“I find clothes so constricting!” – Raquel Welch, Actress and Famous Former La Jolla Resident
I’ve been fortunate enough to stay at some of the most wonderful hotels in La Jolla. I’ve stayed in two or three prior to moving to San Diego, and a few others while attending conferences, business meetings, and “stay-cations” after moving to San Diego. Many of the hotels in La Jolla have great restaurants and spas in addition to really nice rooms and views. Here are my favorites:
Best Places to Stay
There are some really terrific places to stay in La Jolla. They are great for stay-cations, and for visitors of San Diego. Two of my favorite hotels that have really nice spas are Estancia Hotel La Jolla, and The Lodge at Torrey Pines. Neither hotel is in the Village, but both are great venues. Both have nice accommodations for business meetings, and we actually had our company holiday party at Estancia one year. The Lodge is adjacent to Torrey Pines Golf Course and Torrey Pines State Reserve. The Lodge is also home to one of the best restaurants in San Diego, A.R. Valentien.
The Hilton Torrey Pines is also right on the Torrey Pines golf course. It is a nice place with comfortable rooms and a nice restaurant as well. I’ve attended quite a few events and conferences at this Hilton over the years, but I don’t think it is nearly as nice as The Lodge. However, it’s not quite as expensive either.
My two favorite places in the Village are Grand Colonial La Jolla and the La Valencia Hotel. Both are older, more quaint and cute places. La Valencia has some really good and fun places to eat and drink including La Sala, The MED, and Café la Rue. La Valencia is great for events, including weddings. They both overlook La Jolla Cove, and are walking distance to all the Village has to offer.
If you want to be right on the beach, you can stay at the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club. This is a private club, but it is possible to stay there, even as a non-member. I’ve stayed there a couple of times, and it is great to have access to both the pool and the beach. The staff is very service-oriented, and it can be a great place for a family vacation. If you live in La Jolla, joining as a member is one of the best values around. It allows you to have private ocean front access, even if you live up in the hills near Mount Soledad. There is about a five year wait list to get into the club, and you have to know other members. If you can afford it, it is well worth it. Even if you are only a guest at the hotel, you’re allowed access to all the amenities. Another nice aspect of The Beach & Tennis Club is the Marine Room, a very special San Diego restaurant. It is attached to the Beach & Tennis Club building, but not part of the Club. Dining at the Marine Room during high tide is awesome! You should definitely check it out.
The other option for an ocean front hotel is the La Jolla Shores Hotel. This hotel is right next door to the Beach & Tennis Club. It has a nice restaurant, and a pool as well.
Awesome Places to Play Golf in La Jolla
There is a private golf course in La Jolla called La Jolla Country Club. You’ll need to be friends with a member to play at this country club. Torrey Pines Golf Course is a public golf course and includes two 18-hole courses. It is difficult to get a tee-time unless you are a resident of the city of San Diego, or friends with someone that lives within the city limits to make the tee-time. It is also more expensive for non-residents of San Diego, including those of us that live in North County. Both are spectacular courses however, and very worth it if you can get a tee-time. Torrey Pines is famous for PGA golf events. The US Open has been played there, and the annual Farmers Insurance Open is also hosted at Torrey Pines.
La Jolla’s World-Renowned Research and Higher Education
La Jolla is home to The University of California, San Diego (UCSD), Salk Institute for Biological Studies, Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, and Scripps Research Institute. This makes La Jolla and greater San Diego a business hub for biotechnology, communications technology, and innovation in stem cell and cancer research. People come from all over the globe to study here and be part of the southern San Diego culture.
Other Cool Stuff
Some additional points of interest worth seeing in La Jolla not discussed above include:
- The Birch Aquarium
- Black’s Beach (AKA the nude beach…not for everyone)
- Torrey Pines Glider Point (AKA for crazy hang-glider people)
- The La Jolla Playhouse
- The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego
- Mount Soledad Memorial
What are your favorite places to stay and play in La Jolla? We will cover some of our favorite restaurants in La Jolla in our next article. We hope you’re enjoying this series! We’d love to hear from you!