On the San Diego bucket list: La Jolla Cove. The problem: It’s on everyone’s bucket list! And it leads to parking mayhem. The solution? Take the route that’s a good workout, with extra sightseeing to boot! Head to Nicholson Point, a beach just south of the intersection of Coast and La Jolla Boulevards, where your 2.5-mile (round-trip) journey to the cove begins. Park on the street, then start at the beach stairs just north of the last beachfront property.
Admire the Pacific Ocean as you head north along the paved footpath. (You can also opt to take the shoreline route adjacent to the water, where La Jolla’s best viewing pools await if the tide is in your favor. Eventually you will run out of sand and must return to the concrete path.) Pass plots of vibrant nasturtiums and ample lawn space as you continue north on the sidewalk, passing multiple sunset-ready gazebos, as well as Scripps Park, a palm tree–lined oasis often deemed the most photographed spot in San Diego. Just after the park, you’ll reach the cove.
Take a moment to explore the beach here, where you will find sea lions nestling, sometimes wrestling for social hierarchy (note: this is sensitive habitat, so give the sea lions plenty of space on the rocks and sand; up-close selfies aren’t cool here—we’re not lion). Have a pun adventure!
To get to Nicholson Point from I-5 north or CA-52 west, take the La Jolla Parkway exit and continue on this road for nearly 3 miles (it will turn into Torrey Pines Rd.). Turn left at Gilrad Ave., followed by a quick right onto Pearl St. Continue right onto Olivetas Ave., followed by an immediate left onto Coast Blvd. Look for parking, as Nicholson Point will be on your left in just over a block when the coastal housing ends. Alternatively, from I-5 south, exit La Jolla Village Dr. west and then turn left onto Torrey Pines Rd. and follow the directions above. The walk is dog-friendly. No dogs on the beach.