Aerial view of the La Jolla coast in California, one of the best choices for where to stay in La Jolla

Where to Stay in La Jolla (Best Places & Areas in 2022)

If you’re wondering where to stay in La Jolla, just read this guide to the best places and areas.

La Jolla, which aptly means “The Jewel” in Spanish, is a lovely seaside village just north of San Diego. It’s one of the best areas to stay around San Diego. La Jolla attracts tons of visitors wanting to enjoy the unique cliff top views of the Pacific ocean, the sandy, family-friendly beaches, and the upscale restaurants and bars.

La Jolla is the perfect destination for a beachy getaway with your romantic partner, friends, or family. All that’s left to do is figure out where you’ll stay!

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Best Places to Stay in La Jolla

View of the Children's Pool in La Jolla from the top

Just looking for a quick answer on the best places to stay in La Jolla? Here are my top picks: 

Ok, let’s do a deep dive into the best areas and neighborhoods in La Jolla: 

4 Best Areas to Stay in La Jolla

La Jolla is a relatively small beach community located North of San Diego. It beckons to people from all over that are hoping to enjoy La Jolla’s gorgeous beaches, ocean views, and quaint neighborhoods. An overnight stay in La Jolla is completely worth it, but choosing between the many unique areas and hotels can be tough, so thankfully I’ve done the work for you!

La Jolla Shores

The Ellen Browning Scripps Memorial Pier in La Jolla from afar
La Jolla Shores is La Jolla’s longest beach and is home to the Scripps Pier.

👉 Best Area For Families | ✨ Best La Jolla Shores Hotels: Hotel La JollaLa Jolla Shores HotelLa Jolla Riviera Inn

La Jolla Shores is a beloved San Diego beach, beloved for its long, flat stretch of sandy shore and great surf break. Its accessibility and extensive sandy area make it one of the most popular beaches for families to spend the day enjoying the sun and sea. 

The Shores is home to the iconic Ellen Browning Scripps Memorial Pier, and a charming park and grassy playground at Kellogg Park. The main thoroughfares, Camino del Oro and Avenida de la Playa, are lined with charming restaurants and recreation shops that offer gear rentals. If you decide to stay in La Jolla Shores, you could easily spend the entire visit in these few blocks!

Pros of Staying in La Jolla Shores:

  • Easy access to La Jolla Shores Beach
  • Beach, bars, restaurants, and shops are all within walking distance
  • A great jumping-off point for water activities like surfing, kayaking, and snorkeling

Cons of Staying in La Jolla Shores:

  • Can get crowded due to its popularity
  • Hotels can be pricey

📚 La Jolla Shores Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Families
Google Map

The Village of La Jolla

Aerial view of the La Jolla Cove
The Village of La Jolla is situated on some of San Diego’s most beautiful coastline!

👉 Best Area For a Romantic Getaway | ✨ Best Village of La Jolla Hotels: Pantai Inn La JollaLa Valencia HotelCormorant Boutique Hotel

The Village of La Jolla, also known as downtown La Jolla, is located in the heart of the lovely town, making it a perfect home base for exploring the best things to do in La Jolla. The downtown, which showcases historical buildings, incredible restaurants, chic bars, and cute shopping boutiques, is perched atop the La Jolla cliffs, and almost every spot offers a view of the Pacific Ocean.  

Moreover, you’ll be steps away from famous attractions such as La Jolla Cove, and the Children’s Pool, and just a short drive from stunning beaches such as Windansea Beach and La Jolla Shores. Many of the hotels in this area are luxurious and beautiful, making this my top recommendation for a romantic getaway.

Pros of Staying in the Village of La Jolla:

  • Centrally located for most La Jolla destinations
  • Lots of great restaurants and bars that offer stunning patios and ocean views

Con of Staying in Village of La Jolla:

  • Hotels tend to be expensive

📚 Village of La Jolla Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for a Romantic Getaway
Google Map

Torrey Pines

View of the sunset over the Torrey Pines in La Jolla
The stunning seaside cliffs of Torrey Pines offer both hiking and golfing.

👉 Best Area For Golfers and Hikers | ✨ Best Torrey Pines Hotels: Estancia La Jolla Hotel and SpaThe Lodge at Torrey PinesHilton La Jolla Torrey Pines

Torrey Pines is a clifftop community that lies between La Jolla and Del Mar, best known for containing the famous Torrey Pines Golf Course and Torrey Pine State Natural Reserve. The golf course consists of two 18-hole courses that sit atop cliffs that power over the pacific ocean, offering some stunning views.

For a more natural appreciation of these views, head to the Torrey Pines State Reserve, which has some of San Diego’s most beautiful and popular hikes. One of my favorite, and less well-known activities in Torrey Pines is to visit the Gliderport at sunset and watch the paragliders swoop around the cliffs. 

