La Jolla Cove Snorkeling Adventure
By John Rogers, Senior Editor of Enlightened
Snorkeling is one of San Diego's most popular ocean activities.
Last summer it dawned on me: I’ve never explored the undersea
world. After years of swimming, body surfing and exploring
the beaches it was time to strap on a mask and venture into the
The family and I jumped in the car and drove to La Jolla Cove, San
Diego's most popular snorkeling spot. We arrived early so parking
would be easy. If you visit during the summer, especially weekends,
try to arrive before 9:00 am.
parking we walked to Prospect Street in La Jolla Village and rented
all the equipment we needed at World Core Surf Shop for a nominal
fee. From Prospect Street we walked to the cove, just a block or
we arrived, we were anxious to get into the water. The Cove has
a very beautiful but small sandy beach area. We spread out our towels
in a comfortable spot near the water, donned our snorkeling gear,
and ventured into the ocean. Our efforts were rewarded immediately!
Less then 20 feet from shore, a magical undersea world unfolded.
Bright orange Garibaldi, rays, and other small fish were abundant
and friendly. The undersea plant life is stunning—green sea
grasses flowing gently with the currents, anemones patiently waiting
for a meal, stately kelp beds looking like tall undersea forests…
We were told that seals occasionally swim through the Cove along
with harmless shark species.
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We snorkeled for hours before tiring. Wearing wetsuits extended
snorkeling sessions in the chilly water. People-watching entertained
us for another hour on the Cove’s beach. Veteran open-ocean
swimmers of all ages come in and out of the water at the Cove—some
without wetsuits--- burrrr! You'll even see them in winter
with their leathery, well-tanned skin when water temperatures drop
below 60 degrees! Also of interest was the cultural diversity
of visitors. We heard languages from Europe, Asia, and Africa. Everyone
was having a wonderful time and nobody felt unwelcome at La Jolla
Jolla Cove is beloved not only for snorkeling but also for scuba
diving and kayaking. Kayakers usually start from La Jolla Shores
and paddle over to the Cove. For folks who are physically challenged
or who simply prefer less activity, La Jolla Cove is a beautiful
place to chat, read, walk along the bluff, or take a few pictures.
It’s guaranteed to inspire for you for years to come!
in the ocean makes you very hungry; good thing La Jolla has some
of the best eateries in all of San Diego! We took the advice of
a local and had sandwiches at a deli located in a small enclave
of shops just off Prospect Street . Other “best-bet”
restaurants near the Cove are La Dolce Vita (which some folks say
has the best latte in La Jolla) and Top of the Cove, which offers
We worked off lunch with a stroll around
the Village, a shopping and dining area above the Cove that boasts
some of the best private art galleries in the world. Also not to
be missed is the San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art, just a few
blocks south on Prospect Street.
we walked the coastline between the Cove and Children's Pool. No
fooling—this is one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline
in all of California, with intimate sandy beaches, coves that are
surprisingly uncrowded… green grassy open areas on the bluff
above the water… colorful native and cultivated flowers. Handicapped
and physically challenged folks will find this stretch of coast
accessible and relatively easy to negotiate.
We ended the day walking back to the car and planning our next trip
to La Jolla Cove. I don’t mind saying a good time was had
John Rogers was born and raised in San Diego. He spends much
of his free time exploring the beaches and open spaces of California,
especially those described in this site.
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