La Jolla Beaches

Beach Highlights

The La Jolla coast can be divided into two distinct areas: The area south of Del Mar and Torrey Pines; The La Jolla peninsula.

 

Beaches South of Torrey Pines
La Jolla has two beaches here — Blacks Beach and La Jolla Shores. These beaches are similiar to the beaches to the north in that they are long, wide, and continuous, ideal for walking and jogging. These beaches are very different from each other. Below tall cliffs, Blacks Beach is secluded and very difficult to access, while La Jolla Shores is free of cliffs, next to a residential area, shoreline park, shops, hotels and restaurants. Scripps Pier separates the two beaches.

La Jolla Peninsula Beaches
In sharp contrast to the beaches south of Torrey Pines, the peninsula has a handful of small, sandy isolated beaches, tucked away below small to medium size cliffs, which largely disappear during high tide.

 

Those beaches near Ellen Browning Scripps Park are all interconnected by Coast Walk, a sometimes paved, sometimes concrete, and sometimes dirt path, that stretches along the edge of the bluffs overlooking the shoreline. Also nearby is La Jolla Downtown Village, full of shops, cafes, restaurants, hotels and art galleries.

 

Between Cuvier Park and Hospital Point is a relatively flat rocky shoreline, which people come out and walk on. On this shoreline are pockets of sand here and there, or what I like to call beach nooks.

 

A further south are Marine Street Beach and Windansea, both hidden away in residential neighborhoods.

Beaches

Black's Beach
La Jolla Shores
La Jolla Cove
Shell Beach
Children's Pool
Marine Street Beach
Windansea Beach


From north to south

 

Blacks Beach
map
Blacks Beach is the most secluded beach in the county, tucked beneath 300 foot cliffs. Access is difficult, down windy trails or from neighboring beaches. This beach has no amenities and away from civilization — it's like being out in the rough and wild. Nudity is allowed on the section of beach.
• Good walking beach
• Good romantic beach
• Good surfing beach
• No restrooms
• No alcohol
• No dogs on beach.


La Jolla Shores
map | photos
South of Scripps Pier, La Jolla Shores is a long, wide beach with typically gentle surf. This beach is a popular entry spot for scuba divers. Next to the beach is Kellogg Park, a large grassy area with picnic tables, a children's playground and permanent lifeguard tower. Between the park and beach is a concrete boardwalk, lined with tall palm trees.
• Good family beach
• Good romantic beach
• Good walking beach
• Good surfing beach
• Permanent lifeguard station
• Children's playground
• Next to Kellogg Park
• Concrete boardwalk
• Entry point at south end for small boats and crafts.
• Next to Scripps Pier
• Restrooms and outdoor showers.
• Dining within walking distance
• Large parking lot
• No alcohol
• No dogs on beach.


La Jolla Cove
map | photos
Nestled below short cliffs, this patch of sand is a popular spot for scuba divers, swimmers and sunbathers. Next to the beach is a permanent life guard tower.
• Good romantic beach
• Good family beach at low tide
• Next to Ellen Browning Scripps Park
• Next to Coast Walk
• Near La Jolla Downtown Village
• Near La Jolla Caves
• Restrooms and showers
• Parking on Coast Blvd and adjacent streets
• No alcohol
• No dogs on beach.

 

Shell Beach
A small sandy enclave with a relaxed atmosphere, Shell Beach sits on the south edge of Ellen Browning Scripps Park. A concrete stairway descends the bluffs, from Coast Walk, next to the park, to the sand below. This beach is best at low tide and a popular spot for swimming, sunbathing, and just sitting back and lazily gazing at the waves, birds and boats.
• Good romantic beach
• Good family beach
• Restrooms nearby
• Next to Ellen Browning Scripps Park
• Next to Coast Walk
• Near La Jolla Downtown Village and dining
• Parking on Coast Blvd and adjacent streets.
• No alcohol
• No dogs on beach.

 

Children's Pool
map | photos
A small, sandy cove protected by sea cliffs on one side and a man-made seawall on the other, Children's Pool beach, also known as Casa Beach, was created as a protected swimming area suitable for kids. The seawall protects the beach from surf and strong currents.

 

At present, part of the beach is presently a protected zone for harbor seals, and off-limits to people. Though discouraged, people can walk on part of the beach to view the seals. For a better view they can stand on the seawall, near the seals.
• Good place to bring family and kids
• Permanent lifeguard station
• Near Ellen Browning Scripps Park
• Near La Jolla Downtown Village
• Next to Coast Walk
• Restrooms
• Parking on Coast Blvd and adjacent streets.
• No alcohol
• No dogs on beach.

 

Marine Street Beach
map | photos
Marine Street Beach is a secluded, narrow sandy beach nestled between short cliffs in an expensive La Jolla neighborhood. The beach is not readily visible from the street, and unless you know its whereabouts, it is hard to find. This beach is popular with surfers and boogie boarders.
• Good walking beach
• Good surfing beach
• Parking on neighborhood streets.
• No alcohol
• No dogs on beach.

 

Windansea Beach
map | photos
Popular with surfers, this beach has no sand, but a rocky surface that gradually descends to the water. Swimming is discouraged due to the rough surf and strong currents, but the view from the rocks and street above are worth the visit.
• Good romantic beach
• Parking lot on streets above
• No alcohol