How to Get to La Jolla from San Diego, California

La Jolla’s fame as Southern California’s most beautiful beach community draws travelers from all over the world. Unfortunately, most visitor maps don’t make it clear that La Jolla is part of San Diego, which can make getting here a bit confusing.
I’ve already discussed La Jolla’s location, but I never really explained how to get here. (Apologies.)

Your best bet for finding a map online is to go to Mapquest.  If you’re driving, they can provide good directions. If not, you’ll be able to appreciate how close La Jolla is to other popular areas such as the San Diego Zoo, Little Italy, and Sea World. (This comes as a shock to visitors who think that La Jolla is about halfway between San Diego and Los Angeles.)

If you’re using public transport, the MTS bus #30 from downtown will drop you off right on Silverado Street at Herschel in the heart of La Jolla. From that point, the La Jolla Cove, the Children’s Pool, myriad shops and restaurant options, the San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art, my favorite little gift shop, a popular local café and many more attractions within easy walking distance.

Alternatively, Tour Guide Tim provides tours of La Jolla that are both fun and informative. His guided coach tours leave from the Santa Fe train station on Kettner Boulevard and include Mt. Soledad, the village of La Jolla, La Jolla Shores, and the Torrey Pines Golf Course. Passengers have time to shop, eat lunch, and walk along the water in the village, or they can spend their time at La Jolla Shores Beach. Here, kayaking, surf lessons, or just hanging out in the sand are a few of the options. Tim also provides great maps on his site.

If you decide to taxi, the ride from downtown will set you back about $40 plus a gratuity. That’s a hefty fee for only 12 miles, so you might consider renting a car for a day and doing the driving yourself. With a car, you can go to Torrey Pines State Park (hiking with a gorgeous ocean view), stop in at the Torrey Pines Gliderport (a fun place for lunch and watching paragliders), and you can drive to the top of Mt. Soledad (a war memorial with a 360-degree view).

No matter how you arrive in La Jolla, I hope you have fun while you're here.

Click here if you need help planning your La Jolla vacation.

Click here to look for good deals on La Jolla hotels.

Click here to see more La Jolla Photos.

Photo credit ADAMS / HANSEN STOCK PHOTOS.

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Comment by Darryl Musick on December 19, 2011 at 11:23am

You can absolutely visit Southern California without a car, but there may be some places that are harder to get to than others. Nice post, be aware that driving to La Jolla and finding a place to park can be as hard, or harder, than taking the bus that Ms. Hansen suggests.
Public transit options in that area also include the SD Trolley, which goes to many SD landmarks and the Mexican border and the Coaster and Amtrak, which run trains along the coast.
La Jolla is perfectly named. It means "the jewel" and this is a jewel along the coast.

Comment by Elizabeth Hansen on December 15, 2011 at 12:24pm

Hi Donna,

I'm afraid you're right. It is possible to visit Southern California without a car, but it isn't easy.

Elizabeth Hansen

Comment by Donna Esposito on December 15, 2011 at 9:44am

Our impression here in Toronto is that you can't visit southern california without a car. This is useful.

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