A Guide to La Jolla

November 21, 2022
A Guide to La Jolla

San Diego is known for its epic traffic jams, miles of cars stretching out endlessly, honking, and shoving past one another. The panic and frustration are as palpable as the exhaust fumes. There are dangerous neighborhoods, crowded malls, and piers–bastions of shallow commercialism. It can be overwhelming, trying to navigate all of that. People need a place to escape, experience nature, and have a moment to themselves.

That place is La Jolla, the jewel of San Diego. It’s more than a neighborhood. It’s an adventure, home to the Torrey Pine Bluffs, underwater canyons, kayaking, and paddle boarding. You can hike actual trails, discover tidepools, and commune with wildlife, both in the sea and on land.

La Jolla is where nature takes precedence. It’s also home to San Diego’s most thrilling surf spots, where you can paddle out, ignore the world, and focus solely on the sun, sand, and waves. Engage in a bit of ocean therapy. Feel the adrenaline, and let the sound of the water drown out everything else.

When you’re skimming along or resting on your board in the lineup, there are no honking horns, no shoppers, no joggers, and no traffic. It’s just the tide pressing against the sand, foam rushing in and out. People in the city need that. They have to get away and live the way they’re supposed to. That’s part of why surfing is so prevalent in San Diego. It’s also why private surf lessons in San Diego are so popular. Everyone wants to savor the sand and waves. They need a getaway, and surfing is the best way to make that happen.


David Stone / Flickr


Windansea is one of San Diego’s most notorious surfing beaches. It has style. There’s a consistent swell that keeps surfers occupied, and a killer tide crashing against the rocky shore. It also has heritage. For decades surfers would spend their days riding the waves, and then night would come, and they would party until the cops arrived. Famous names have graced the shore, and they’ve been coming there for more than 70 years. That’s why it’s so valued by the community.

The parties were held at the Windansea shack, a humble Hawaiian tiki hut made from palm leaves and eucalyptus branches in 1947. Fred Kenyon, Don Okey, and Woody Eckstrom–among several others–wanted a shady spot to rest their boards where the wax wouldn’t melt, and they wanted a place for their families to stand and watch while they showed off in the water. It became a historic icon, battered by the storms. It’s since been knocked down several times, but the locals love it so much they keep building it again, using as many of the original materials as they can salvage.

Windansea is a local’s beach. What that means is that the people that live there protect the land and the water, and they won’t necessarily let new people enter the lineup. Sometimes you have to prove yourself, and sometimes you have to get to know the regulars. The best way to do that would be to get private surf lessons in San Diego.

Private surf lessons in San Diego might be necessary just to surf there safely. The shore and ocean bottom are covered in sharp rocks, capable of cutting the skin like a razor through butter, and there are plenty of rock formations that need to be avoided. You have to know the lay of the land, and you have to know how to handle expert breaks. It could take years of practice before a surfer is ready.

La Jolla Shores

Mad Ball / Flickr

La Jolla Shores

La Jolla Shores is the quintessential coastal experience. It’s where kids come to wade in the water, laughing and screaming. There’s sunbathers, sand castles, and swimmers. You can launch a kayak, go paddleboarding, or simply take a sunset stroll. It’s a warm, inviting environment, host to multiple hotels and restaurants.

The waters at La Jolla Shores are very calm, which makes the beach a perfect launching point for boats, canoes and kayaks. It’s also popular with scuba divers and snorkelers. In fact, much of the undersea photography we see in magazines and online come from La Jolla Shores.

The best part about La Jolla Shores is its easy surf, which means that it’s one of the best places for private surf lessons in San Diego. It’s perfect for beginners who are just learning to pop-up and balance themselves on their board, and it’s great for those who’d like a simple introduction to foam and waves. If you’re hoping to take private surf lessons in San Diego, you’re definitely going to want to try La Jolla Shores.

La Jolla Cove

La Jolla Cove is the small, cliff-lined entrance to an aquatic paradise unlike anywhere else in San Diego. It’s home to the La Jolla Underwater Park, an ecological reserve that contains multiple underwater habitats, including sand flats, an underwater canyon, and an underwater kelp forest, which can reach up to 100 feet high. You can experience next-level scuba diving and snorkeling, or you could explore the sea cliffs to the north, where you’ll find a series of caves that are only accessible by water. There’s also a man-made tunnel with an entrance in a shop above.

La Jolla Cove isn’t particularly popular with surfers unless a swell comes rolling in. The tide and the waves go from placid to wild, and expert surfers flock to experience some of the best breaks in the county. It is definitely not for beginners. If you’d like to join in the fun, you’ll need to find private surf lessons in San Diego.

Black’s Beach

In a sprawling metropolis like San Diego, there aren’t a lot of secrets places. They’re few and far between, and almost always very difficult to access. Black’s Beach is one of those places. The main entrance is blocked off with multiple signs, warning would be hikers away from the Torrey Pine Bluffs, 300-foot sandstone cliffs that line the beach. The erosion there is deadly, both for those taking the trail down and anyone who stands too close to the cliffs below.

For many, it’s worth the trip. Black’s has the highest waves in San Diego, hands down. At any given moment, the waves are a foot taller than anywhere else, but it’s not safe unless you know what you’re doing. There’s a sharp, rocky ocean floor and tides that can wash away even the best swimmers and surfers.

If you’d like to surf Black’s Beach, you need to find someone offering private surf lessons in San Diego, and they have to be the absolute best. It’s only for the most experienced surfers–those who have the practice and skills necessary to work against the tide and conquer massive waves.

If you’re looking for private surf lessons in San Diego, San Diego surf lessons has certified instructions, capable of providing you with the instruction you need to paddle out safely.