Located about 25 minutes from Coronado Beach Resort, La Jolla (pronounced “La Hoy-ah”) offers year-round fun for the whole family. Summer is the most popular time to visit the cove, but winter is our favorite season to take to the water. The crowds are gone, the whales are migrating, and the water is just the right temperature for snorkeling—with a wetsuit that is!
Here is our definitive guide to La Jolla Cove in winter.
Kayaking and Snorkeling the Cove
The cove is your gateway to the La Jolla Ecological Reserve, a 533-acre marine refuge that’s teeming with leopard sharks (they’re docile), sea lions, dolphins, turtles, and numerous species of fish. Whether you kayak, snorkel, or a combination of both, you’re sure to see tons of wildlife.
You can venture out on your own with rented gear, but many of our guests prefer the convenience and peace-of-mind that comes with a guided tour, especially those traveling with children or curious about the nearby sea caves.
Our friends at Everyday California will make sure you have all the gear you need, plus experienced guides who will help you get the most from your adventure. Wetsuits are included in winter, so you don’t have to worry about the water temperatures.
For a truly unique experience, try one of Everyday California’s whale watching kayak tours, which bring you within arm’s reach of the majestic creatures about two miles off the coast. The two-hour tours are offered from mid-November through the end of February, when the grey whales migrate south to Mexico’s warm waters. There’s nothing quite like seeing a whale surface right next to you, thoughtfully considering your presence with its wide, intelligent eyes.
Kids five and up can ride with an adult, and the tour can be broken up into stages in order to accommodate all skill levels. Wet suits are provided to reduce wind chill, although you’re likely to peel yours off once you warm up from paddling. You’ll get much closer to the whales than you would by boat, literally close enough to touch them.
The Basics of Visiting La Jolla Cove
La Jolla is located immediately north of Pacific Beach, a little less than a half hour from our resort. The fastest and easiest way to get there is to take the Coronado Bay Bridge to the I-5 North and exit at La Jolla Parkway.
Parking is limited in summer, but you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding a spot close to the beach in winter. Still, it’s best to wear comfortable shoes and be prepared to walk a couple of blocks, especially if you want to visit the neighborhood’s shops and eateries after your adventures.