Vibe A Walk Around Town... La Jolla
by Lorene Ireland
The seaside village of La Jolla, located just a few
miles north of downtown San Diego, has been a favorite
stomping ground for artist and tourist alike.
delightful village, La Jolla, which means "the jewel,"
is just that. A jewel that is most famous for its powerful
and vivid seascapes, encompassing rocky cliffs and sweeping
I first visited La Jolla some 15 years ago, I remember
the lovely little town, a quaint village. Today, after
living in La Jolla for over a decade, I never tire of
its beauty. Many afternoons, I will venture out for
a walk or hike. Most often, I stop to reflect or sit
and paint the sea. On any given summer day you can see
artists with their easels painting by the cove, sometimes
with a print or two to sell.
recently, I have been walking up Mount Soledad, a part
of La Jolla often missed by the average tourist. It's
a relatively short walk in distance, but takes a strong
heart to make it up the winding Via Capri, which switches
back and forth for about two miles. There are always
bicyclists passing by, and the truly devoted joggers.
I prefer to walk, but Mount Soledad is the ultimate
challenge for athletes.
the top, you can stroll around the Mount Soledad Cross,
a war memorial to our loyal soldiers that gave their
life for their country. This serene setting has spectacular
panoramic views of the city, from downtown San Diego
to Coronado to Del Mar, and on a clear day, even Catalina
one of my favorite spots is along coast walk above the
seven caves. I have spent many mornings walking along
this path. You can reach this spot easily by walking
northeast on Coast Boulevard from the Cove. Follow the
ocean to the crest of the hill and you will see the
Shell Cave; just to the left of the Cave store is the
trailhead. While you're in front of the Cave store you
might want to visit the Shell Cave. For a mere $2 you
can enter the cave and venture down some 140 stairs
to sea level. It's cold and damp, but at the bottom
you will be pleasantly surprised as the cave opens up
to a beautiful view of the ocean.
recently, the seals have made their home along the rocks
and are easy to view at this level. You might see a
few hearty swimmers or an occasional kayaker looking
for some adventure in the caves. And if you dare join
the swimmers, you might even see some leopard sharks.
Don't worry they won't harm you. Now,
you have to climb back up the 140 plus stairs. Good
luck! It is not so easy to climb back up through the
cave, but it is still worth the $2 fee.
your cave adventure, it's time to begin your walk on
the cliffs above the seven caves. There is another breathtaking
view of the La Jolla Shores, Blacks Beach, Scripps Pier
and Del Mar. A very short path, just 10 or 15 minute
walk -- or longer if you take a minute to sit on a bench
and enjoy the view.
there is a little secret on this path. When you get
to the white wooden bridge, there is a hidden trail
to the left of the bridge. This narrow trail will take
you down to the rocky beach below. A rope is there to
help you back up, as it is quite steep. Do this during
low tide for the most interesting discoveries in the
rocks, and you will also get a different prospective
of the rugged coastline of La Jolla. From the white
wooden bridge you can continue walking, but the path
becomes a street, taking you to Torrey Pines Road. It
is best to go back to the Shell Cave. You can do what
I always do and stop at Gold Fish Point CafZ, just a
few steps from the dave, for a cup of coffee.
featured in South
(paintings by Lorene Ireland)
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