La Jolla, Jewel of the California Coast
The San Diego seaside resort community of La Jolla is a beautiful study in contrasts. It is a part of the larger city of San Diego and has a comparatively small population in comparison to the larger urban city. Considered by its residents to be both the Monte Carlo, as well as the Jewel of California, because of its European quality and beautiful landscape, La Jolla combines a curving coastline with natural coves and rolling green hillsides dotted with million dollar homes. Its easternmost boundary is the 5 Freeway and includes a significant part of the University of California, San Diego campus.
La Jolla definitely has a European vibe with its busy little village and beautiful cliffsides above the Pacific Ocean, which helps to inspire the Monte Carlo moniker. While the name may not actually mean “jewel,” given that it is actually a Spanish corruption of a name the local band of Luiseno Native Americans gave to the region, La Jolla is truly a jewel. La Jolla is a jewel with plenty to appease those interested in nature and those interested in culture.
Home of University of California, San Diego and the Natural World
La Jolla is both the home of the San Diego campus of the University of California, and a beautiful, scenic place close to the natural world of Southern California. This campus includes neighborhood cultural and research institutions as the Mandell Weiss Theater & Forum, the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library and the Salk Institute.
The northern border of La Jolla extends to the Torrey Pines State Reserve. La Jolla has many hiking trails that seem as far removed from the noise of city as you can get in California, as well as beautiful overlooks with amazing ocean views, ocean caves along the coastline and plenty of marine life along the water, befitting a coastal community.
The Glamorous and Quiet La Jolla Village
La Jolla Village has high end shops and boutiques, fine galleries, artisanal coffee shops and fantastic dining in its many restaurants for cultural thrill-seekers and people-watchers. Much of the shopping is focused in one district that is made up of two main streets in the Village, Prospect Street and Girard Avenue; however, the shopping district is gradually spreading out into the neighboring and side streets, as well.
The nightlife in La Jolla can be quiet, but there are bars that cater to a younger, hipper crowd. But quieter, upscale bars like the Whaling Bar at the La Valencia hotel, are more the rule for the seaside community that caters to old-money residents, visiting royalty and visiting film stars.
La Jolla Village is not as quiet and retiring as it once was, however, although it maintains much of the alluring cosmopolitan quality that makes it such a popular seaside resort town.
Over the years in La Jolla Village, there has been a decided increase in development and tourism that has altered the formerly very private village. La Jolla Village is a part of the larger city of San Diego, and maintains its own postal code.