It’s hard not to fall in love with San Diego, California. From mountain ranges and the excitement of this bustling city, to incredible wildlife and a warm ocean breeze; it has everything you could ask for on a holiday whether it's a family, friends or solo trip.
La Jolla, nestled up the curving coastline of the Pacific, is the perfect spot for a beachy retreat. It offers peaceful serenity, while being only a short 20-minute drive from the heart of San Diego.
Where to stay? For a comfortable, prime location to call home during your trip, consider the Pantai Inn. This place is next level luxury – with a canopy draped over the bed, a fireplace to cozy up to on chilly nights, and top notch amenities; from the supremely intricate shower, down to the full service kitchen. The rooms are decorated in rich, warm, dark colours, with touches of beautiful Balinese art and design to give it a homier feel. The bed and pillows engulf you, leaving you well-rested, wide-eyed and ready to explore at the crack of dawn.
From the spacious balcony, you can hear the sounds of crashing waves, smell the salty ocean and even hear the occasional barking of harbour seals.
Having only a small number of rooms, the quaint little inn has perks you wouldn’t find with a larger hotel. From house made hot chocolate and apple cider, to a freshly prepared continental breakfast with an ocean view, you always feel the extra effort put in to make a guest’s stay more memorable and pleasant.
The inn itself was right across the street from La Jolla Cove, a fantastic tourist attraction. It’s also in central La Jolla, making it walking distance to virtually anything you’d want to check out in the community.
Which brings me to what to do. While there are some neat things to check out in the city itself, I recommend spending most of your time enjoying La Jolla and some of its more unique offerings.
Experience La Jolla Cove: This one isn’t hard if you’re staying at the Pantai Inn! There are some fabulous photo opportunities here, providing a panoramic vista of the beach and ocean. Here you’ll also be able to see some seals, and even get up-close-and-personal. It’s a beautiful place to sit back, relax and watch the warm pastel sunset surrounded by the sounds of crashing waves.
Kayaking Cave Tour: Explore the Pacific Coast by kayak with La Jolla Kayak. For $45, the 2-hour tour will take you along the coastal rocks, paddle through the impressive sea caves and maybe even spot some local marine life!
Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve: Here, along the Californian coastline, take in the beauty of where dry desert meets the ocean. With walks varying in difficulty, take a stroll in Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve. From the top you can look out to the Pacific, watch surfers and paddle boarders in their natural habitat and admire the picturesque coastline.
Leopard Shark Snorkel Tour: From June to September each year, the clear waters of La Jolla are brimming with thousands of Leopard Sharks. When it’s not mating season, the area sees around 100-200 local leopard sharks, who make La Jolla their home. Harmless the humans, La Jolla Kayak will guide you with a 1-hour tour to get up close and personal with these beautiful creatures. For only $39 and the possibility to extend the experience for up to an additional 2 hours, you really can’t go wrong!
Birch Aquarium at Scripps: If you have kids with you, here’s a perfect day trip. With a running rate of $18.50/adult and $14/child, it’s an affordable and safe way to examine the bountiful marine life of the La Jolla area and beyond. Can’t get enough of the creatures? Try heading down to Dike Rock (outside the aquarium) for some tidepooling.
Visit the Torrey Pines Gliderport: This is near the aquarium and on the way to the State Natural Reserve. Try tandem paragliding with an instructor for $175 or hang gliding with an instructor for $225. Based along the cliffs, take in the beautiful view while feeling the cool ocean breeze through your hair.
Soledad: For a 360-degree view of the city and coastline, make sure you check out Mt. Soledad. A memorial for war veterans, this tourist hot spot is unlike the others. From this height, you can see the city in its entirety, without the hassle of noisy, bustling crowds.
There are endless things to do here. You can wander the little town, popping into its local boutique shops, or even just lay a towel out on the beach and bury your nose in a book. Either way, you’ll be sad to say your farewells to this beautiful place.
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