University of California San Diego

La Jolla

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, fragrant eucalyptus. Its most distinctive structure is the Geisel Library, an upside-down pyramid named for children’s author Theodor Geisel, aka Dr Seuss of Cat in the Hat fame; there's a collection of his drawings and books. Download a map of UCSD's excellent collection of public art at

Fallen Star is a standout sight at UCSD – it's an angled house that juts out of the seventh floor of UCSD's Jacobs School of Engineering. Guests can step inside between 11am to 2pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby La Jolla attractions

1. Salk Institute

0.76 MILES

In 1960 Jonas Salk, the polio-prevention pioneer, founded the Salk Institute for biological and biomedical research. San Diego County donated 27 acres of…

2. Birch Aquarium at Scripps

0.99 MILES

This state-of-the-art aquarium is a wonderous underwater world home to 5000 fish. Visitors can watch sharks dart, kelp forests sway, and even meet a…

4. Cave Store

2.62 MILES

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…

5. Athenaeum


Housed in a graceful Spanish renaissance structure, this space is devoted exclusively to art and music. Its reading room is a lovely place to relax and…

6. Children's Pool

3.04 MILES

Built in the 1930s behind a wave-cutting seawall, La Jolla’s Children’s Pool was created as a family beach but has since been invaded by herds of seals…

7. La Jolla Historical Society

3.09 MILES

This place has vintage photos and beach memorabilia, plus regular exhibitions from classic cars to architecture.

8. Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve

3.09 MILES

This reserve preserves the last mainland stands of the Torrey pine (Pinus torreyana), a species adapted to sparse rainfall and sandy, stony soils. Steep…