La Jolla Coast Walk
La Jolla Cove, San Diego, California
This easy 0.5-mile cliff-side walk offers incredible views of resident sea lions, seabirds, and the dramatic La Jolla coastline. The path, a mix of sidewalk and dirt trails, starts to the left of the parking area on Coast Walk, a narrow street (if they are full, drive to Cave Street and park along the curb) where the trail is lined by thick stands of lemonadeberry bushes. We opted to park curbside on Cave Street near La Jolla Cove, beginning our hike near an overlook where you can watch seabirds, sea lions, kayakers, and swimmers—a pungent smell of ammonia often fills the air here. Seabirds such as pelicans, gulls, and cormorants are responsible—an indiscretion soon forgiven when you see the glorious birds gathered on the cliffs and rock outcroppings. To the left of the path’s end at Cave Street, or in our case the trail’s beginning, you will find a viewing platform (located behind the La Jolla Cave and Curio Shop) where you can get excellent views of sea lions basking on the rocks and frolicking in the surf—bring binoculars and/or a telephoto lens for close-up views. Take your time exploring the coastline along this pleasant stroll, which can be hiked in any direction—the two trailheads are only 0.25-mile apart.