Planning a vacation can be stressful — you never know what you’re going to forget and how it’s going to affect your trip! If you want to make sure you think of everything for your upcoming getaway to California, you’ve landed on the right blog. Here, we’ll tell you three things you need to think about prior to your San Diego trip and take the burden of planning off of your shoulders. So, are you ready to get started? Let’s go!
To discover the best things to do in San Diego once you get here, download our free Travel Guide! This exclusive planning tool features all our top recommendations for local restaurants, events, shops, museums, outdoor activities, and more.
There are several ways to get to San Diego from the destination you’re coming from. The first is planning a fun road trip. This is a great option if you’re traveling with friends and want to start vacation with an adventure. If you’re short on time and want to get to San Diego more quickly, then flying is your best option. That being said, you will need to rent a car when you land, and the airport car rental center offers plenty of options for that. If you’re looking for a more luxurious option, you can take the shuttle downtown and head over to San Diego Prestige. This rental company specializes in luxury cars and yachts!
San Diego is a vibrant city with relaxing beach vibes. It’s a perfect destination for travelers looking to unwind while enjoying the pleasures of a Southern California way of life. Here are some of our favorite things to add to your travel wishlist:
One of the most important aspects of your San Diego vacation is where you decide to stay. Don’t neglect your standards simply because you’re away from home! At Monarch Luxury Villas, we offer the best properties in the area. From stylish downtown condos to lavish villas by the ocean, you will find exactly what you’re looking for. Enjoy a glass of Champagne by the pool, hire a private chef to cook you dinner, and sleep the night away in your luxurious bed!
Now that you’re more secure in your travel plans, it’s time to make them a reality. Browse our beautiful selection of properties at and pick the one that fits your needs the most. Whether you are traveling with your better half on a romantic getaway or taking your family on a fun adventure, we have what you need! Relax in a splendid and luxurious home, minutes away from all the wonderful things to do in San Diego.
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Are you dreaming of a relaxing and fun vacation for you and your friends? If so, we have the perfect location. Palm Desert, California, is a hub for nature lovers as well as travelers seeking to reconnect with themselves. In this blog, we’ll show you how to plan your trip with three simple yet exciting outdoor activities in Palm Desert. Read on, take notes, and get ready for some fun!
Want to know more about all the amazing things you can do in Southern California? Download our free San Diego Travel Guide! Inside, you’ll find our top recommendations for the best local restaurants, events, shops, museums, and outdoor activities.
There’s no better way to start your trip to Palm Desert than with an outdoor yoga session. Stop in Palm Springs while driving down from San Diego and try Yoga in the Park! You can stretch out, let your muscles breathe, and find some inner peace while soaking up the scenery. After some time in the car, you’ll love feeling the fresh grass beneath your feet. We recommend bringing a mat and a reusable water bottle.
Note: The class is free, but $10 donations are highly encouraged.
San Diego is well-known for its beautiful hiking trails that you can explore during your vacation. Palm Desert has some excellent routes, too! Pack your hiking boots and head out to the Art Smith Trailhead. If you want to be dazzled by desert views, you won’t find a better spot. We recommend getting there in the morning before it gets too hot outside. Note that this trail is for more experienced hikers, as it is 8.3 miles long and has an elevation change of 1,465 feet.
Reward yourself after your challenging hike with a nice picnic! There’s nothing like spreading out a gingham blanket and eating delicious food surrounded by beautiful scenery. Stop in town to buy pre-made sandwiches, or go to the local farmers market and create your perfect picnic menu. We love grabbing artisan cheese, warm bread, cured meat, fresh fruit (maybe cherries or strawberries), and mouth-watering cookies for dessert!
Now that you’ve planned the perfect day in Palm Desert, it’s time to find a place to stay! You deserve to treat yourself to a gorgeous home away from home. At Monarch Luxury Villas, we only offer the best properties in the San Diego area. Our vacation rental homes are the epitome of style and indulgence. Enjoy exceptional furnishing, superb amenities, and unparalleled vacation experience. This is the stress-free getaway you’ve been waiting for! Book your stay today.
