Things to do in
La Jolla

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Top sights in La Jolla

Our activities follow local health guidelines so you can focus on enjoying your experience.

Our most recommended things to do in La Jolla

San Diego Zoo: 1-Day Admission Ticket

1. San Diego Zoo: 1-Day Admission Ticket

Visit the world-famous San Diego Zoo, home to over 4,500 rare and endangered animals, and experience their worlds at the Polar Bear Plunge, Elephant Odyssey, and other areas. The 100-acre San Diego Zoo is known for its naturalistic habitats and unique animal encounters. An urban paradise for all ages, the San Diego Zoo is a must-see in Southern California. Winding paths through the tropical oasis of a botanical garden bring you to the zoo‘s rare and fascinating animals, including koalas, Galápagos tortoises, tigers, eagles, flamingos, great apes, and more. Other exotic animals you may encounter include Sichuan takins, Buerger’s tree-kangaroos, arctic foxes, pangolin, and Visayan warty pigs. Explore Africa Rocks to discover penguins, baboons, the mysterious fossa, weaver birds, and other unique creatures. The festive, lively atmosphere makes the San Diego Zoo a great place for family fun and gathering friends. Discover the wonders of wildlife with animal encounters, interactive experiences, and exciting animal presentations and shows. The Zoo’s 17 Galápagos tortoises are now at home at the Fetter Family Galápagos Tortoise Exhibit. When keepers are present, you can pet and occasionally feed the tortoises over a short rock barrier. At the Conrad Prebys Polar Bear Plunge, you can get closer to polar bears than ever before. Climb aboard an Arctic research helicopter, crawl into a bear den, or measure yourself against the size of a polar bear. The Harry and Grace Steele Elephant Odyssey is a 7.5-acre habitat and a first-of-its-kind experience. This area combines the fun of a zoo with the experience of a museum by creating an untamed landscape of animals from the past and present. A leader in animal care and conservation, the San Diego Zoo is at the heart of the San Diego experience.

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La Jolla: 90-Minute Sea Cave Kayaking Tour with Guide

2. La Jolla: 90-Minute Sea Cave Kayaking Tour with Guide

Discover San Diego's Marine Protected Area, home to a variety of fish, birds, dolphins, turtles, sea-lions, and whales. With the help of an experienced guide, explore the famous Sea Caves of La Jolla and kayak inside Emerald Cave. Watch sea lions sunbathing on the rocks and swimming in the sanctuary. Marvel at the bright orange garibaldi as they stand out among the vibrant green sea grass and numerous other fish swimming around and delighting the eye. In the summer and fall months, tour groups will often see harmless leopard sharks, and you may also find grey whales in their migration during the winter. You might even see dolphins cruising alongside your kayak before you make your way back and prepare to surf your kayak back to shore.

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San Diego Zoo Safari Park 1-Day Ticket

3. San Diego Zoo Safari Park 1-Day Ticket

The San Diego Zoo Safari Park is an adventurer’s safari paradise in Southern California. The 1,800-acre Safari Park is home to more than 3,000 animals representing more than 375 species—many living in wide, open field enclosures. So jump onto one of our thrilling array of tours and create memories of adventure for you and your family – all while benefiting the conservation of species here and in more than 35 countries across the globe. Welcome to a land of volcanoes, tropical rain forests, a treasure trove of biodiversity—and tigers. Sumatra is home to the critically endangered Sumatran tiger, along with other endangered species such as orangutans, rhinos, and elephants. Tiger Trail provides a journey to discover tigers and their current struggles within their island world. Lion Camp - Get nose to nose with our African lion pride—literally! Bring the kids up close to see lions that may come right up to the glass to check you out. Heart of Africa - The winding trails take you through an African forest and savanna to a serene lake. Stop and cool off at Jamison Research Island. Elephant Overlook - An elevated walkway takes you out where you can get a closer look at our Elephant Cam stars. Don't miss the youngsters born right here! Hidden Jungle - Enter our tropical greenhouse and experience a habitat of exotic birds, insect, and plants, home to our annual Butterfly Jungle event. Wings of the World Aviary - Everything in this free-flight aviary is designed to approximate the natural turf for over 140 birds of 40 species. Condor Ridge - Follow the trail of North American habitats and animals to see bighorn sheep and learn the great conservation story of the California condors. Other activities included in your admission: Elephant Enrichment - Watch our elephant herd enjoy morning treats. Discovery Station - This kid-friendly area is filled with musical instruments, puppets, books, craft activities, and wildlife “toys” and is designed to give children and their adult companions a playful space for animal-themed fun. Savanna Cool Zone - Walk through palm trees offering a gentle mist to three slippery critters that spout water: a turtle, a lion, and a crocodilian. Jameson Research Island Interpretive Center. Africa Tram Safari - Guided tour rides depart 10 a.m. until 4:15 p.m. daily (The Africa Tram Safari is an exciting expedition with brightly colored tour vehicles and our diverse animal collection creating a relaxing adventure. Lorikeet Landing - Watch our colorful rainbow lorikeets swoop down to enjoy nectar offered by guests. Exhibit entrance if free; lorikeet food is available for purchase to experience the thrill of feeding these birds by hand. Petting Kraal - Touch gentle deer and antelope. Have you “herd”? with Robert the Zebra - Robert the Zebra lives in digital, animated form on a large screen, where he can see the people who have come to visit. He asks questions, cracks jokes, talks about zebra life, and is very curious about humans. Frequent Flyers® Bird Show - An East African crowned crane in flight is a stunning sight viewed by only a privileged few, until now! The crane is one of the stars of the Park’s bird show, Frequent Flyers. The program lets you witness birds in full flight and focuses on a variety of birds from around the world. Animal Encounters - This interactive program gives you an opportunity to have face-to-face contact with the Park’s animal ambassadors like a cheetah, alligator, serval, and other rare and exotic animals. You may interact with trainers and ask questions about the species. Cheetah Tales - Come meet our cheetah ambassadors in Heart of Africa. Note: Schedules may vary or be canceled due to weather or animal health needs.

