PACIFIC COAST HIGHWAY # 5 – LA JOLLA COASTLINE

Heading north along San Diego’s Pacific shoreline from Pacific Beach you will encounter the first of La Jolla’s 5 beaches. La Jolla boasts one of the most breathtaking coastlines in California.  The grandeur is displayed in the towering cliffs, secluded coves, and sandy beaches.

The first La Jolla beach as you travel north is Windansea located at the end of Nautilus Street in La Jolla. It is also known as Wipeout Beach.  That name no doubt came from the wave action which is pretty spectacular due to the underwater reefs and jutting rocks. The waves are totally mesmerizing and the beach itself is amazing. You can easily spend hours exploring the rocks and tide pools, and watching the waves come in. Windansea has its drawbacks, but in spite of that, Windansea is notably the most beautiful beach in Southern California.

On the north end of Windansea there is a little surf shack.  This palm-covered shack was originally constructed in 1946 by surfers Woody Ekstrom, Fred Kenyon and Don Okey. It was designated as an historical landmark by the San Diego Historical Resources Board on May 27, 1998.

LITTLE SURF SHACK

LITTLE SURF SHACK

Note:  Windansea is not wheelchair accessible nor are there restroom facilities.  Also unless you are a very experienced surfer those are not waters you want to go into.

SEAL BEACH SEA WALL

SEAL BEACH SEA WALL

Casa Beach (The Children’s Pool) may be the most controversial beach in California.  The beach is in a tiny cove protected by a concrete sea wall. The sea wall was a gift from Ellen Browning Scripps who had the wall built in 1931 to create a place where children could play and swim and still be protected from the large waves that came ashore.

All went well until about 1992 when the seals that had previously made “Seal Rock” their home found their way onto the beach. Seal Rock is located approximately 100 yards north of the beach. In 1997 the beach was closed to swimming. The debate continues as to whether the beach should belong to the kids or to the seals.

Currently Casa Beach is better known as Seal Beach and provides a sanctuary for seals and sea lions.

In addition to the seals, hundreds of Pelicans and Cormorants have found a home along the La Jolla coastline.

Next is La Jolla Cove which is just the place for swimming, snorkeling and diving.  The waters here are protected and surfboards, boogie boards and other floatation devices are not permitted.  This is a small beach and an ideal place to take small children.

LA JOLLA COVE

LA JOLLA COVE

La Jolla Shores is also family friendly with a wide beach, soft sand and gentle waves.  It’s also ideal place for teaching the young surfer how to surf.

LA JOLLA SHORES

LA JOLLA SHORES

And finally we reach the infamous Black’s Beach.  Black’s Beach is located north of Scrips Pier and beneath the Torrey Pines Gliderport.  I have never been on the Beach because getting to the beach is not for the faint of heart.  You can walk there from La Jolla Shores which is about 3 miles or you can take the trail – approximately 2 miles of trail which is pretty much straight down.  The down part wouldn’t be so bad, but coming back up could be a bit stressful on so many levels.

The cliffs along Black’s Beach are unique and the views from the cliffs are stunning.

Adding to the view are the “Gliders” jumping off the cliffs to float over the Pacific.

And now we leave La Jolla and head north along the North San Diego County Pacific Coastline.

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