San Diego, AUG 2 2014 - Overcast view of the entrance of Sunny Jim Sea Cave; Shutterstock ID 2148197953; GL: 65050; netsuite: Online editorial; full: POI updates: San Diego; name: Ann Douglas Lott

Cave Store

Top choice in La Jolla

Waves have carved a series of caves into the sandstone cliffs east of La Jolla Cove. The one below the Cave Store, a shop selling vintage curios, is 200,000 years old and the only one accessible from the land.

Named the Sunny Jim Cave – by Frank Baum, the author of The Wizard of Oz no less, who remarked that the cave entrance resembled Sunny Jim, a cartoon character created to promote Force cereal – the tunnel that links the shop to the sea was built in 1902 by two Chinese laborers for then-shop owner Gustav Schultz.

Watch your head as you descend into the (artificial) tunnel from the store and down 144 steps to the natural cave. During 1920s prohibition, the cave was used to smuggle alcohol into La Jolla.

It takes around 15-20 minutes descend to the viewing platform at the bottom and return to the top. 

​Tickets and other practicalities

The Cave Store, which is located at 1325 Coast Blvd, is open daily from 9am-5pm (last entry into the tunnel is 5pm). Tickets are priced at $5 for an adult and $3 for a child.

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