Attractions

Top Choice Beach in La Jolla

Children's Pool

Built in the 1930s, La Jolla’s Children’s Pool was created as a family beach space, but since then it's been descended on by herds of seals and sea lions. Despite the pinnipeds' particularly pungent odor, tourists c…
Top Choice Museum in Oceanside

California Surf Museum

It's easy to spend an hour in this heartfelt museum of surf artifacts, from a timeline of surfing history to surf-themed art and a radical collection of boards, including the one chomped by a shark when it ate the a…
Top Choice Cave in La Jolla

Cave Store

Waves have carved a series of caves into the sandstone cliffs east of La Jolla Cove. The largest is called Sunny Jim Cave, which you can access via this store. Taller visitors, watch your head as you descend the 145…
State Park in La Jolla

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve

Between N Torrey Pines Rd and the ocean, and from the Torrey Pines Gliderport to Del Mar, this reserve preserves the last mainland stands of the Torrey pine (Pinus torreyana), a species adapted to sparse rainfall an…
Aquarium in La Jolla

Birch Aquarium at Scripps

Marine scientists were working at the Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) as early as 1910 and, helped by donations from the ever-generous Scripps family, the institute has grown to be one of…
Amusement Park in Carlsbad

Legoland California Resort

A fantasy environment built largely of those little colored plastic blocks from Denmark. Many rides and attractions are targeted to elementary schoolers: a junior ‘driving school’, a jungle cruise lined with Lego an…
University in La Jolla

University of California San Diego

UCSD was established in 1960 and now has more than 30,000 students and a strong reputation, particularly for mathematics and science. It lies on rolling coastal hills in a parklike setting, surrounded by tall, fragr…
Religious Site in Encinitas

Self-Realization Fellowship Retreat

Yogi Paramahansa Yogananda founded his center here in 1937, and the town has been a magnet for holistic healers and natural-lifestyle seekers ever since. The gold lotus domes of the hermitage – conspicuous on South …
Gardens in Encinitas

San Diego Botanic Garden

This 37-acre garden has a large collection of California native plants as well as flora of different regions of the world, including Australia and Central America. There are special activities in the children’s gard…
Gardens in Carlsbad

Carlsbad Ranch Flower Fields

The 50-acre flower fields of Carlsbad Ranch are ablaze in a sea of the carmine, saffron and snow-white blossoms of giant tecolote ranunculus. Take the Palomar Airport Rd exit off of I-5, head east and turn left on P…