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San Diego Neighborhood Guide: La Jolla

September 1, 2023 

Welcome to the vibrant and picturesque neighborhood of La Jolla, where the sun-kissed shores meet an effortlessly chic lifestyle. With its rugged coastlines, hidden surf spots, trendy boutiques, and delectable eateries, La Jolla perfectly captures the vibe of a classic California beach town. This neighborhood is a picturesque blend of natural beauty and vibrant culture, making it a must-visit destination for locals and tourists alike. Let’s explore the best places to eat, shop, and play in La Jolla, helping you make the most of your visit to this coastal paradise.


La Jolla Food & Drink

1. Marisi 

📍 1044 Wall St, La Jolla, CA 

Marisi, a relatively new addition to La Jolla’s culinary scene, offers an exquisite taste of Amalfi Coast-inspired dishes. Nestled in downtown La Jolla, this restaurant has already earned the title of Best New Restaurant in our 2023 Best Restaurants issue. Marisi is a passion project of five La Jolla natives, and it shows in the quality of the food they serve. From hand-rolled pasta to traditional butchery and housemade limoncello, Marisi is a culinary gem.

2. Mary’s Gourmet Salads

📍 723 Pearl St, La Jolla, CA

For a quick, pre-beach lunch, Mary’s Gourmet Salads has you covered. Their menu boasts a kaleidoscope of fresh salad options, including a build-your-own salad for those who like to get creative with their greens. The Thai Crunch salad, with its tangy Thai dressing and a mix of chopped fruits, veggies, and crunchy elements, is a must-try.

3. Taco Stand

📍 621 Pearl St, La Jolla, CA

No visit to La Jolla is complete without savoring Tijuana-style el pastor tacos at Taco Stand. These delicious bites bring a taste of Mexico to the California coast. Be sure to complement your tacos with their mouthwatering elote, a corn on the cob sprinkled with parmesan and chili powder, and top off your meal with some housemade churros.

4. El Pescador

📍 634 Pearl St, La Jolla, CA

El Pescador is a seafood lover’s paradise. While they offer a variety of seafood options, their local fish dishes are the true stars. Indulge in chargrilled yellowtail, halibut, sea bass, and even thresher shark from hometown waters. You can even purchase fresh seafood by the pound to create an ultra-fresh dinner experience at home.

5. Bobboi Natural Gelato

📍 8008 Girard Ave #150, La Jolla, CA

Bobboi Natural Gelato may appear unassuming from the outside, but inside, you’ll find a delightful array of gelato flavors that reflect what’s in season locally. Their selection includes unique options like charcoal-infused vanilla, rose honey, and the three-nut Mediterraneo. Each scoop is a taste of heaven.


La Jolla Shops & Boutiques

1. Aviator Nation

📍 7840 Girard Ave, La Jolla, CA

Aviator Nation, founded in a Venice Beach garage, is the place to go for activewear, trucker hats, bikinis, and cozy sweat-suits that channel the laid-back ’70s surfer fashion. While the products may come with a slightly higher price tag, each piece is hand-sewn in California and as soft as your favorite vintage hoodie.

2. Vuori

📍 7841 Girard Ave, La Jolla, CA

Vuori, founded by Encinitas native Joe Kudla in 2014, is all about surf-inspired activewear designed to withstand high-intensity workouts. Ethically manufactured with earth-friendly materials, Vuori’s apparel is both stylish and sustainable, making it a top choice for active individuals.

3. Warwick’s

📍 7812 Girard Ave, La Jolla, CA

Warwick’s, the country’s oldest continuously family-owned bookstore, is a literary haven in La Jolla. In addition to their wide selection of literature, the shop offers excellent recommendations from their knowledgeable staff. Beyond books, you can find stationary items, jewelry, and even custom wrapping services.

4. Hermosa Surf Shop

📍 5636 La Jolla Blvd, La Jolla, CA

What’s more La Jolla than hand-shaped surfboards and açai bowls? Hermosa Surf Shop is a locally owned space where you can grab smoothies, tea, beachy apparel, and surf gear. It’s an inviting and photogenic spot, perfect for meeting fellow wave-chasers.

5. Geppetto’s Toys

📍 7850 Girard Ave, La Jolla, CA

Geppetto’s Toys, a beloved San Diego destination for 40 years, is a paradise for all ages. Overflowing with toys, games, and kits, it offers something for everyone, from babies to older kids. From classic toys like hula hoops and stuffed animals to DIY craft kits and games for older kids, Geppetto’s has it all. It’s the perfect place to find a quick gift or a fun addition to game night. Don’t miss it on your list of things to do in La Jolla with kids!


Explore La Jolla

1. La Jolla Open Aire Farmers Market

📍 7335 Girard Ave, La Jolla, CA

Every Sunday morning, approximately 150 vendors gather at La Jolla Elementary School for the La Jolla Open Aire Farmers Market. Here, you can find not only fresh produce but also locally made clothing, jewelry, and personal care items. Don’t forget to grab a fresh-squeezed juice and a savory crepe before you leave.

2. La Jolla Cove

📍 La Jolla, San Diego, CA

La Jolla Cove is a picturesque spot for a sunset stroll along its bluffs. It’s also home to the Children’s Pool, which, despite its name, is better suited for sea lion encounters and snorkeling than swimming. You can witness sea lions and snorkel in some of San Diego County’s clearest waters here.

3. Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego

📍 700 Prospect St, La Jolla, CA

The newly remodeled Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego sits on three acres and houses thousands of thought-provoking modern art pieces. After exploring the exhibitions, you can enjoy Mediterranean small plates at the onsite Kitchen.

4. La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club

📍 2000 Spindrift Dr, La Jolla, CA

Featuring 210 rooms on 10 verdant acres, the Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa is a favorite for local babymoons and staycations. Enjoy brunch at the hotel’s tea party-inspired Greenfinch Restaurant and relax at the saltwater pool before indulging in a CBD-oil massage at the spa.

5. Westfield UTC

📍 4545 La Jolla Village Dr Ste E-25, San Diego, CA

Westfield UTC, an elegant shopping center, offers a blend of high-end retail, dining, and entertainment. With over 150 stores, it’s a shopper’s paradise. You can explore well-known brands and find the latest fashion trends. When it’s time to indulge your palate, Westfield UTC doesn’t disappoint with dining options offering everything from cozy cafes to sophisticated dining establishments. So whether you’re craving a quick bite or aiming for an upscale culinary experience, the center has something to satisfy every palate. Beyond the shopping and dining, Westfield UTC transforms into a dynamic social space for live music performances and interactive experiences. It’s not just a shopping destination; it’s a place to gather, unwind, and celebrate the essence of life in San Diego.


La Jolla effortlessly combines natural beauty, culinary delights, and unique shopping experiences. Whether you’re exploring tide pools, indulging in tacos, or shopping for beachwear, La Jolla has something to offer every visitor. Take the time to experience the charm of this coastal gem, and you’ll understand why it’s a beloved destination for those seeking sun, sea, and sensational experiences.

Ready to immerse yourself in the charm of La Jolla? Bedford & Driggs offers a selection of stunning vacation homes in San Diego, including La Jolla. Book your La Jolla getaway today and discover the beauty and vibrancy of this coastal paradise.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to experience San Diego like a local. Get in touch with us, and together, we’ll create the ultimate itinerary for your visit with our featured homes!

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