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Are you traveling to San Diego in the near future? If so, you must spend time in Coronado! This beautiful resort town across the bay is the ideal spot for a relaxing vacation. You can enjoy some of San Diego’s most stunning beaches, dine at oceanfront restaurants, stroll along the historic walk, and more! Read on to discover five of our favorite things to do in Coronado, CA, and start planning your trip.
Learn more about San Diego’s top activities in our exclusive, free Travel Guide. Inside, you’ll find our recommendations for local restaurants, events, shops, museums, outdoor adventures, and more.
One of the best attractions on Coronado Island is the beach! It’s one of the most beautiful beaches in the San Diego area, and when you see it for yourself, you’ll understand why. Take time to relax on the golden sand, dip your feet in the turquoise water, and breathe in the salty air coming from the ocean.
Learn more about Coronado’s history on the Heritage Walk. This fascinating walk is part of the Museum of History and Art and can make for a fun outing. Start by exploring the museum, then head over to historic Orange Avenue where you’ll see some of Coronado’s most stunning homes as well as the Hotel del Coronado.
If you’re a movie buff, you’ll recognize the Hotel del Coronado immediately! Indeed, this was the setting for the famous Hollywood movie Some Like it Hot starring Marilyn Monroe and Tony Curtis. It’s also the place that inspired the world-renowned book Somewhere in Time. After spending the day in Coronado, head to the hotel’s outdoor bar and sip on a fancy cocktail overlooking the ocean.
Go from happy hour to dinner at the Hotel del Coronado’s restaurant. Sheerwater offers jaw-dropping views as well as exquisite food. We highly recommend the diver scallops and smoked pork belly or the lamb shank!
Are you ready for a memorable stay in Coronado? Start planning your trip with Monarch Luxury Villas! Browse our selection of luxurious properties and pick the one that suits you and your party best. Whether it’s a romantic getaway with your significant other or an exciting family adventure, you’re sure to find what you are looking for.
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Did you know that San Diego has some amazing hiking spots? Some might even say they’re the most scenic trails in California! If you want to enjoy some outdoor recreation on your next trip to SD, how about adding gorgeous water views to your hike? In this blog, we’ll share with you some of our the most stunning San Diego hiking trails with waterfalls. Pack your camera and bathing suit and get ready for a unique hiking experience in Southern California!
Learn more about the best things to do in San Diego in our exclusive, free Travel Guide. We’ve created this planning tool to share top-notch, local recommendations, including where to find the best restaurants, shops, museums, outdoor adventures, and more.
Penasquitos Canyon Trail is one of the most popular hiking spots in San Diego, and when you see it with your own eyes, you’ll understand why. It’s only 20 minutes outside of San Diego, and offers breathtaking canyon views, and, of course, a stunning waterfall. Choose from a variety of trailheads depending on your skill level and reward yourself with a nice break (or picnic!) by the splendid waterfall that flows over volcanic rock formations. Did you know the preserve is also dog-friendly?
Another fabulous hiking option is Cottonwood Creek Falls! It’s one of our favorite hidden gems in the area. If you’re looking for a secluded and unspoiled spot, then this unmarked and unofficial trail nestled in the Laguna Mountains is for you. On top of hiking, the creek also offers plenty of rock-climbing opportunities! The drive will take you about an hour from San Diego.
If you want to check out one of California’s most famous waterfalls during your hike, then head over to Three Sisters Falls. This three-tier cascade is a sight to behold, especially when you’ve been walking in the sun for hours. Note that the four-mile trail can be quite long and straining, with 45 degrees inclines and declines, so we only recommend it for more experienced hikers.
Finally, we recommend Cedar Creek Falls. This five-mile, round––trip hike features a gorgeous waterfall surrounded by impressive cliffs, but the best part is: it has a large pool known as the Devil’s Punchbowl, where you can bathe! Imagine cooling off in the pool after you’ve spent the last hour or so more climbing uphill and walking in the forest.
Did we get you excited about all these amazing hiking spots and waterfalls? We sure hope so. Now that you have a better idea of what your trip will look like, it’s time you find the perfect place to stay. Choose a vacation home that offers the elegant lifestyle you seek. There’s nothing like coming home to a gorgeous ocean view after hiking all day, jumping in a cool pool, or soaking in a bubble bath. So, what are you waiting for?
