Looking for a quick family-friendly outing to spend a morning or afternoon outdoors?

If you’re in San Diego, you don’t have to go too far afield to find a spot to have some fun in the sun. One of our favorites for a weekend day trip is a jaunt out to the Children’s Pool/La Jolla Cove area northwest of the City. People from all over the world come to view the Seals and Sea Lions that populate the beaches and rocks there.

Of course, most San Diegans know that just because the day starts off a little overcast, it won’t stay that way for long in the summer months. More than likely the sun will burn through by mid-morning, brightening the sky and warming things up. So don’t forget to bring a hat, plenty of sunscreen, and your favorite pair of shades! A day on the shore exposes you to the sun’s harmful rays not only from overhead, but also from the water.

At Sunglass and Optical Warehouse we can help you find shades that are just right for you and your outing to La Jolla, including sunglasses from ArmaniBolleCalvin Klein, Maui JimNikeOakleyOtisPersolRay-BanRudy Project, and many others.

Children’s Pool

A good place to start your visit to see the seals and sea lions of La Jolla, is Children’s Pool Beach.

This tiny, sheltered beach is protected by a seawall so even at high tide there is some exposed sand inside the wall area where you can walk or put down a blanket. Better yet for viewing, stroll out atop the seawall (there are railings) for some great panoramic views of crashing surf and harbor seals (mostly) sunning themselves on the exposed rocks below. You may even spot some SCUBA divers exploring the reefs just offshore.

Walk out to the end of the seawall and you’ll likely get splashed by a wave or two if the surf is particularly high—which is not such a bad thing if the weather is particularly hot.

Seal Rock

Moving north along the shore from Children’s Pool Beach are a series of rocky ledges known collectively as Seal Rock.

Harbor seals and sea lions are usually plentiful in this area, and at lower tides it’s a great place to get your feet wet exploring the tidal pools and take some awesome pictures. The surf and currents can be strong here, so swimmers beware!

Point La Jolla & La Jolla Cove

Further north along the shore another 500 yards or so is Point La Jolla and the La Jolla Cove area. The beaches here are relatively narrow and run along the foot of sandstone cliffs. Here is where you are likely to see hundreds of sea lions and harbor seals—ranging from young pups to full-grown adults—sunning themselves and resting on the rocks and sand. It’s also quite common to witness a wrestling match or two put on by some of the bigger male sea lions. Their barks and yelps are unmistakable—and, yes, the area and its inhabitants can be a little stinky at times. After all, this is a natural area, not an amusement park, and these are wild animals! As many signs in the area remind you: look but don’t touch.

La Jolla Cove is one of the most scenic beaches in Southern California, known for its small surf in the summer months, which makes it popular for swimming, snorkeling, SCUBA diving, kayaking, paddle boarding, and wading. Lifeguards are on duty.

Ellen Browning Scripps Park

Just above the La Jolla Cove beach area is Ellen Browning Scripps Park, a grassy park with plenty of trees for shade. It’s a popular place to relax away from the beach to catch the sunset, picnic, or simply relax with a book or take in a yoga class. It’s also popular for weddings and other outdoor events. Free street parking is available nearby.

Shopping and Dining

Any description of an excursion in Southern California would not be complete without mention of shopping and dining opportunities. Needless to say, the areas just up from the beach abound with galleries, stores, and restaurants.

From sushi to BBQ and everything in-between, there’s plenty in La Jolla Cove area to satisfy even the most discerning of foodies. One spot, ironically named The Spot, is a great place for drinks and delicious salads and pub food . . . and the casual atmosphere just a few roads up from the beach is a nice change of pace.

If dessert is more your thing, then Bobboi Natural Gelato is a must-stop location. Recognized as one of the top restaurants in America, Bobboi proves that quality ingredients and less sugar are the key to great gelato.  The nutty flavored Mediterraneo (hazelnut, almond & pistachio) and Salted Caramel (caramel, Mediterranean salt) are top recommendations.

As for shopping, the specialty stores and boutiques are too numerous to mention. Suffice to say, there is literally something for everyone and all budgets.

Look Good & See Your Best

For more than 30 years, Sunglass and Optical Warehouse has been helping the families of greater San Diego look and see their best. With more than 60 brands and more than 7,000 frames to choose from, our inventory of men’s and women’s prescription and non-prescription glasses and sunglasses is one of the largest in the world. When it comes to stylish shades that also protect their eyes across a wide range of outdoor and recreational activities, San Diegans have come to rely on us to help them find the eyewear that’s just right for them and/or their family members.