Kayaking in La Jolla Shores


Location: La Jolla Shores (12 Miles / 20 Minutes North of Downtown San Diego)

When: Year-Round

Cost: Tours start at about $35; Rentals start at about $25

Features: Kayak Tours of the Ecological Reserve; Kayak Rentals; Kayak Fishing; Snorkeling

La Jolla Kayaking Highlights: The south end of La Jolla Shores beach provides access to the calm waters of La Jolla Cove. A constant stream of kayakers, either individually or as part of a guided tour, explore the nearby cove and the San Diego-La Jolla Underwater Park Ecological Reserve.

As soon as you leave shore, you will pass over an abundance of marine life. One of the more notable sea animals is the harmless leopard shark, which number in the hundreds during the late summer. First-time kayakers tend to stay near the coast line as they head over to explore the caves around La Jolla Cove.  The more adventurous head farther out into the waves in search of dolphins, an occasional California Gray Whale during the winter, and solitude. (Be sure to respect the buoys marking out the swimming only area where ocean swimmers make their trek from the Village of La Jolla to La Jolla Shore and Scripps Pier. You will see them pretty much every day, all day long.)

Those who want to explore the ecological reserve in more depth should consider snorkeling (some tours include kayaking and snorkeling) or scuba diving. Note that the water does get quite cold during winter. However, a number of travel journalists and avid snorkelers rank La Jolla Cove as #1 of the Top 10 Places to Snorkel in the World, the only one of which is in the continental United States or in a non-tropical location.

La Jolla Shores Tours and Rentals

The following is a list of established companies to help you get started in finding a tour or rental for your kayak or snorkeling experience. This list is not all inclusive. Most have a storefront on Avenida de la Playa in La Jolla Shores. Kayak Tours cost $50+ with the standard tour lasting from 1.5 – 2 hours. Reservations are typically required. Kayak Rentals cost about $25 for two hours. Advance notice for rentals is highly recommended. Most companies offer online reservations.

La Jolla Kayak Fishing Adventures – Three hour Eco-Tours off La Jolla Shores and full-day kayak fishing trips.

Learn more about La Jolla Sightseeing Tours with TourGuideTimHike Bike Kayak – Kayak tours, snorkel tours around the ecological reserve, and bike tours down Mount Soledad. Rentals also available.

OEX Dive & Kayak Centers – Kayak rentals, kayak tours, and kayak fishing trips.

La Jolla Kayak – Kayak tours, snorkel tours around the ecological reserve, and bike tours down Mount Soledad. Rentals also available.

San Diego Bike & Kayak – Kayak tours, snorkel tours around the ecological reserve, and bike tours down Mount Soledad. Rentals also available.

You can also include a kayak tour as part of a sightseeing tour operated by TourGuideTim that departs downtown San Diego.

Information on Visiting La Jolla Shores

Directions from Google Maps to 8200 Camino del Oro in La Jolla, CA 92037. (The parking lot for La Jolla Shores beach is one block north of here at Camino del Oro and Calle Fescota while the launch site for kayaks takes place one block south of here at the end of Avenida de la Playa.)

Traffic – The three main routes heading down into La Jolla Shores all provide spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean and the palm tree lined beach. This provides a nice distraction on summer holiday weekends when traffic heading into La Jolla Shores can be very heavy. Traffic is also slow on other summer weekends and during evening rush hour but they generally do not add more than 5 – 10 minutes to your drive. However, those using I-5 leaving La Jolla Shores during evening rush hour will run into heavy traffic in both directions. Fortunately, there are several restaurants in La Jolla Shores where you can wait out the rush hour. (Learn how to get the latest traffic updates.)

Parking – The Parking Lot fills up quickly on summer weekends. Parking along residential streets is also free but tough to find on summer holidays.

Transit – Buses do serve La Jolla Shores Beach but it takes over an hour to reach if you are heading from the downtown San Diego area. (See San Diego Transit Information for bus schedules and information for the online Transit Planner.)

Find More Attractions with Similar Themes or Location: Beaches & Surfing, Fishing, Fun Rentals, La Jolla, Ocean & Bay Adventures, Scenic Views, Wildlife - Places to See |

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