La Jolla Underwater Park makes for a great daytime activity if you want to get out on the water and spice up your beach routine. The park offers educational exhibits and a chance to experience the fabulous underwater world of the Pacific Ocean. From kayaking to snorkeling to admiring the wildlife, you won’t get bored at La Jolla Underwater Park. Read on to discover how to make the most of your day there and start planning your visit today.
Learn more about San Diego’s top attractions in our exclusive and free Travel Guide. This planning tool is filled with some of our favorite local recommendations for restaurants, events, museums, shops, outdoor adventures, and more.
La Jolla Underwater Park is one of the most popular attractions in San Diego. It’s a dream come true for divers and outdoor enthusiasts. If you spent your childhood days dreaming you were a mermaid or discovering the lost city of Atlantis, you’ll love visiting La Jolla Underwater Park and exploring this marvelous and mysterious underworld. With more than 6,000 acres to snorkel, you’ll have enough to keep you occupied for days!
One of the main activities in the park is snorkeling. There are so many beautiful coves and underwater vistas to discover, including a 500-foot canyon, kelp forests, and a wide variety of wildlife like dolphins, leopard sharks (don’t worry, they’re not dangerous), and even baby gray whales depending on the time of the year! If you’re not sure about snorkeling, you can still enjoy the park from above the water. Bike along the coastline with some binoculars, or even go kayaking!
Now that you know what to expect from your day at La Jolla Underwater Park, it’s time to find out how to get there. Luckily for you, La Jolla Cove isn’t a big area, which makes it easy to navigate. Plus, it’s close to a lot of our villas so you can either drive or even take a scooter! If you take your car, note that parking can be quite tricky, especially in the summer months, so we highly recommend parking in the nearby parking garages to avoid any tickets.
Did you know that Monarch Luxury Villas offers a variety of luxury villas right in La Jolla? Browse our selection today and find the one that matches your vacation plans. Whether you are planning to visit with friends or your family, you’re sure to find a villa that will accommodate your party. If it’s a couple’s trip you’re planning, Charming Prospect II is ideal. You’ll love the modern decor and high-end amenities of La Jolla Village. Are you traveling with a larger group? View on Rue is for you. The luxurious amenities and breathtaking ocean views speak for themselves.
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Have you started planning your next vacation but are unsure of where to stay? Choosing between a beach house and a mountain villa can be tricky — after all, the vacation you’ll get at either location will be fantastic, but the experience will be different. In this blog, we’ll help you decide! Read on to discover what type of traveler you are and whether you should go for a mountain or a beach vacation.
Set on traveling to Southern California? Learn more about all the wonderful things the San Diego area has to offer in our exclusive, free Travel Guide. Access our favorite recommendations for local restaurants, events, shops, museums, outdoor activities, and more.
A mountain vacation is an exciting adventure for nature lovers. The Southwest is home to some of the most stunning outdoor areas in the country, including the magnificent Lake Tahoe. It’s the ideal choice for couples and families wanting to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. You can reconnect with nature and with yourself, and marvel at the scenic beauty of the mountains.
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Mountains are the perfect playground for hiking. Here, you’ll have the chance to soak up the scenery while getting some exercise. Did you know San Diego has a variety of fun hikes for you and your family? Iron Mountain Trail, for example, is a favorite among locals. If you’re in the Lake Tahoe area, we highly recommend the Cascade Falls Trail! Remember to bring a camera so you can capture the views of the lake. Are you more interested in the mountains of Park City, Utah? No problem. The rugged trails of the Rocky Mountains are perfect for sharpening your hiking skills and endurance.
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Luckily for you, Monarch Luxury Villas offers mountain homes in both Lake Tahoe and Park City, Utah. Take a look at our Marla Bay Lake Lakefront Escape. This home provides spectacular views of the water and the perfect amount of space for your luxurious family mountain getaway.
A beach retreat, on the other hand, offers an entirely different experience. This type of vacation is ideal for those who want to unwind in sunny weather, soak up the sun on golden beaches, and smell the salty ocean air from their private balconies. San Diego and its surrounding towns offer the beachy, California dream vacation you seek.
