Welcome to La Jolla, CA
With a stunning coastline, striking beaches, unparalleled natural beauty and spectacular views, the hilly seaside community of La Jolla is a beautiful place to live and visit. Boasting 7 miles of curving coastline along the Pacific Ocean and nicknamed the “Jewel City”, this quaint and luxurious community is home to amazing shopping, exciting outdoor activities, causal fine dining, upscale lodging and various other cultural attractions, making it a very alluring destination for locals and tourists alike.
La Jolla, located just 12 miles north of downtown San Diego, was incorporated as a part of the city of San Diego when California became a state in 1850. In January 1871, Charles E. Dean bought 400 acres, known as La Jolla Park, and although he tried to sell early on, was unsuccessful until 13 years later. Ownership eventually made its way into the hands of F.T. Botsford, later named the “Father of La Jolla” in March 1886. His diary on that day carried a simple line, “Bought La Jolla!” In 1887, Botsford and his partner George Heald, held a large public auction of the subdivided land and La Jolla development was on its way. The establishment of the La Jolla Railway followed in the 1890s. This transit line connected La Jolla to the rest of San Diego and paved the way in attracting visitors to this coastal community and its dazzling beaches. By the early 1900s, about 100 buildings and 350 residents inhabited the small beachside town, including the Hotel Cabrillo (built 1909), the present-day La Valencia Hotel on Prospect Street, and the Wisteria Cottage, built in 1904 and remodeled by Irving Gill in 1907 that is now home to the La Jolla Historical Society.
Ellen Browning Scripps bought land in La Jolla in 1896 and began to commission some of La Jolla’s most noteworthy buildings. Wealthy from investments and inheritance, she spearheaded the development of many of the cultural draws that still exist today: Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Children’s Pool, La Jolla Women’s Club, her own private residence which later became the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, and many more. Ellen Browning Scripps made impressive contributions to the development and evolution of La Jolla to become the remarkable community it is today.
The architecture in La Jolla today is a mix of old and new. With over 30,000 residents, there remains little untouched land to be developed. Some of the homes built in the 1900s remain, including works by Frederick Liebhardt (1924-1999), yet many of the premiere oceanfront lots have been developed into modern luxury estates. Along the picturesque shores of La Jolla you’ll find grand estates by notable architects such as Wallace Cunningham and Jonathan Segal. It is not uncommon to see an early 1900s beach bungalow sitting next to the site of a new multi-million dollar mansion. In the village, and other urban pockets, condos, single-family homes, and shops and restaurants alike line the streets. Housing prices ranges from the low $300 thousands in the outskirts to upwards of $25 million along the shore. As it is a community of residents and tourists alike, La Jolla streets are lined with a mix of residential and commercial properties, diverse architecture and housing options, and a little something everyone can appreciate.
The geography of La Jolla is truly one of its most striking attributes, with a border starting at Pacific Beach to the south and extending all the way along the Pacific Ocean coastline to end in Del Mar, just past Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve. Surrounded on three sides by the Pacific Ocean and backed by the steep slope of Mt. Soledad, the magnificent views are abundant in La Jolla. The unique geography creates a microclimate comparable to the Mediterranean, rarely dropping below 50 degrees or exceeding 90 degrees. This amazing weather and the abundant natural beauty has made the beaches of La Jolla among California’s most popular, boasting everything from snorkeling, kayaking, paragliding, surfing and scuba diving. Some of the area’s famous beaches include Black’s Beach, La Jolla Shores, Windansea, Children’s Pool Beach, Bird Rock, La Jolla Cove and more.
Even beyond the stunning beaches and variety of outdoor activities, La Jolla has so much more to offer its residents and visitors alike. The quaint village of La Jolla radiates an upscale but relaxed vibe, offering a variety of options for casual fine dining, art galleries, unique boutiques, museums and some of the best schools in San Diego. The village is the central hub in La Jolla and, whether you’re a tourist or local, there are endless things to do and see in this part of town. Enjoy the gorgeous views and amazing culinary experiences at restaurants like George’s at the Cove, Catania or Nine-Ten. Shop everything from the world’s most luxurious brands to the most familiar in the boutiques near Girard Ave and Prospect St. Visit the many art galleries and stop by the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library for a taste of the culture the village has to offer. This part of town is one of the most popular and truly luxurious.
Another gem within La Jolla is the sub-community of Windansea, located on the beach, within walking distance to the La Jolla Farmer’s Market (Sundays 9AM-1PM, La Jolla Elementary School) and close to the La Jolla Village shopping district. Windansea offers truly breathtaking luxury homes and mansions with ocean views, as well as access to remote, hidden beaches.
The neighborhood community of Bird Rock is an upscale but laid back sub-community, bordering Pacific Beach on the southern end of La Jolla. It offers a more relaxed, family vibe and boasts one of the top ranked schools in San Diego, Bird Rock Elementary School. The recently renovated shopping district makes it easy for residents to stay in the neighborhood for many of their daily outings and activities. From festivals and concerts to parks and beaches, Bird Rock is a tight-knit community that truly has a lot to offer its residents.
The quality of our lives is determined in many ways by the experiences we have and the environment that surrounds us. La Jolla is a place where we experience beauty and culture, where we appreciate both the luxurious and the casual pieces of life. It is a community that nurtures the family, feeds the soul and excites our senses. It is rightfully nicknamed the “Jewel City” as it is truly a precious community that enhances the quality of our lives with so much to offer and an endless amount to explore.
- La Jolla Farms
- La Jolla Shores
- La Jolla Heights
- Hidden Valley
- Country Club
- Lower Hermosa
- Bird Rock
- La Jolla Mesa
- La Jolla Alta