La Jolla Cove is quintessential SoCal, with gorgeous scenery and the sound of seals and sea lions that frequent the rocky shores — plan to spend an entire afternoon (or more) there. Stroll along the area — there’s a paved sidewalk — or relax with a picnic lunch in Ellen Browning Scripps Park. There’s also a small “cave” in which you can climb. Don’t forget to bring your camera either, especially for photos of the lone Monterey Cypress tree, which inspired Dr. Seuss’s Truffalump Trees in “The Lorax.”
While the area is popular for diving, snorkeling and kayaking and patrolled by a lifeguard (9 a.m. to dusk), it doesn’t offer an actual beach. Be prepared to search for parking, too (unless you’re staying at a nearby hotel, in which case you should leave the car there). You won’t likely find a spot close to the cove — search on other side streets nearby. Bathrooms and showers are available.