Close to downtown La Jolla, the Children?s Pool ? or the ?Casa,? as locals call it ? is a tiny cove protected by a concrete breakwater. It was once a swimming area for children until the seals and sea lions took over. Now visitors can sunbathe and enjoy the added bonus of an ongoing marine mammal show courtesy of the seals and sea lions that play in and around the shore or at Seal Rock, their offshore reserve. Walkers and hikers can check out the trails next to Coast Boulevard. High above the beach, these paths offer panoramic views of the water and the sandstone cliffs leading down to ocean?s edge. Grassy picnic areas lie north and south of Children?s Pool. Mix with the well-to-do at La Jolla?s high-end hotels, shops, and restaurants, or spend the day near the Pacific Ocean watching the seals and sea lions as they cavort at the Children?s Pool ? either way, a day well spent!
Although swimming is now discouraged at the beach, the Children?s Pool is still a beautiful spot to sunbathe. Diving is also no longer allowed since the seals and sea lions are protected from harassment by federal law. These mammals inhabit the beach during winter, spring, and fall. However, visitors can walk out onto the breakwater for close-up views of the Pacific or to observe the tide pools that teem with interesting sea creatures. Note that this beach has no wheelchair access because of the steep incline leading down to the ocean. There are no parking lots near the beach and street parking (metered during the week) fills up quickly on summer weekends. It?s best to arrive early, park downtown in one of the paid lots, or stroll to the beach from the hotel. Downtown is a short distance to the beach.
From the north, take I-5 to La Jolla Village Drive west. Turn left on Torrey Pines Road. Turn right at Prospect Street, bearing right on Coast Boulevard. From the south, take I-5 north to Ardath Road and stay on this road until it turns into Torrey Pines Road. Take Torrey Pines Road to Prospect Street and turn right. Veer right on Coast Boulevard.
Tips & Suggestions
At low tide, tide pools emerge on the west side of the sea wall. The pools team with sea life, and several are suitable for wading and swimming.