You need a map and sense of adventure for this fun journey through the lovely town of La Jolla. The “Murals of La Jolla” project began in 2010 as part of SoCal’s commitment to public art, and you can explore 15 unique murals—some hidden, others in plain sight.
Start by parking for free along Coast Boulevard (though there is a 2-hour limit), or in the La Jolla Financial Building parking garage on Prospect Street ($9 for 2 hours or $15 all day). Using this map as your guide, head first to “Raymond Chandler at the Whaling Bar,” artist Raul Guerrero’s homage to La Jolla’s historic La Valencia Hotel. Grab some ice cream at Haagen-Dazs right across from the mural to fuel up for the 14 other murals.
Some murals, like Kota Ezawa’s “Once Upon a Time in the West,” cover entire sides of buildings. Then there are vibrant and abstract murals, like the three-story mural “Landing” by Heather Gwen Martin, that hide away in the side alleys of La Jolla.
Be sure to check out the newest mural, near the Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center, “Bill 2” by Alex Katz, celebrating the fusion of art, music, and dance by honoring Bill T. Jones, a famous modern-dance choreographer. The oldest mural is “Favorite Color” by Roy McMakin. Not only is it another iconic photo spot, you can interact with this mural by jumping up or reaching low to try to touch your favorite color.
BONUS COAST WALK: Finish the afternoon by doing the 0.4-mile La Jolla Coast Walk Trail. This little-known trail begins where the more famous La Jolla Cove Trail ends, and stretches along the coast between La Jolla Caves and La Jolla Shores. The trail begins at the La Jolla Cave Store and follows a well-marked trail of paths, stairs, and wooden bridges on the cliffs above the rocky shores. At the end of the trail there’s a bench looking back over the bluffs and sea caves, a great place to watch a sunset. Grab some dinner along Coast Boulevard at Duke’s to end your artsy day by the sea.
Dog-friendly except indoors. Directions & Info.