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LaJolla, California beach vacation. By Theodore Scott

The coastline on LaJolla, California. Credit: Theodore Scott.

By Nina Gass

Living so close to San Diego means it’s often our pick for a California vacation weekend getaway. It offers the best combination of our family favorites: theme parks, golf, beach, zoos and museums, and delicious food. But we recently expanded our list of beach vacations to include the northern San Diego county, seaside village of La Jolla. During our stay, we discovered many fun excursions, but these topped our list:

For surf, sand and sun:

Birch Aquarium. LaJolla, California. By SD Dirk

Visit the Birch Aquarium in La Jolla on your next California vacation. Credit: SD Dirk.

  • Every visit to San Diego should involve quality beach time. Try out surf lessons or yoga sessions on paddle-boards at the Surf Diva Surf School. The kids enjoyed their lessons and plan to be riding the waves during future beach vacations. In La Jolla, find the secret Horseshoe Beach between Coast Boulevard and Prospect Street. The kids thought we were on a secret mission and were excited to uncover this quiet, tourist-free beach.
  • To the ocean, we went to explore tide pools, snorkel, and kayak to the seven caves, an underwater ecological preserve that helps you realize just how important it is that we take care of nature. Once we dried out, we visited the Birch Aquarium and took in a summer concert and picnic at Ellen Browning Scripps Park.
  • There’s no shortage of fun-in-the-sun activities here. We decided on a round of golf at Torrey Pines Golf Course and window shopping at the boutiques and art galleries on Prospect Street. The muted sunsets were picture-postcard perfect on the sandstone rocks at Windansea Beach.

Seafood and siestas

  • Our favorite family meals centered on seafood, and La Jolla left us spoiled for choice when it came to fresh fish by the sea. Topping our list are the high tide dinners at The Marine Room located directly on the beach; elegant seafood creations at George’s at the Cove on Prospect Street; and fresh shellfish at the Crab Catcher.
  • When it’s time to put your feet up for the night, La Jolla offers a wide array of boutique hotels, resorts, ocean view and beach-front suites, and family friendly condo-style rooms to fit every budget and desire. Our first stay in La Jolla was at the La Jolla Shores Hotel, which is one of the few in the area with kitchenettes and beach access.

Insider tip: When planning your next San Diego vacation, purchase a Go San Diego card. It’s filled with discounts and VIP access to 50 local attractions.

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Nina Gass is a freelance travel and business writer who lives in Los Angeles, California with her husband and two boys. An avid traveler and dreamer, Nina makes the most of her international family connections throughout the U.S., Australia, England, and Mexico.

Tagged: California

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Angie Jaime

Angie Jaime

Angie Jaime is a writer at Orbitz. She has a habit of stopping at Cinnabon stands in airports across the country.

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