Why La Jolla Shores is one of San Diego’s best beaches

La Jolla Shores

Even lifeguarding looks cool. | Photo via @chasingsocalphotos

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Beach trips in San Diego are a shore thing, and there’s a good chance you’re dreaming of La Jolla Shores. How do we know locals love this beach? Hundreds of you voted it the best beach in our March Madness bracket.

Last week’s stretch of warm weather had us dreaming of beach days, and we agree with your pier review. So, if a trip to La Jolla Shores isn’t on your calendar, take this as a reminder to get your vitamin sea.


With a view like this, how could you go wrong? | Photo via @bunbeardproductions

🌊 Where is La Jolla Shores?

There’s nearly a mile of beautiful beach starting north of La Jolla Cove and extending north until Black’s Beach with UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography in the middle. This provides sandy space, plenty of ocean for activities, and designated areas for bonfires, picnics + barbecues.

Pro tip: If you’re stuck behind a screen, you can pretend you’re at the beach with Scripps’ Pier Cams.

🤿 What makes it special?

Shore, you can lounge in the sand, but this beach is great for the active beachgoer. Wave hello to surfing, paddleboarding + kayaking, and feel free to have a volleyball in the sand — but you’ll need your own equipment. La Jolla Shores is also unique for activities you can’t find at other beaches:

  • Scuba diving + snorkeling are allowed, La Jolla Underwater Park brings plenty of marine life to observe.
  • Kellogg Park makes the area a family-friendly destination, with room for picnics + a playground for fun.
  • Explore the natural formations like the tide pools, cliffs and caves.
  • Get a better view of the sunset or ocean on Scripps Pier.
  • You can take in a grunion run this time of year (April-May or June) and catch the silver fish flopping around in the sand in their moonlight mating ritual.

Scripps Pier has us spoiled. | Photo via @markuzzukram

🌴 What else can you do?

It’s not just the beach — this area of La Jolla is filled with hotels, shopping, and of course food (we love the Marine Room for fancy meals + ocean views). If you want to learn more about the ocean, Birch Aquarium at Scripps will let you take a deep dive.

🎣 What can’t you do?

Like other beaches, smoking, alcohol and camping are prohibited. There isn’t a dog beach here, so your furry friends will need to find their beaches in Coronado, Del Mar, or Ocean Beach. You can look at the marine life in the water, but don’t remove anything or go fishing.