Just steps from one of the best beaches in Southern California, the large La Jolla Shores Hotel (part of La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club) has been a popular vacation destination for decades. Looks wise, the guestrooms at the Spanish-style resort are nothing special, but who cares? If you spring for a water-facing option, all you’ll be staring at is the incredible ocean view. The hotel staff puts out complimentary beach chairs, towels, and umbrellas for guests, and there are tons of activities at La Jolla Shores Beach, including surfing and snorkeling in 600-acre underwater eco-reserve just yards off the beach. The hotel also features hacienda-style courtyard gardens and a pool that’s perfect for an afternoon dip away from the crowds.
The hotel’s Beach Services staff can arrange private beach BBQ cookouts for guests -- they’ll do the work and you get to take all the credit.
Spacious rooms feature coastal cottage touches like whitewashed exposed beam ceilings and beadboard, along with private patios or balconies and contemporary furniture that feels a little dated. Entry-level rooms look out on the garden or pool, but you’ll feel cheated knowing that you’re missing out on the hotel’s signature ocean views. The suites are a great option for families, especially the ones with kitchenettes (all rooms come with a mini-fridge).
YOU SHOULD KNOW The hotel adds a $24 daily charge to your room for parking.
Bathrooms are plain but nicely appointed, with tile floors, spacious counters, and a shower-tub combo or glass-enclosed walk-in shower.
The hacienda-chic lobby features traditional Spanish-design elements like high wood ceilings with exposed beams, arched doorways, and wrought-iron chandeliers and accents. Classic-meets-contemporary seating and a coastal palette of taupes and blues complete the polished look.
The hotel’s heated outdoor courtyard pool has lap lanes and a separate splash-friendly area for kids. The pool area also has a jacuzzi and plenty of chaise lounges and patio seating.
The hotel has a small gym with a treadmill, two cross-trainers, and a stationary bike, along with free weights and a strength-training machine.
Unless it’s raining out, it’s kind of silly to work out inside when you’re staying at La Jolla Shores Beach. Take a surfing lesson or something!
From the hotel, it’s a 5-minute drive to Interstate 5 (known to locals as “The 5”), the main north-south freeway in San Diego. Traffic usually moves along at a good clip but can get really backed up during rush hour. Southbound I-5 goes to the Downtown core while northbound follows the coast. Other highways and roads connect east and west. If you get on Torrey Pines Road, it continues on to UCSD toward the Torrey Pines Natural State Reserve and Del Mar. The road becomes Camino del Mar and after Del Mar turns into Pacific Coast Highway 101.
Start your day at Shorehouse Kitchen (5-minute walk), a cozy eatery not far from the beach that has indoor and outdoor seating. The menu features egg dishes, omelets, frittatas and fresh-roasted coffee from San Diego’s Calabria Coffee Roasters, as well as lunch items. Also popular with locals is Piatti (5-minute walk), a tucked-away Italian trattoria with a stone-hearth oven. It’s actually part of a chain, but you’d never know it, from the reliably good food to the lovely patio beneath a tree. For a special occasion, the waterfront Marine Room (10-minute walk) is famous for the waves that dramatically crash against its windows. You’re paying for the views, but the food is very good too.
Just 250 steps from the beach -- we assume they counted -- the all-outdoor Shore Rider (3-minute walk) eatery and bar has a hip minimalist vibe, with decor that nods to lifeguard towers and a large framed Instagram-esque grid of sun-soaked surf-culture pics. The craft beer menu is behind the bar. Other than that, it’s slim pickings in this part of La Jolla, though if you drive five minutes down the road to seaside La Jolla, you’ll find a few options, including The Spot (5-minute drive), a casual tavern with a fireplace that serves pub grub and drinks. It opened in 1915, making it the longest continuously running restaurant in La Jolla. Also in La Jolla, the oceanfront Nine-Ten Restaurant and Bar (4-minute walk) at the Grande Colonial hotel has an elegant marble-topped bar and a happy hour from 3:30 to 6:30 pm that’s been known to attract local movers and shakers.
WHY WE LIKE IT
The La Jolla Shores Hotel has a been a family-friendly destination for decades. It’s all about the sun, sand, and salty ocean at this oceanfront resort, located just steps from one of Southern California’s best beaches. With activities galore, including swimming, snorkeling, and surfing, you’ll never be bored. And if you’re traveling with kids, they might even conk out in time for you and your boo to watch the sunset from your private balcony.