One of the last stops on our California trip was San Diego. We had heard only good things about it and we were eager to explore and indulge in its famous nightlife. It was also our 6th wedding anniversary whilst we were in San Diego and we decided well in advance of our trip that we wanted to do something special that day to celebrate. After a bit of research, we decided on a day trip out of the city and to the seaside community of La Jolla within the northern city limits of San Diego. As we had left the car back in Los Angeles we both agreed that an organised trip or tour would be the best way to go. So, after further research, we found the La Jolla & San Diego Beaches Day Tripper Tour offered by Old Town Trolley Tours and it seemed perfect.
Pick-Up Shuttle Service
The official starting point of the tour is the Old Town which is a fair old trek from where we were staying in the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter, however, we quickly realised that a shuttle service was offered. Therefore, we only had to walk a couple of blocks to Horton Plaza, which is a huge shopping mall, in order to jump on the shuttle bus at 9.15am. The exact spot was quite tricky to find, maybe it was a bit too early in the morning for us, however, we found it in the end and double-checked with the guy in the ticket booth that we were in the right place, we were, phew!
Old Town Starting Point
The shuttle ride to the Old Town didn’t take long, around 15 minutes and when we got there, Mike, our driver and guide for the day gave us time to take a comfort break and opportunity to grab a drink and snack, which was welcome as we had not had time for breakfast, before getting everyone back on board. Mike ran through introductions and the itinerary for the day, ensure we all knew what we were doing and where we needed to be for the return journey. When everyone was happy with how the day would go we set off on our journey to La Jolla at 10.15am.
We made one stop on the way to La Jolla, at Mount Soledad which offers amazing views over San Diego. Mount Soledad is topped by a large concrete cross and is a well-known and unique veteran’s memorial. It honours veterans, both living and deceased, who have served their country from the revolutionary war to the current war on terror, many of which include a photograph of the individual. We spent around 20 minutes here both walking around the memorial and admiring the incredible views.
As we pulled in to La Jolla “The Jewel” of San Diego, Mike gave us information about what we could do and see during our 3 and ½ hour stop, before dropping us off and reminding us of the pickup location and time. We soon realised that La Jolla is a super busy place, especially during weekends in June, meaning we weren’t going to get the relaxing beach day we had originally planned. However, we soon realised there was so much more to the place than just the beach it didn’t matter and instead set about exploring the area.
Things to do in La Jolla
1. We climbed along the sea wall at the Children’s Pool and watched the seals and the pups lounging on the beach and swimming in the sea below. There are many signs on the wall stating that you shouldn’t get too close to the animals and we of course adhered to them, unfortunately, others didn’t.
2. We hiked, well walked, along the Coast Walk Trail and enjoyed the breathtaking views for as long as we could handle in the hot June Californian sun.
3. There are plenty of world-class restaurants in La Jolla to dine at, some offering amazing views. There is also a lovely picnic area at Scripps Park, next to La Jolla Cove. We, however, opted for a quick, yet tasty lunch at Smash Burger, one of the many places to grab an easy lunch.
4. The village itself has a number of amazing shops and boutiques to stroll around if shopping is your thing.
5. There are also many art galleries in La Jolla together with the Museum of Contemporary Art perfect for art lovers.
6. Watersports are quite a big deal in the area with places to hire a kayak or paddle board allowing you to explore the La Jolla Underwater Park and Ecological Reserve
Pick-Up From La Jolla & Drop Off
The return pickup was at 3.00pm and we wearily jumped back on the bus, it was a hot one and I especially had taken a bit of a battering by the sun and was in desperate need of shade. Of course, a couple were late, you always get them on every trip, don’t you? Once they showed up we set off on our journey back to the Old Town. Mike gave us information about the places we were passing and passing through along the way and gave us a real feel for the area and some ideas of where we could visit if we ever make the trip back to San Diego. After a quick stop back at the Old Town to allow people to jump off, we set back off to the Gaslamp Quarter in order to drop everyone that had got on there, off. Making it an almost door to door service.
A fantastic day away from the city, maybe not the day that we had originally hoped for, maybe in fact even better! Mr ESLT and I, especially, are not really lay on the beach and do nothing people so actually the fact that there was more to La Jolla than just the beach was probably a good thing for us. We cannot fault Mike or the tour one bit. The bus was always where it was supposed to be when it was supposed to be and the journey was extremely pleasant, informative and in my opinion, the right length. Thank you Old Town Trolley Tours for making our 6th Wedding Anniversary one we will always remember.
- Our trip to La Jolla was provided by Old Town Trolley Tours on a complimentary basis in exchange for review. Thank you for a great day and big thanks to Mike for being a great tour guide.