Checking out the La Jolla Harbor Seals

2009 harbor seals la jolla san diego

One of my favorite places to bring family and friends from out of town is La Jolla, by far! Our absolute favorite place to visit in La Jolla is over at the Children’s Pool, otherwise known as Point Mencinger or Casa Beach. We love to see if the La Jolla harbor seals are hauled out on the rocks or the beach.

Did you know that Point Mencinger and the Children’s Pool is a Pacific harbor seal rookery? (A rookery is where the seals mate and raise young.)

Yes, it is!

And just north at Point La Jolla, there is a California sea lion rookery as well! The coastline of La Jolla is magical.

On August 17, my girls and I went on a little pinniped adventure.

Let’s now take a look at what we saw, and as a bonus for you and as well as for me, I have listed several La Jolla harbor seal facts.

The Pacific Harbor Seals of La Jolla

Point Mencinger la jolla san diego
Point Mencinger is North of Boomer Beach, 2021

First off, it blows me away that I never knew that the formal name of this area, in La Jolla, is known as Point Mencinger. 

Down below is a photo during a King Tide, so the tide was super low.

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Checking out the California Sea Lions in La Jolla

CA sealions point la jolla featured image

There is something extraordinary about seeing wild animals in their natural habitats, especially marine mammals. Well, what if I told you that over at La Jolla, there are two designated pinniped rookeries near each other? Yes! A Pacific harbor seal rookery is located at Casa Beach/ Children’s Pool, and a California sea lion rookery is found at Point La Jolla and Boomer Beach. Have you ever seen California sea lions up close before?

Both rookeries are very close to each other and are found down parallel to Ellen Browning Scripps Park. Today, I will be only concentrating on what we saw over at the newly closed to the public- California sea lion rookery.

sea lions people la jolla san diego
July 6, 2017

Where Are The California Sea Lions in La Jolla?

La Jolla Cove

people sea lion la jolla cove august

La Jolla cove sits adjacent to Point La Jolla, so it is not uncommon to see a couple of California sea lions hanging out on the rocks in the cove.

On this day, it was quite unusual for this sea lion to swim onto a crowded beach and pose on a rock, but maybe not.

You would think that some sea lions are becoming less afraid of humans, seeing that human smells and sounds constantly surround them.

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Saltwater Fishing in San Diego

saltwater fishing san diego featured image

San Diego, otherwise known as “America’s Finest City,” boasts over 70 miles of coastline to explore! Are you a piscator? Or, in other words, do you like saltwater fishing? Do you prefer to fish from piers or jetties? From shore or out in the ocean? San Diego’s peak fishing season begins in April until November.  Would you like to learn more about saltwater fishing in San Diego?

–>The Beaches of San Diego County<–

What makes San Diego extraordinary is that the coastline is so varied. There are miles of sandstone bluffs in North County San Diego (San Onofre, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Del Mar). While down in South County San Diego, sandy beaches rule (Pacific Beach, Mission Beach, Ocean Beach, Coronado, Imperial Beach.) Whether you prefer to fish from the beach, jetty, pier, boat, or by a chartered vessel, San Diego has it all!

piscator definition mackerel fishing pole

A Piscator Page, You Say?

I thought it would be a good idea to have a distinct page on my website with all of the San Diego saltwater fishing information in one place. A piscator page!

So down below, I have compiled complete lists of all San Diego saltwater fishing piers, saltwater sportfishing (half-day/full-day) party and charter boats, boat launch ramps, lobster fishing spots, the 2021 grunion run schedule, a few fish lists, as well as several noted shore fishing locations.

As a bonus, I have also included all harbor and bay cruises offered out of Oceanside Harbor, Mission Bay, and San Diego Bay for those of you that have no desire to fish but still yearn to be on the water.

To experience San Diego to the fullest, you must get on the ocean, breathe in all the negative ions, and let the saltwater spray on your face. Believe me; you will thank me later. Also, don’t forget to pack a sweatshirt as it sure can get chilly out on the water.