Pros of Staying in Torrey Pines:

  • Easy access to golf and hikes
  • Some of La Jolla’s most stunning views

Con of Staying in Torrey Pines:

  • Not many restaurants or bars in close proximity

📚 Torrey Pines Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Golfers and Hikers
Google Map

La Jolla Village

View of sea lions on top of a rock in La Jolla
While La Jolla Village isn’t as close to the beach, it’s a quick drive from La Jolla’s best sights and attractions, such as the famous sea lions!

👉 Best Area Budget Travelers | ✨ Best La Jolla Village Hotels: Hyatt Regency La JollaSan Diego Marriott La JollaResidence Inn By Marriott La Jolla

While La Jolla Village (not to be confused with the Village of La Jolla) itself is further away from most of La Jolla’s attractions, it’s a great option if you want to be close to La Jolla’s beaches and towns without spending so much on a hotel. The area is also the location of the UC San Diego campus, so it has tons of restaurants and shopping and is easily navigable by car.

La Jolla Village is also a great place to stay if you’re hoping to explore outside of La Jolla and take advantage of the many San Diego activities and attractions. For example, the village offers easy access to Balboa Park and the San Diego Zoo. 

Pros of Staying in La Jolla Village:

  • Easy driving access to La Jolla beaches and all of San Diego
  • Less expensive hotel options

Cons of Staying in La Jolla Village:

  • Not very walkable
  • There can be traffic getting to La Jolla Shores and the Village of La Jolla

📚 La Jolla Village Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Budget Travelers
Google Map

Tips for Staying in La Jolla

Visit Later in Summer for the Best Weather

People enjoying their day during summer in one of the beach in La Jolla
The best weather in La Jolla is during summer, but beaches can get crowded!

La Jolla, being a beach town, is best enjoyed under the summer sunshine and warm weather. The ocean stays pretty cold, even into the summer, so you will get the most out of the water-based activities when it’s warm. 

La Jolla truly warms up with predictably warm temperatures later into the Summer months, so visiting in July, August, and September is recommendable. Read more about the best time to visit San Diego.

Visit in Off-Season to Avoid Crowds

View of people during fall season in the La Jolla beach
After Labor Day, La Jolla’s beaches get significantly less crowded (see previous image) and weather remains great through September.

While Summer may bring the best weather to La Jolla, it also brings the crowds of tourists and college students celebrating their freedom from classes. To avoid fighting for space at the beach and for tables at the best restaurants, the best time to visit this part of California is during early fall, when temperatures remain wonderfully high, but the crowds have mostly dispersed.

Practice Ocean Safety

The Pacific Ocean is gorgeous, but can also be slightly dangerous, especially if you’re visiting an unfamiliar place and don’t know the wave or current patterns. 

Some of the beaches, like Windansea, can have rough waves that crash onto the sand. If you are concerned about ocean safety, the safest option is to set up at La Jolla Shores, which is relatively calm and has lifeguards on duty.

Be Sure to Catch a Gorgeous Sunset

People watching the sunset over La Jolla

Watching a sunset into the Pacific Ocean from La Jolla is amazing! The sky often turns incredible shades of pink, orange, and purple making it a dazzling experience. My favorite spots to spectate from are Cuvier Park, Windansea Beach, or a beachside restaurant such as George’s at the Cove, Brockton Villa, or the Marine Room.

Pack Light Layers

Because of La Jolla’s geography, it often stays overcast in the mornings and evenings and receives a cool breeze off the ocean. This, mixed with the dampness in the air from the sea, makes the air feel brisk in the evenings and early mornings.

FAQs About Where to Stay in La Jolla

What is the best area to stay in La Jolla? 

Downtown La Jolla is the best spot to stay during your visit to La Jolla because it offers walkable access to most of La Jolla’s most famous attractions, like La Jolla Cove, the La Jolla sea caves, and the Children’s bar. Downtown La Jolla also has the highest concentration of boutique restaurants, bars, and shopping. All in all, the Village of La Jolla offers the best of all that La Jolla has to offer, all within a few blocks.

Is La Jolla or Coronado better? 

Both La Jolla and Coronado are luxurious beach communities with upscale dining and hotel options with beautiful beaches. While you can’t go wrong staying in either of these two wonderful places, La Jolla offers a wider variety of activities and sites, such as the sea lions at La Jolla Cove, kayaking through the beautiful underwater park and caves, and the unique Children’s Pool. 

What are some pet-friendly hotels in La Jolla?

Many La Jolla hotels will welcome your furry travel companions! Some of the notable options that have already been mentioned in the article include La Valencia Hotel, The Hyatt Regency La Jolla, the Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines, The Lodge at Torrey Pines, and Estancia La Jolla Hotel.

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Before you leave, read my guides to what to do in La Jolla and the best beaches in La Jolla.

I hope I’ve helped you find where to stay in La Jolla!

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