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Relaxing at the beach is the primary goal of a beach vacation, and Southern California the perfect place to do it. San Diego, La Jolla, and Encinitas offer a wide variety of beaches to choose from. La Jolla Shores Beach, for example, is one of the most popular in the area, and for a good reason. You’ll love its family-friendly atmosphere and long stretches of white sand. It’s also a fabulous spot for water sports. Windasea Beach is another favorite of ours. This beach even features rocky coves along its shore where you can relax while enjoying more privacy.
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If you’re going to go on a beach vacation, you really ought to rent a home by the ocean. ake a look at our Dreamy Seascape Villa. You have never seen such incredible ocean views! You’ll love relaxing on the spacious deck and sipping on a cocktail while gazing at the famous Bird Rock.
Now that you have a better idea of what your next vacation will look like, it’s time to find your ideal home. Monarch Luxury Villas offers a wide range of properties in the mountains and along the beaches of Southern California. Experience the luxury and exclusivity of these high-end homes, and create memories with your loved ones that will last you a lifetime.
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If you’re interested in enjoying a healthy dose of fresh air and exploring outside of town, then allow us to introduce you to the Iron Mountain Trail. This trail is one of the most popular hikes in San Diego, as well as the second tallest peak in Poway. There are so many reasons to choose this trail for your next San Diego hike, and we know the best ways to do it!
Don’t stop exploring there! Discover so much more that San Diego has to offer by accessing our complimentary Travel Guide. In addition to other thrilling outdoor activities, you’ll also find the area’s best restaurants, bars, shops, and experiences. Don’t settle for anything but the best when you visit San Diego. Download your Travel Guide now.
There’s a reason why this hike has become such a popular attraction in San Diego! The Iron Mountain Trail is a unique hike that offers unbelievable views to all of its hikers. Much of the trail is wide open with few trees surrounding the path. This allows you to see incredible views of San Diego during much of the trek. In addition to an aerial view of North County, you’ll also be able to spot Mt. Woodson as well as the Catalina Islands when the sky is clear.
The Iron Mountain Trail is one of the best paths in the area for a variety of exercises. Whether you’re a runner, mountain biker, or just interested in a leisure hike, this is an excellent option for you. The gradual incline creates a challenge for the average person but offers an attainable goal. Be sure to bring plenty of water with you, especially during the summer months, as there is very little shade along the trail.
You don’t have to drive far outside of San Diego to find this gem. Poway’s proximity to the city allows you to introduce a little spontaneity into your vacation! The trailhead is easily accessible and just a short drive from San Diego.
This may be the biggest perk of all for dog owners! Bring your furry friend to enjoy the hike alongside you. Owners must keep their pets on leashes at all times, but you’ll find that this is a popular excursion for pups and people alike.
Local Tip: Start your hike early to avoid crowds.
There’s nothing like returning home to an atmosphere like this after a long hike. This heavenly villa will be the only reward you need. Discover your home away from home at this Encinitas Oceanfront Retreat just 30 minutes away from the trailhead. Unwind by making yourself a cocktail and sipping it to the sound of crashing waves, or have a private chef whip up something sensational in the kitchen. Dine on the villa’s private patio as you watch the sunset over the horizon. There’s no better place to experience San Diego luxury. Browse our impressive portfolio of villas and start dreaming of your next getaway. You’ll experience all of this and more when you book your stay with Monarch Luxury Villas.
San Diego is known for offering an abundance of outdoor activities for nature enthusiasts, and hiking is at the top of that list. There are hundreds of trails to choose from, but Los Peñasquitos Canyon Trail in San Diego offers a little bit of everything. Whether you’re looking for scenic views, waterfalls, or even a wildlife spotting, you’ll find it on this trail.
There are plenty of other ways to take advantage of the outdoors while you’re here: biking, relaxing on the beach, and surfing, to name a few! Discover all of the best things to do in the area when you unlock our complimentary Travel Guide.