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Sea Caves at La Jolla Underwater Park

Cave window la jolla underwater park

Wow! Do I have some exciting information for you all! Many of you may have somewhat of an idea of my complete, somewhat obsessive love of King Tides. For all others, a King Tide is when you have the highest and lowest tides of the year (click on the link for more in-depth information.) Most attention is ordinarily given to the high tide, as people seem to enjoy seeing just how far the ocean will reach on land.

I absolutely love going to the beach during the lowest of the tides, so I can examine what is usually covered by the ocean and have rare access to beaches that are usually not accessible.  And let me tell you, today is one of those days.

Yes! My girls and I were able to explore two caves at the La Jolla Underwater Park!

Now I must say this right up front that getting to these caves is no easy feat. You have to have tremendous balance as there is at least a quarter-mile of rocks to walk over until you reach the semi-sandy beach over at Caves Beach.

Would you like to see what we saw?

Let’s go!

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La Jolla Coast Walk Trail-Let’s Go!

I am ashamed to admit that even though I have lived in the San Diego area for over 30 years, I have never heard of, much less been on, the La Jolla Coast Walk Trail.

Do not get me wrong, because I have been up and down the coast of La Jolla (pronounced La Hoya) more times than I can count. It is one of my most revered areas in San Diego, hands down.  So when I came across this hiking trail while researching, I knew that I must go! Would you like to join me on a tour of the La Jolla Coast Trail?

Before we start our tour, I would like to mention that I have written extensively about walking the La Jolla coastline in a previous post, Let’s Take a La Jolla Coast Walk.

But to be fair, that post only concentrated on the area just west of Downtown La Jolla and ended at The Cave Store. Today I would like to continue the hike by following the path past The Cave Store and walking on the official La Jolla Coast Walk Trail. Confusing? Well, I sure hope not after you finish reading this!

Ready?

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Five Hidden Gems In San Diego

Del Mar Dog Beach Hidden Gems In San Diego

I have wanted to write this post for quite some time. Ever since I started this website, I have found some gorgeous hidden gems in San Diego while out in the ‘field’ doing research, and I am here to share!

San Diego Hidden Gems? 

So what do I mean by a hidden gem? Hidden in plain sight might be a better way to put it. Not much is know about it. Maybe locals are keen, but the average San Diegan and the new-to-town tourists have no idea.

Coastal Hidden Gems in San Diego

Also, today I will be concentrating just on the coastline of San Diego County- seventy miles of coast that stretches all of the ways down to the border of Mexico.

I have also included a video featuring each hidden gem in San Diego.

Let’s look at the top five places that I have on my list so far, shall we?

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Black’s Beach The Naked Truth

Blacks Beach Trail Blacks Beach San Diego

I remember when I was working at a coffee shop in San Diego’s Hotel Circle while in college, the number one question that the tourists would ask was, “Where is La Jolla,” followed by, “How did you get to Black’s Beach?”

Ok, so why so many inquiries?

Well,  the answer is that Black’s Beach is one of the largest public nude beaches in the United States. Just thinking about seeing naked people made me uncomfortable when I was young, so going there at that time was out of the question.

Fast forward twenty-five years later, and I end up taking my two teenage daughters there!

Did I also mention that the surf is phenomenal?

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Showcasing the Best Beaches of La Jolla

Best Beaches of La Jolla

Today I would like to showcase a few of the best beaches of La Jolla in the hope that the beauty and wonder will encourage others to visit San Diego and experience the loveliness first hand.

 La Jolla is a seaside community situated on top of towering cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean located 20 minutes north of Downtown San Diego.

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Los Penasquitos Lagoon

Los Penasquitos Lagoon

One of my favorite places to explore over the past 30 years is the Los Penasquitos Lagoon over at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve. Can I take you on tour? th

Ok! Let’s go!

Los Penasquitos Lagoon

Located between Del Mar to the north and the border of the city of San Diego to the south, the Los Penasquitos Lagoon is a 510-acre coastal salt marsh estuary.

