The Best Way to Spend an Afternoon in La Jolla
La Jolla, California is a pleasant beach community located about 20 minutes north of downtown San Diego. La Jolla (or "the Jewel" in Spanish) spans about 7 miles of rugged coastline on the stunning Pacific Ocean. It is a dream spot for water sports enthusiasts and beach lovers!
During a recent southern California trip my husband, Rob, and I decided to visit La Jolla for a kayak tour of the Sea Caves!
Our tour was a group of about 10 people (the perfect size), with a good mix of couples and families! You can choose between a single or double kayak (we chose single kayaks). In my experience, the single kayaks are easier to control and you have a little more freedom because you're not worrying about staying in sync with your partner! This is my personal preference though!
Once we were past the surf, we tried to spot some marine life! Keep an eye out for Leopard Sharks, we never saw one (to be honest, I was a little relieved)! We did see lots of Garibaldi fish (bright orange, so they're easy to spot)! The water was fairly calm for our tour, which is ideal if you're sensitive to the sea motion. I think I was hoping for slightly more waves, but it made for a more relaxing tour which was nice!
Then it's time to enter the caves! It was exhilarating as we paddled into the dark caves! We hung out in the cave for a few minutes and even saw a seal taking a break from the sun inside the cave which is what they do when it gets really hot.
When we came out of the cave we paddled beside more rocky coastline until we reached our turn around point where there was a family of sea lions! It was really cool to watch and hear so many all at once!
Here is a short video from our tour (set player to 1080p HD for the best quality)!
The tour lasts about an hour and a half which felt like the perfect amount of time! It wasn't too strenuous so don't be deterred if you're not an avid kayaker! The only downside is there were so many other groups out at the same time and it felt a little crowded! Maybe the morning tours or late afternoon tours are better. By no means did it ruin my experience, just something I noticed. Also this was during the peak of summer, so that's probably why! We've kayaked in Lake Tahoe and Amelia Island (Georgia) both of which were not very crowded so I think I might have gotten spoiled!
Just being out on the water is a fun experience for me! I don't know why I love paddling so much, but it just makes me feel calm, yet powerful at the same time!
It's important to note that no tour guarantees you will enter the caves. The guides always have to consider the surf conditions and your safety first! Just something to be aware of when you go! We were very lucky because the water was pretty calm and smooth the day of our tour.
If kayaking isn't your thing, but you're interested in other water sports here's a list of other water sports tours on Trip Advisor.
Be Prepared! 5 Things to Bring for a Kayak Tour:
1. A rash guard or bathing suit: At the end of our tour they gave us the option to hop in the water so having your suit on is a good idea!
2. A snack: For either before or after the tour. We were rushing to get here and skipped lunch (gasp)! Bad idea! My husband and I got super hungry out on the water, so come prepared with some snacks!
3. Go Pro or waterproof camera: so you can relive the memories or make a video! :)
4. Sunscreen: Show your skin some love, the sun is stronger out on the water.
5. Water: La Jolla Sea Cave Kayak wants to minimizes pollution to protect the marine habitat (definitely a good thing) so they don't provide water at their store. I recommend bringing your own water bottle (not plastic) so you can hydrate beforehand. The tour isn't super long, so you'll probably be fine throughout, but if you know you get thirsty you can always bring it with you!
After the tour I recommend heading up to La Jolla Village to explore a little more of the area before sunset! There's a ton of shops and restaurants!
To finish your perfect day, head to La Jolla cove to observe the Sea Lions and watch the sunset! It was incredible to see so many Sea Lions in one place. Some were sleeping/sunbathing, but several were up and active! Make sure you keep a respectful distance from the sea lions. There were so many I couldn't believe it! For important info about the La Jolla Sea Lions check out this site.
If you are spending time in San Diego, I highly recommend carving out an extra day (or afternoon) to spend in La Jolla! I really enjoyed this delightful beach town! I would have loved to spend more time here, but Santa Barbara was next on the agenda! You can read about my Santa Barbara trip here.
*This is NOT a sponsored post. I have not been paid by La Jolla Sea Cave Kayak tour to write this post.*
Have you been to La Jolla? Are you a water sports junkie like me?!
Until next time, Happy (actively) Wandering!
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