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San Diego: Go City All-Inclusive Pass with 55+ Attractions

4. San Diego: Go City All-Inclusive Pass with 55+ Attractions

Activities, attractions, and tours included on the Go San Diego All-Inclusive pass: THEME PARKS & ZOOS• San Diego Zoo • SeaWorld San Diego• San Diego Zoo Safari Park• Belmont Park• Knott's Berry Farm• LEGOLAND California OUTDOORS• San Diego Speedboat Adventures• La Jolla: 90-min Tandem Kayak Rental• La Jolla: Full-Day Snorkel Adventure• La Jolla: All-Day Bike Rental• La Jolla: Surfboard Rental• La Jolla: Stand-Up Paddleboard (SUP) Rental• San Diego Harbor: 2-hr SUP• San Diego Harbor: 2-hr Kayak Rental• San Diego Harbor: 1-hr Pedal Boat Rental• Coronado: 90-min Tandem Kayak Rental• Coronado: SUP Board Rental• Coronado: Full-Day Bike Rental• San Diego Pier Fishing TOURS & CRUISES• 1-hr San Diego Harbor cruise by Hornblower Cruises• Whale Watching by Hornblower Cruises• Whale Watch & Dolphin Tour - Beautiful Newport Beach• San Diego Hiking Tour• San Diego Beach Tour• San Diego City Tour• Catalina Flyer (ferry to Catalina Island)• One Way Coronado Ferry• PETCO Park tour• GoCar San Diego 30-min tour• Dolby Theater Tour MUSEUMS & PLACES OF INTEREST• USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum• Japanese Friendship Garden• San Diego Air and Space Museum• San Diego Natural History Museum• The Fleet Science Center with IMAX• Birch Aquarium at Scripps• San Diego Museum of Man• San Diego Automotive Museum• San Diego Model Railroad Museum• San Diego Museum of Art• The New Children's Museum• The Whaley House Museum• Coronado Museum of History and Art• Museum of Photographic Arts• Museum of Contemporary Art (Downtown)• San Diego Art Institute• The Gaslamp Museum at the Davis-Horton House• Mingei International Museum• San Diego History Center• Living Coast Discovery Center• Museum of Making Music• Hollywood Museum• UTC Ice Sports Center• South Coast Shop & Dine Package The San Diego All-Inclusive Pass is an all-access attraction pass offering the ultimate in convenience, savings, and flexibility for visitors to the area. Choose a 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 7-day pass and save up to 55% compared to the cost of full retail admissions. Enjoy the San Diego Zoo, LEGOLAND, The U.S.S. Midway, Harbor Excursions, the New Children’s Museum and more. A total of over 50 attractions and tours are included with your pass.  The San Diego All-Inclusive Pass comes with a digital guide including helpful attraction information including how to get there and opening times.

