenaeum, a library for music and the arts. Round off your tour by visiting the Valencia Hotel, the city’s go-to hotel for Hollywood’s rich and famous for a hundred years.

La Jolla: Stand Up Paddle Board Rental

10. La Jolla: Stand Up Paddle Board Rental

Stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) is one of the best ways to get out and enjoy the water. The sport began as an ancient Hawaiian tradition that was reintroduced to the world in the mid-60s.  SUP boarding is one of the best ways to explore the Seven Sea Caves of La Jolla, a remarkable creation full of marine wildlife. These 7 unique sea caves are filled with local history and natural beauty. The La Jolla Ecological Reserve starts at the Seven Sea Caves and extends north to Scripps Pier. This remarkable stretch of water is home to an underwater park, part of La Jolla's submarine canyon, giant kelp forests and a rocky reef.  The preserve shelters numerous species, including leopard sharks, sea turtles, sea lions, dolphins and migrating whales. Only 2% of the world's ocean water is protected by state and federal law, which also makes La Jolla's ecological reserve a rare place to see undisturbed wildlife in their natural habitat. The stand up paddle boards are inflatable, lightweight, and easy to transport from the shop to the beach and back.

Other Sightseeing Options in La Jolla

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What people are saying about La Jolla

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 442 reviews

I went by myself and it was first time for me to ride kayak. I took single kayak and I didn't know how to paddle until then. But after starting to go out to the ocean by help from guides, I started to learn all of things naturally and I experienced amazing things like watching sea lions at La Jolla and it was one of my bucket list. I really appreciate to all of guides of everyday California :) especially for the two guides who taught me how to turn back and helped me by attaching my kayak to his kayak!(maybe Jack) I felt so sorry for the sea lions and guides because I couldn't control direction of my kayak easily in front of the rocks.. And if a solo beginner reads my review, I recommend you to prepare all of things like wearing waterproof clothes and preparing waterproof items for electronics in advance..!!

It was a wonderful family and friends activity for beginners. Staff was friendly and helpful.Our instructor Jack was well knowledgeable and experienced in surfing and taught us the basics. Jack was the best. He coached us to get perfectly on the board and I caught the first wave. Definitely a memory that will be cherished for a long time. I’m definitely going back again 100%.

Super fun experience with very helpful staff. Olivia was a great lead guide and made it fun and informative. Would definitely do it again!

Danielle was a very informative tourist. Making sure we got the best experience.

First time kayaking! a little intimidating, but fun activity with my hunny!