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La Jolla Cove  

La Jolla Cove is a small cove with a beach surrounded by cliffs in La Jolla, San Diego, California. Point La Jolla forms the south side of the cove. The area is protected as part of a marine reserve and is popular with snorkelers, swimmers, and scuba divers.  The swells that often roll in from the open ocean can be large and robust. The water temperature is usually colder than the average San Diego beach. While the beach has a slight dry sand area at high tide, tide pools are revealed at the cove during shallow waves.  California sea lions can be found in the waters of the Cove and hauling out, temporarily leaving the water to rest on its beaches, cliffs, and bluffs. Similar to the Pacific harbor seals at Children’s Pool Beach, there is controversy concerning people’s interactions with the sea lions.

The beach at the cove is tiny, and the sand is gritty. The Cove is a trendy spot for swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving. Swimmers will attempt to swim to Scripps Pier and back, totaling 3 miles round trip. The cove is home to many open-water swimming events year-round, including the Rough Water Swim and the 10 Mile Relay swim.

Because La Jolla Cove is within the San Diego-La Jolla Underwater Park (a marine refuge area), swimming devices such as surfboards, boogie boards, and inflatable mattresses are not permitted, and kayakers are not allowed into the Cove. As an ecological reserve, no fishing is permitted, and collecting marine invertebrates (even taking dead specimens or seashells) is prohibited. All sea animals are protected by law, including the orange Garibaldi fish, widespread in the cove. Hundreds of sea lions call the La Jolla Cove home, sometimes being seen in the deeper water parts of the Cove or basking on rocks. EZ San Diego Junk Removal


Free public parking is minimal and is all on-street; there are also paid parking garages in the area. From the park at the top of the Cove, there are a few steps down on each side to a “gallery” area with many benches. This gallery includes the entrance to the lifeguard station, where the lifeguard’s chalkboard shows useful information updated throughout the day. From the gallery level, two steep sets of concrete steps lead down to the beach itself, although visitors often have to step on rocks to get all the way down to the sand.

Restaurants Nearby

  • Ciao Ciao Piadina is located at 510 Pearl St, San Diego, CA
  • Spiro’s Mediterranean Cuisine is located at 909 Prospect St Ste 100B, La Jolla, CA.


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