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La Jolla Cove

La Jolla Cove is one of San Diego’s most enchanting natural attractions, nestled within the upscale neighborhood of La Jolla. This small, picturesque cove is surrounded by cliffs and known for its stunning views, abundant marine life, and crystal-clear waters, making it a popular spot for snorkeling, diving, swimming, and photography.

About the Place

The Cove is part of the La Jolla Underwater Park Ecological Reserve, which helps to protect marine life in the area. This means fishing and removal of objects from this area are prohibited, which in turn ensures an undisturbed environment for a variety of sea creatures. La Jolla Cove is also famous for its sea caves, accessible by kayak, and the large population of sea lions and seals that can often be found basking on the rocks.


La Jolla Cove has a rich history, with the area originally being inhabited by the Kumeyaay people. The name “La Jolla” is believed to be an alternate spelling of the Spanish word “la joya,” which means “the jewel.” This name appropriately reflects the natural beauty of the cove and its surrounding coastline. Over the years, La Jolla Cove has developed into a beloved public space, attracting visitors from around the world.


  • La Jolla Cove has some of the clearest waters on the California coast, with visibility sometimes exceeding 30 feet.
  • It is a favorite spot for open-water swimmers and is part of the route for the annual La Jolla Rough Water Swim.
  • The Cove is protected as part of a marine reserve, meaning wildlife is abundant and thriving.
  • Due to its ecological reserve status, the Cove is a top spot for snorkeling and scuba diving, with an array of marine life including Garibaldi, California’s state fish.


To find out more about La Jolla Cove, such as rules and regulations, seasonal events, and nearby attractions, you can visit the San Diego Tourism Authority’s website at


La Jolla Cove is located at 1100 Coast Blvd, La Jolla, San Diego, CA 92037.

Things to Do

Activities at La Jolla Cove include:

  • Snorkeling to observe colorful fish and other sea life.
  • Scuba diving to explore the underwater park’s kelp beds and reefs.
  • Kayaking to discover the sea caves and rocky inlets.
  • Swimming in the protected waters.
  • Wildlife observation, particularly the sea lions and seals.
  • Enjoying picnics on the adjacent Scripps Park.
  • Photography of the stunning coastal scenery and sunsets.

Tips for Visiting

  • Parking can be limited, especially on weekends and during the summer, so consider arriving early or using public transportation.
  • Respect wildlife by keeping a safe distance, especially from the sea lions and seals.
  • Check the tide chart before your visit, as the beach area can be small during high tide.
  • Bring a snorkel or swim goggles to enjoy the underwater visibility.
  • Keep in mind that the water temperature can be cool, so a wetsuit might be necessary for extended water activities.


La Jolla Cove is a gem of the Southern California coast, offering both locals and visitors a chance to immerse themselves in a vibrant natural ecosystem. It’s an ideal destination for those seeking a mix of adventure and relaxation, with its accessible yet protected waters and rich sea life. Whether it’s a day of exploration or a tranquil sunset, La Jolla Cove delivers an unforgettable coastal experience.

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