La Jolla Cove is found by the cliffs of La Jolla along the Pacific Ocean. La Jolla Cove features a small beach with generally gentle waters and sea caves whose appearance depends on the current tides.

The cove is known as a diving and snorkeling spot because of the beautiful sea life and reefs present in its clear waters, such as the orange garibaldi fish, spiny lobsters, stingrays, and leopard sharks. Sea lions and seals are also commonly seen resting on rocks in the cove.

La Jolla Cove is ecologically protected and is considered a marine protected area, along with the Matlahuayl State Marine Reserve, San Diego-Scripps Coastal State Marine Conservation Area, South La Jolla Marine Conservation Area, and South La Jolla State Marine Reserve.

History Of La Jolla Cove

The Matlahuayl State Marine Reserve region includes the area from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography pier up to La Jolla Cove. It was first established as a marine protected area in 1971 when it was still called the San Diego-La Jolla Ecological Reserve.

La Jolla, the county where La Jolla Cove is found, became part of San Diego, California in 1850. La Jolla has been mentioned in past documents since 1928 and may be the “Lajoya” mentioned in much older documents from the 1870s. La Jolla’s founding year is considered to be 1887, but it was only starting from 1894 that La Jolla began to grow as a neighborhood due to the extension of the railroad from San Diego. 

La Jolla had a meager 350 residents in 1900, but its residents grew to 4,000 after the end of WWI and rose even higher to 17,000 in 1960. The current population in La Jolla based on a 2010 demographic profile is 46,781.

The seven La Jolla Sea Caves near La Jolla Cove are found inside 200-foot-tall sandstone cliffs that belong to the Point Loma Formation, a geologic formation that originates from the Late Cretaceous Period 80-70 million years ago. The seven caves are named the following: White Lady, Little Sister, Shopping Cart, Sea Surprise, Arch Cave, Sunny Jim Cave, and Clam’s Cave. 

Out of the seven, only Sunny Jim Cave is accessible on foot thanks to German immigrant and geology professor Gustav Shulz’s efforts in digging a tunnel back in 1902.

The La Jolla Rough Water Swim is a race that has been conducted in the beaches of La Jolla, and ends at La Jolla Cove, since 1916. The last race was held on September 11, 2022, with the proceeds of the event going to the Prevent Drowning Foundation of San Diego and La Jolla’s Concerts by the Sea. 

Activities At La Jolla Cove

There are several activities available in and near La Jolla Cove, which include the following:

  • Swimming.
  • Snorkeling.
  • Scuba Diving.
  • Sea Cave Tours.
  • Kayaking.
  • Paddle Boarding.
  • Bicycling.

For those who prefer a more relaxed visit, several restaurants are located near La Jolla Cove, such as the Brockton Villa, George’s at The Cove, Jose’s, Cody’s La Jolla, and more. There are also many hotels to choose from, such as the La Jolla Cove Suites, La Valencia, Pantai Inn, Cormorant Boutique Hotel, and the Grande Colonial.

Families are also welcome to enjoy the family-friendly spots in the area, such as the Elle Browning Scripps Park, Children’s Pool, and Tide Pools.

All visitors must remember to be aware of the rules employed at La Jolla Cove for their safety and biodiversity protection. It is wise to always check with lifeguards and professional guides where the activities mentioned above are safe to conduct. As a marine reserve, fishing, littering, and collecting specimens like seashells, reef parts, and others, are prohibited in La Jolla Cove.

Swim close to leopard sharks and explore the sea caves by the La Jolla Cove in La Jolla, San Diego, California, a perfect place for anyone looking to appreciate beautiful marine life and support its conservation.

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