La Jolla is a gorgeous, high-end beach community just a hop, skip and a jump north of San Diego. It’s got a reputation as being a relaxing (if somewhat deluxe) vacation destination. My family has never been there; we take road trips to San Diego pretty often, but La Jolla is so close to San Diego that Laguna Beach makes for a better pit stop on the way home. As a California-based travel writer and beach town fan, I clearly needed to check out this place with my video camera fully loaded.
I’m so glad I did! La Jolla is indeed lovely, with cliffs that overhand the Pacific in ways reminiscent of the more rugged views in Northern California. The La Jolla Playhouse is a wonderful local theater, and Scripps Institute of Oceanography is a focal point for training the next generation in marine biology and other earth sciences. The Birch Aquarium at Scripps melds fun and education about marine life and resources so well, I just can’t wait to take my children there. But remember…there are those miles of wonderful, surfer-friendly beaches too.
One beach has been in the news off and on; The Children’s Pool was actually man-made to create a relatively wave-free bay for kids to play in, but this serene alcove was also perfect for seals to birth their pups. (This is somewhat controversial; the philanthropist Ellen B. Scripps had it built for children, but not exclusively so.) Because there are so many other child-friendly beaches along La Jolla’s coastline – and because marine mammals are protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Act – the seals unknowingly won a legal battle to stay in The Children’s Pool during baby season. I love seals! I had to find them…and hopefully get a quick video of the seals in action.
Starting at the south end of La Jolla was a mistake; I found a bunch of beautiful little beaches (and a ton of fancy shops) but no seals. I had my Flip Digital Video Camera on the ready, though: Check out this video. Oh, before you do, keep in mind that I’m no professional. Holding the Flip at arm’s length and hoping for the best resulted in me chopping off my chin. Wish me better aim next time!
Ha, ha! It’s no wonder that The Children’s Pool has also been named “Seal Rock.” They look cute and happy, don’t they? But even from our respectful distance, the other tourists, gawkers, and I were just about equally impressed by the smell emanating from the beach as we were the sight of all those baby seals flopped out next to their mamas. Phoo! I wonder how long it takes to clear the air after the Harbor Seals leave.
In any case, the Harbor Seals (and yes, I know, I accidentally call them sea lions once in the video above, mea culpa) are a huge attraction when they’re tending to their pups. Since there are a plethora of other beaches around La Jolla, I believe that setting aside Seal Rock/Children’s Pool for the seals and their babies is a good thing. The crowd of tourists, happy to pose for photos with a seal-filled background, surely agree.