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San Diego: Go City Explorer Pass - choose 2-7 attractions

5. San Diego: Go City Explorer Pass - choose 2-7 attractions

Experience San Diego's top attractions and tours and get up to 55% off admission with Go City's Explorer Pass. You have the flexibility to choose between 2, 3, 4, 5, or 7 top attractions from over 40 options.  Decide what you feel like doing on the day, so you don't even need to plan in advance. Visit the world-famous San Diego Zoo or the USS Midway Museum. Explore more of San Diego with a Hop-on, Hop-off trolley tour, or kayak and snorkel in beautiful La Jolla. The possibilities are endless. Your pass is fully digital and no physical card is required. Simply download your pass directly to your smartphone or print at home. Show your pass at each attraction for quick and easy entrance. Tours and Attractions Included with the Go San Diego Explorer Pass: Top Attractions and Museums: • San Diego Zoo OR San Diego Zoo Safari Park (choose 1) • USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum • Belmont Park Ride and Play Pass • Maritime Museum of San Diego • Air and Space Museum • Birch Aquarium at Scripps • The Fleet Science Center with IMAX • San Diego Natural History Museum • San Diego Museum of Us • Living Coast Discovery Center • The New Children's Museum • San Diego Museum of Art • San Diego Model Railroad Museum • Japanese Friendship Garden • PETCO Park Tour • San Diego Automotive Museum • Mingei International Museum Tours and Activities: • 2-Day Hop-On Hop-off Old Town San Diego Trolley • Living Coast Discovery Center • Hornblower Best of the Bay Cruise • San Diego Speed Boat Adventures • SEAL Tour San Diego • Jet Ski Rental San Diego Harbor • Pure Brewing Tastings in 3 locations • Whale Watching by Hornblower Cruises • San Diego Pier Fishing • San Diego Hiking Tour • San Diego Harbor: Kayak Rental or Stand Up Paddle Board Rental • La Jolla: Kayak Rental, Snorkel Rental, Stand Up Paddle Board Rental, or Bike Rental • Coronado: Kayak Rental, Stand Up Paddle Board Rental, or Bike Rental • UTC Ice Sports Center • Speed Circuit: All Access • San Diego City & Beach Tours • 1-Hour Scooter Rental • GoCar San Diego Tours • Patriot Jet Boat Tour

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La Jolla: Kayak & Whale Watching Tour

6. La Jolla: Kayak & Whale Watching Tour

Experience the gray whale migration from the seat of a kayak. Leaving the waters of the Arctic and heading south to the lagoons of Mexico, gray whales naturally migrate past La Jolla during the winter. This is a non-polluting, non-threatening, and intimate way to experience one of the most majestic mammals on the planet. Your guides will lead the group about two miles out from shore, where you’ll stop at the best spots to view gray whales. Along the way you’ll learn interesting facts and history about the whales, other marine life, and the La Jolla Ecological Reserve. Keep in mind that gray whales are wild animals. While gray whales are abundant during the season, a sighting can't be guaranteed, although groups can often see dolphins, sea lions, harbor seals, and other marine life as well.

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La Jolla: 2-Hour Guided Segway Tour

7. La Jolla: 2-Hour Guided Segway Tour

Enjoy the open air and San Diego sun. Take this eye-popping journey through the enchanting coastal community of La Jolla. Meet us in La Jolla and tour this beautiful California beach community in style and ease from the comfort of a Segway Personal Transporter. We’ll teach you how to ride your Segway then head off to show you Sonny Jim's Cave, the La Jolla Cove, and many other fantastic attractions on your guided 2-hour tour. Your helpful guide will tell you about the natural wonders of this area and show you its highlights. You'll glide by famed Torrey Pines Golf Course, past beaches lined with seals, sea lions and pelicans, all while enjoying stories about famous residents, multi-million-dollar mansions and the area's natural history and architecture. Of course, a tour of La Jolla is not complete without a visit to the surfer's hot spot of Windansea Beach. This guided tour allows you to explore beyond San Diego to see some of the most beautiful locations in Southern California.

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La Jolla: Stand Up Paddle Board Rental

8. La Jolla: Stand Up Paddle Board Rental

Stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) is one of the best ways to get out and enjoy the water. The sport began as an ancient Hawaiian tradition that was reintroduced to the world in the mid-60s.  SUP boarding is one of the best ways to explore the Seven Sea Caves of La Jolla, a remarkable creation full of marine wildlife. These 7 unique sea caves are filled with local history and natural beauty. The La Jolla Ecological Reserve starts at the Seven Sea Caves and extends north to Scripps Pier. This remarkable stretch of water is home to an underwater park, part of La Jolla's submarine canyon, giant kelp forests and a rocky reef.  The preserve shelters numerous species, including leopard sharks, sea turtles, sea lions, dolphins and migrating whales. Only 2% of the world's ocean water is protected by state and federal law, which also makes La Jolla's ecological reserve a rare place to see undisturbed wildlife in their natural habitat. The stand up paddle boards are inflatable, lightweight, and easy to transport from the shop to the beach and back.

