On Saturday of our vacation, we started off early to head up to the neighborhood of La Jolla, which was about a 20 minute drive from our hotel. I had read in one of the tourist attraction books in our hotel room that La Jolla is a must-see and to definitely wake up early to grab a parking spot to see the seals and sea lions on the nearby beaches. It’s a good thing we left when we did, since by the time we got there it was only 9AM, and there were very few spots left. La Jolla is gorgeous – huge cliffs overlooking the ocean, amazing views, cute little neighborhoods, very nice parks (people were even doing yoga outside), and it was so clean. Seriously, the sidewalks and parks are spotless.
We walked down to the famous “shared” beach where the seals hang out, also known as La Jolla Cove. You’re allowed to go right down to the beach to see them, but there is a yellow rope hung up suggesting where you should stop. It was so fun seeing them in their natural habitat – I could have spent all day there but I think we were only there for like a half hour.
After watching the seals take naps on the beach, we drove to the Birch Aquarium. Their exhibits showcase local animals you can find in the ocean around San Diego. Definitely no big creatures, but it was pretty neat to see how many different fishes and other marine life are living in the Pacific. Tickets were $14 a piece and I had a $4 off coupon, so it was worth it to spend a couple hours there. I can see how this would be a big hit with younger kids.
And the best part were the outside patios that let you see the amazing views of La Jolla Beach and the pier. By this point, it wasn’t so cloudy and it was starting to get warmer outside:
We did drive down to La Jolla Beach, but didn’t actually end up getting out of the car. It’s definitely a surfer’s spot, though – so many of them were there. We decided to drive back to the hotel to make some lunch and then in the afternoon we headed to Point Loma, another neighborhood that was only about 10 minutes away. Point Loma is the most southern part of San Diego. We went to the Cabrillo National Monument, which is part of a national park that also includes the Old Point Loma Lighthouse and a visitor’s center. There’s a ton of trails you can explore for hiking, but I was pretty tired by this point so we only checked out the lighthouse and the visitor’s center. It’s $5 per car to enter the park, which is well worth the price – I would say the best views of San Diego and Coronado can be found here.
After a full day of walking around, we went back to the hotel to hang out for awhile. We then decided to walk to a nearby Italian restaurant for dinner called Pomodoro, since it got really good reviews on Yelp. It was absolutely packed when we arrived, and when I asked if we could put our names on the list, the hostess was pretty rude and suggested we consider going next door to their sister restaurant, the Lighthouse Bar and Grill. She claimed the menu was practically the same and they had tons of open tables. I was REALLY in the mood for Italian and pretty skeptical about checking out the other place since I was a little put off after dealing with this girl, but we were starving by that point. We decided to see what the other restaurant had to offer. They sat us right away and the service was great, so it was a good move. We had amazing meatball skewers and very tasty pasta dishes – overall the experience was pretty good.