La Jolla Outdoors Scene: 8 Activities for Different Adventure-seekers

With a location on the Pacific Ocean and rugged coastline, La Jolla ranks among the most popular beach destinations in the San Diego area. Although the seaside town only encompasses 7 miles, nature lovers can’t get enough of the La Jolla outdoors scene where they can explore on land or down under. Keep reading to find different adventures in La Jolla.

La Jolla Outdoors Scene: Top 8 Things to Do

la jolla scuba diving san diego

Scuba and Snorkel

With an underwater park measuring over 6,000 acres of ocean bottom and tidelands, La Jolla offers one of the most popular spots for scuba diving and snorkeling in the area. The La Jolla Underwater Park is divided into four habitats: rocky reef, kelp bed, sand flats and a submarine canyon. Each one houses different marine life, including orange garibaldi, leopard sharks, rays, seals, sea lions, sea bass and turtles.

Several outdoor excursion companies offer family-friendly scuba diving and snorkeling tours. One top pick is La Jolla Dive, which hosts guided scuba dive tours and classes. Tours range from open water private to dive master, varying in price and experience. Those new to the activity may want to book a snorkel tour first.

Kayak and Canoe

Not ready for an underwater adventure? Don’t worry. La Jolla also welcomes water-lovers to canoe and kayak, where they see coastal cliffs, ocean caves and plenty of marine life. These activities provide laid-back vibes complete with experts who best know the area.

Top-rated companies include Everyday California and La Jolla Kayak. Everyday California offers 90-minute kayak tours suitable for ages 6 and older. This tour takes guests to Seven Sea Caves and three habitats in the La Jolla Ecological Preserve. La Jolla Kayak has two kayak tours and packages that combine kayaking with other outdoor activities. The original two-hour option also explores the reserve and enters caves during low tide. For an unforgettable site, book the sunset kayak tour.

la jolla surfing vacation family

Surf the Waves

Encinitas, located 40 minutes north of La Jolla, ranks among the best surf towns in the U.S., according to Coastal Living. This proximity means La Jolla provides a prime spot for surfing, kitesurfing and windsurfing.

Surf Diva hosts both private and group surf lessons, so visitors can plan a custom adventure. Group lessons occur daily and last 1.5 hours. Newcomers can expect to learn how to pop up, balance and manage speed. In addition, all boards are custom fit, ensuring comfort and sturdy support. Private lessons cater to individuals and groups, including couples, friends and families. All Surf Diva instructors are trained to work with all ages and skill levels – even those competing or brand new to the sport.

Go Sightseeing in La Jolla

Depending on how much time everyone spends in the water, some vacationers need a land break. If that’s the case, try a bike or Segway tour. Biking ranks among the most popular La Jolla outdoors activities, with manual and electric options available. Many bike tours visit the coastline, Mt. Soledad and famous surf spots.

Fly Rides – a top cycling company in La Jolla – offers six electric bike tours that highlight the area’s diverse landscape. For example, Social Riviera takes riders to sites where they see luxury homes, sea lions and harbor seals. Torrey Pines Bike and Hike explores north La Jolla and includes the Torrey Pines Glider Port, Scripps Coastal Reserve, and Salk Institute.

la jolla outdoors scene golf courses

Play the Greens

Situated on cliffs that overlook the Pacific Ocean, Torrey Pines Golf Course features two championship 18-hole courses that once hosted the 2008 U.S. Open. Even better, it’s open to the public, making it easily accessible for all golfers.

Torrey Pines Golf Course was designed by course architect William P. Bell and completed by his son, William F. Bell. Players will find an impressive 7,607 yards complete with tight fairways, challenging drives, bunkers and lots of scenic views.

Hike a Rocky Trail

Those looking for an extreme challenge may enjoy hiking Ho Chi Minh trail. Known for its rocky structures that move downhill to the beach, this trail is not for newbies.

Although it only measures .6 miles, the trail has narrow passages, slippery spots, steep rocks and demands physical strength. In order to stay safe, bring climbing gear and wear hiking boots with good traction. Some locals also recommend going barefoot for a better grip versus beach or tennis shoes.

Enjoy reading about the La Jolla outdoors scene? Learn more about La Jolla and other communities in central San Diego.