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La Jolla: 1.5-Hour Surfing Lesson

9. La Jolla: 1.5-Hour Surfing Lesson

Has learning to surf been your dream? Your dream can become a reality on the calm waters of La Jolla Shores, the best spot to learn. Your experienced instructors are eager to share their passion for surfing with beginners and intermediates alike: no experience necessary, all equipment provided. Your instructors respect each student’s choice regarding his or her level of participation in the lesson, and comfort in the water. You’ll have fun learning how to surf in a safe environment. Your experienced instructor will teach you the fundamentals of surfing and ocean safety on land, before heading into the water to catch some waves with your group. Continually voted one of the best spots for beginner and intermediate surfers in San Diego, the calm waters of La Jolla Shores are an ideal place to learn how to surf in a fun, yet safe environment. Public and private options are available.

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La Jolla: Ultimate Self-Guided Combo Tour

10. La Jolla: Ultimate Self-Guided Combo Tour

Experience La Jolla, San Diego, on a combo self-guided tour that takes you on a walking tour of the coast and a driving tour of the neighborhood. Experience a tour developed by local guides, creative writers, and professional voice artists via an app that functions as a guide, narrator, and map. Start your walking tour by the parking area for the Coast Walk. Continue to the coast and get your first look at the breathtaking La Jolla Cove. Walk along the waterfront and learn how La Jolla got its name. Spot some of the neighborhood’s most iconic birds. Pass where La Jolla’s first tourist cabins once stood. Take in one-of-a-kind views while hearing about the Kumeyaay tribe who once lived here. Along the way, be sure to keep your eye out for seals and sea lions and learn how to tell the two apart. If you’re lucky, you might get to spot an orca whale off the shore. Next, see Seal Rock. If you haven’t spotted a seal yet, this is the place where your luck will change. Snap some photos to remember these unique creatures. After, see Children’s Pool Beach where kids and seals swim side by side. Afterward, hear about the town’s unlikely mascot, Rags the Donkey, and legends about a mysterious stranger known as “The Judge.” Then, stop at Cuvier Park, one of the most popular wedding spots in the entire country. Nearing the end of the walking portion of your tour, visit the famous tide pools that are bursting with aquatic life. Throughout the tour, enjoy animated videos that let you visualize what you cannot see. Next, start the driving portion of the tour. Cruise along the coast and hear about the brothers who bought all this land for less than $2 per acre and the woman responsible for the town’s longstanding cultural institutions. Visit the historic La Jolla Woman’s Club and hear about Ellen Browning Scripps, La Jolla’s most important figure. Next, see the beautiful Wisteria Cottage and take in beautiful views. Then it’s on to the Athenaeum, a library for music and the arts. Round off your tour by visiting the Valencia Hotel, the city’s go-to hotel for Hollywood’s rich and famous for a hundred years.

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Frequently asked questions about La Jolla

Other Sightseeing Options in La Jolla

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What people are saying about La Jolla

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 663 reviews

We had such a fun time! The seas were fairly calm, not something I had considered beforehand. The guides were super helpful and kept us all on track, the shore person was awesome and helped us in and out of the boats with ease. It was nice to share a boat so I didn't have to do all the work, but the teenager liked having his own. Water was warm so no wetsuits, but you will for sure get wet so have the right clothes on!

This was a fantastic tour 10/10 recommend! Cody was awesome, kind, knowledgeable about the area and sea life, and had a great sense of humor throughout. While other companies went out with crews of 20+ kayaks, ours was only 4, and Cody actually got snorkel gear on to push our kayaks into the caves to explore- no other company was doing that. Definitely go with them!

Have never kayaked ever before. The day was perfect and minimal wind, so it was very easy to kayak to the caves. The guides are right there with you the whole way if you run into any trouble. You meet at a cute store with stylish souvenirs and then walk to the beach with your gear in hand. You DO GET WET! So dress appropriately! Would recommend!

This was a great little app. Its geofencing capabilities meant the tour auto-started as I approached each of the stops. I would love to buy this tour for other towns and cities that I visit. I did the walking portion. It was fun

Great experience! Have never been kayaking in the ocean. Ruben and Joel both made it safe, easy and fun! 90 minutes was the perfect amount of time! Highly recommend