Los Peñasquitos Canyon Trail is one of the best hikes you’ll find in Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve, a popular spot for nature lovers in the area. This loop trail is 6.8 miles long and offers a leisurely hike appropriate for almost all skill levels. It’s a mostly flat route with an overall elevation of only 147 feet. This particular trail is quite popular, so expect heavy traffic during peak times. The trail is also dog-friendly as long as you keep them on a leash.
The trail is well maintained and marked with additional single side trails along the main path. The side trails are great options if you need extra shade or want to explore closer to the stream with fewer people. All of them connect back to the main trail so that you won’t miss any of the best features.
Find a copy of Los Peñasquitos Canyon Trail trail map here.
There’s plenty to do and see along the way. The path runs beside a quiet stream that transforms into a small waterfall near the end of your trek. Hikers also often spot a variety of wildlife near the water. Birdwatching is a particularly popular activity, as mallard duck sightings are frequent, along with other popular California species. The stream is also home to largemouth bass and Pacific tree frogs. You’ll also find some stunning viewpoints during your adventure. Be sure to have your camera ready so you can document the experience!
The designated parking lot for this trail is on the corner of Mercy and Black Mountain Road. This lot is $3 and only accepts cash. You can also find a free parking lot in the back of Canyonside Community Park.
Be sure to bring enough water for you and any pets that you bring along. Although the trail is flat, it can get quite hot in the summer.
You’ll want to contact the park before planning your trip to ensure the trail is open.
There are hundreds of other hiking trails in the area! Explore some of the other best hikes in San Diego. (will link another blog here)
Our complimentary concierge service staff will always strive to make your trip as unique and seamless as possible. We will be happy to plan every detail of your journey from mapping your hike to packing a picnic for the whole family to enjoy.
You’ll always receive the highest quality customer service when you book your stay with Monarch Luxury Villas. We invite you to stay in our 5-bedroom La Jolla Black Gold Resort. In addition to state of the art appliances and private beach access, you’ll also enjoy a private tennis court, putting green, pool, and patio on the property. Allow us to show you what luxury is like in the hills of San Diego. Let’s start planning your getaway today.
One of the many things that makes San Diego a fabulous vacation destination is the excellent hiking opportunities in the area. You’ll find miles of trails in and around San Diego that are perfect for everything from a quick morning run to a full day of exercise. Keep reading to discover the best hikes in San Diego.
No one knows San Diego better than we do. Let us craft a dream vacation for you. Unlock our complimentary Travel Guide to get insider information into the best places to eat, drink, and play in San Diego. You’ll be able to experience luxury in San Diego just as the locals do.
You can’t experience San Diego without trekking to the top of the highest peak in city limits. You can locate this 3-mile trail in Mission Trails Regional Park. Cowles Mountain Trail is one of the most popular hiking trails in San Diego County and for good reason! Reach the top of this trail to find breathtaking, 360-degree views of not only downtown San Diego but also parts of Mexico. This trail is of moderate difficulty, although the first half of the hike is entirely uphill. You’ll want to bring plenty of water. Feel free to bring your furry friend along as well!
Distance from downtown San Diego: 15-30 minutes
Local Tip: Continue past the summit to enter the Pyle’s Peak Trail if you’re feeling adventurous. You’ll find even more incredible views.
The view from the top of Mother Miguel Mountain will take your breath away. The hike features one of the best views of San Diego. It also features a beautiful lake and even some wildlife! This 4.3-mile trail is considered moderate, though it can be rocky in some places. The trail is well marked and surely won’t disappoint.
Distance from downtown San Diego: 20-30 minutes
South Fortuna Trail is an excellent option for those looking for a hiking trail that feels farther away from the city. You’ll find picturesque mountain views and be able to see the San Diego River snaking through a valley below. The hike is a 5.8-mile loop trail located in Mission Trails Regional Park. Although it’s rated as moderate, it may be considered difficult for some. Parts of the trail can be steep with sudden elevation gain, but don’t let this stop you! The view from the top is always worth the trek!
