18 HIDDEN GEMS IN LA JOLLA
**THIS IS AN ONGOING PAGE OF UNIQUE HIKES AND PLACES TO EXPLORE IN LA JOLLA**
If you are a business and feel like you should be included in our list, please shoot us an email: [email protected]!
La Jolla is one of San Diego’s true jewels, translating to jewel (joya) in Spanish. It turns out that its original name isn’t Spanish-oriented at all though. La Jolla is a distorted version of the Kumeyaay name, “Mat Klaaxuuy” which means “Land of Holes.” .
La Jolla is one of the city’s coastal resort towns and rich with things to see and do. There are multiple beaches with coves and tide pools to visit, great shopping centers & galleries, amazing surf and paddling boarding spots and fabulous restaurants. Here are some of our top recommendations for a unique experience when visiting:
1. LA JOLLA MURALS
There is an ongoing art project here called the ‘Murals of La Jolla’ which you can learn all about here. The murals are a fun project that began in 2010, which commissions various artists to create murals throughout the town. Here are some of our favorites so far:
One Pointed Attention, 2014 7835 Invanhoe Ave
(RIGHT) Landing, 2016 7724 Girard Ave
Favorite Color, 2010 7596 Eads Avenue
McCairn, 2019 5535 La Jolla Blvd
Tear Stains Be Gone, 2015 7661 Girard Ave
2. SCRIPPS COASTAL RESERVE
One of our favorite hikes to the beach begins at Scripps Coastal Reserve!
3. MUSHROOM HOUSE
And leads you to the legendary Mushroom House!
4. SEA CAVES
La Jolla is also brimming with beautiful, coastal sea caves to explore! You will have to go during low tide if you plan on visiting by foot
5. SUNNY JIM CAVE
One of the most popular caves, known as the Sunny Jim Cave, was actually once used for smuggling booze! The entrance is hidden inside a shell shop!
6. WHITE LADY CAVE
There is also the White Lady Cave, which can only be accessed by foot during extreme low tide
7. MUSHROOM BEACH
One of my personal favorite beaches in all of San Diego is actually in La Jolla, known to the locals as Mushroom Beach. You will quickly see why this beach got its name when you see the unique mushroom-shaped formations in the sandstone!
Don’t forget to stop by the cove to check out the tide pools and sea lions!
9. MOUNT SOLEDAD
Mount Soledad has one of the best views around. Prepare to have your jaw drop along the way when you see all the gorgeous homes!
10. MUNCHKIN HOUSE
There is one home on Mount Soledad that doesn’t stand out for its size though. That would be the Munchkin House which is rich with rumors dating back to the Wizard of Oz days!
11. TROLL BRIDGES
While you’re driving around Mount Soledad and looking for the Munchkin House, make sure to find all three troll bridges as well!
12. SECRET SWINGS
If you know where to look you may be able to find the Secret Swings!
Here is one other secret swing location with an equally secret beach below!
Perfect for daydreaming:
And great hiking trails around it:
You may stumble upon a secret message or two:
13. ART GALLERIES:
There are so many beautiful art galleries. You could spend all day exploring them!
14. SALK INSTITUTE
Another work of art would be the architectural masterpiece known as Salk Institute. Tours are available by appointment
15. SECRETS OF UCSD
Right across from the Salk Institute is the prestigious UCSD. Walking around this campus you will quickly notice all the amazing art installations. Look out for the talking trees, secret gardens, giant bear and SO MUCH MORE! We created an entire page dedicated to the secrets of UCSD!
16. CHÉ CAFÉ
While you’re at UCSD, make sure to check out the Ché Café and community garden! Some of the best punk shows around can be seen here!
16. RAISED BY WOLVES
Located inside the UTC mall is what appears to be a French 1920’s-themed liquor store. Behind the fireplace lays a secret bar with an elaborate theme! Check it out!
17. LA JOLLA NATURAL PARK
18. Lavande Wellness Boutique & Elixer Cafe:
Beyond carrying a wide variety of healing items, Lavande also offer both private and public sessions. You can receive treatments such as gua sha and reiki, learn about womb alchemy, breathwork, yoga and so much more. Lavande’s backbone is rooted in healing others from the soul outward.
They also own Elixer Cafe next door. The menu was created with the most vibrant, healing ingredients (all vegan) guaranteed to leave you feeling uplifted.
Have a unique business that should be included in this list? Shoot us an email! [email protected]