One of the most photographed beaches in the state, La Jolla Cove (1100 Coast Rd.) differs from other San Diego beaches . The small cove sits sandwiched between two sandstone cliffs, and the coarse sand feels more like the rough pebbles of the northern part of the state than the silky-soft stretches of the south.
Visitors snap pictures of the picturesque scenery, swim in the warm water, and trek up to Ellen Browning Scripps Park (Coast Blvd., 4–8 p.m.) for a picnic or a game of soccer on the manicured lawn.
La Jolla Cove is famous for its sparkling clear water, and at low tide scuba divers and snorkelers enjoy the local marine life. Lifeguards stay on duty year-round from 9 a.m. until sunset during the high season and from 10 a.m. in wintertime.
Up at Scripps Park, land-lovers enjoy walking on the boardwalk along the cliffs overlooking the vast Pacific, playing on the lawns, and admiring the oddly grown trees scattered around providing shade. The park has restrooms and showers.
Parking for either the beach or the park can be tough, especially in the summer. Consider parking in a pay lot downtown and hoofing it down to the beach.