—>San Diego Lagoons and Nature Centers<—

Meaning “The Little Cliffs” in Spanish, the Los Penasquitos frames the northern part of the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve.

The Los Penasquitos Lagoon is a Salt Marsh?

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve

 Los Penasquitos Lagoon is one of the last remaining salt marshes left in southern California. The lagoon supports a large variety of plants and animals, including seven threatened or endangered species.

Another interesting fact is that this lagoon also serves as a refuge for migratory birds that use the Pacific Flyway.

—>Best San Diego Birding Hotspots<—

Since joining the State Park System, there have been quite a few changes to help increase the overall tidal flow here at the Los Penasquitos Lagoon.

Let’s now have a look.

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Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve is a 2000 acre park located in the community of La Jolla in San Diego, California, off North Torrey Pines Rd. Nothing here has ever been altered or diverted at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, making it one of the wildest coastal stretches left in California.

I can not emphasize enough just how beautiful this Reserve is!

Come and join me for a tour!

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Birch Aquarium-La Jolla

Warm water tank Birch Aquarium La Jolla

Birch Aquarium is located on the Scripps UC San Diego campus overlooking the Scripps Pier and the Pacific Ocean. Partnered with the Scripps Institute Oceanography (SIO), the Birch Aquarium is a fabulous place to visit to learn about all the ocean’s natural wonders and creatures.

More than 460,000 people visit this aquarium annually. There is so much to do and learn here.

Let’s now take a look at everything the Birch Aquarium has to offer!

Ellen Browning Scripps Memorial Pier

Birch Aquarium-La Jolla General Information

Jellyfish Birch Aquarium

button may birch aquarium la jolla

Website- https://aquarium.ucsd.edu/

Phone- (858) 534-3474

Hours- 9am-5pm daily

Free Parking for 3 hours-Handicap parking available in front of the Aquarium

  • Adults- 19.50
  • Children(3-17)- 15
  • Seniors- 16.50
  • Students- 16
  • College Students for assignment- 12

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La Jolla Shores Beach

la jolla shores beach

 La Jolla Shores Beach has over 1 mile of sandy beach. It is located between the Scripps Institute of Oceanography and La Jolla Shores Hotel at 8300 Camino Del Oro, in La Jolla, California.

This beach has some of the most gentle waves during the summer in all of San Diego, making it an excellent beach for the family.

North View La Jolla Shores sand shore pier background

button map La Jolla Shores Beach

Discovering La Jolla Shores Beach

Due to its calm waters, this beach is ideal for swimming or learning how to surf.   Additionally, there is also a boardwalk attached to the beach, which makes biking, skating, and jogging popular activities here.

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Let’s Take A La Jolla Coast Walk!

la jolla coast walk
La Jolla Shores Beach La Jolla Coast Walk
A view looking out to La Jolla Shore beach

La Jolla is a popular seaside coastal community located 20 minutes from Downtown San Diego.  One of the very first places I take visitors from out of town is La Jolla. And once here, we venture off on a La Jolla coast walk.

Walking the Coast of La Jolla

There are so many things to experience in La Jolla, but it is an absolute must to walk the coast of La Jolla.

There are all kinds of things to do in La Jolla: such as hiking, beachcombing, biking, swimming, diving, snorkeling, kayaking, really the possibilities are endless here!

And do not get me started on all the fantastic photo opportunities available as well!

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Top 5 Spots to View a San Diego Sunset

Mission Bay San Diego Sunset
Mission Bay, San Diego

If I can put one touch of rosy sunset into the life of any man or woman, I shall feel that I have worked with God– G.K Chesterton

Encountering a San Diego sunset on the coast is something you are not likely ever to forget. With San Diego having over 70 miles of coast,  where are the best places to experience a San Diego sunset?

Few things touch my soul more than a sunset. There is something magical that happens when the sun rays hit upon the ocean water. It is as if the entire surroundings are shining from within.

It is my pleasure to share my top 5 spots with you where I think that you can see that exceptional San Diego sunset in all its glory and more!

Under each listing, I have included one fun fact, or in other words, a secret.

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