Distance from downtown San Diego: 20-35 minutes
The Sunset Cliffs Park Trail is one of the best easy hiking trails near downtown San Diego. It’s the perfect option if you need a short, early-morning run or a sunset picnic spot. The hike is only 1.7 miles and is doable for almost all skill levels. Part of the trail runs along a cliff that offers great views and then leads you to a rock face to overlook the ocean. Some people often climb down the cliffs to explore the small, secluded beaches below. Although this can be fun to watch, we do not recommend doing this. Be mindful of loose rocks and stay at a reasonable distance away from the cliff’s edge.
Distance from San Diego: 15-25 minutes
Local Tip: While you’re in the Sunset Cliffs area, consider visiting the Sunset Cliffs Sea Cave. This open-ceiling cave is a stunning wonder and usually stays secluded. The cave is only safe to access during negative tide, so be sure to check the tide report before attempting.
You’ll always have access to this kind of insider information when you book your stay with Monarch Luxury Villas. You can rest assured that each trip with be packed with unique, personalized activities that are sure to create unforgettable memories. Browse our luxury vacation rentals, and allow us to start planning your San Diego experience.
There are miles of coastline in La Jolla waiting to be explored. Each beach offers a different, unique experience for its visitors, and it takes some knowledge of the area to choose the right one for you. Here is your guide to the best beaches in La Jolla to help you navigate La Jolla like a local.
There’s so much more to the area beyond its beautiful beaches. You’ll want to discover every inch of the city during your stay. We’ve compiled a complimentary Vacation Guide to inform you of the very best the San Diego area has to offer. Unlock the guide to discover hidden gems, award-winning restaurants, entertainment options, and more.
La Jolla Shores is one of the most popular beaches for visitors in the area. It can get crowded during the summer months, but the experience is well worth it. While many beaches in La Jolla tend to reside in small coves tucked between rocky bluffs, La Jolla Shores resembles a more conventional beach with long stretches of smooth, white sand. This mile-long beach offers a family-friendly environment. There are multiple sand volleyball courts and lots of opportunities for watersports like surfing, jet skiing, and paddle boarding. It’s also the only kayak launching spot in the area. If you walk behind the beach you’ll find a large playground for children, as well as Kellogg Park. Here, you’ll find excellent spots for a wonderful mid-day picnic.
If you’re visiting the area, you have to witness the seals and sea lions that have become so well known in La Jolla. Children’s Pool has been home to these animals since the 1990s, and they now use the beach to raise their pups. You’ll find some animals lounging in the sand and curious young pups splashing in the waves. A concrete sea wall surrounds the small cove, topped by a paved walkway that extends farther than the shoreline. If you walk to the end, you might find a pup peeking its head out of the water to see you! The beach is usually closed December through May to protect the seals during their pupping season. Although, you can still catch a glimpse from behind the seawall.
Shell Beach has definitely earned its name. It’s a true hidden gem of La Jolla. The large bluffs on either side enclose the beach to create a secluded environment. While the beach is quite small and rocky, there’s plenty to see here. Dig around in the tide pools at low tide to discover some incredible shells, marine life, and sea glass. You’ll also be able to spot Seal Rock just offshore. The only access point is down a flight of concrete stairs beside an engraved sign that reads “Shell Beach.” Parking can be found along Coast Boulevard.
La Jolla Cove Beach is a true haven for snorkelers and divers. The San Diego-La Jolla Underwater Park Ecological Reserve protects this cove due to the vast amount of marine life present here. The beach is quieter than others, and you might even see a stray sea lion venture up to the shore.
Windansea Beach is best known for the incredible surfing found here. It’s generally less crowded than other beaches, so it’s also great for a relaxing walk by the ocean. The beach was once marked by a historic surf shack built by surfers in 1946 using palm leaves. A high tide destroyed the shack in 2015 but has since been rebuilt by locals. You won’t find a better place to watch surfers ride the waves while witnessing a famous La Jolla sunset.
When you book your stay with Monarch Luxury Villas, you’ll always experience the very best of San Diego. Allow us to show you what luxurious living feels like on the California coast. Our complimentary concierge service will be prepared to plan every detail of your trip. Whether you’re interested in scheduled lessons for a particular water sport, yacht tours, or hot air balloon rides over the city, we will craft a one-of-a-kind experience just for you. Few have achieved the level of personal service that we consistently provide.
You might find yourself at home in the Luxe at La Jolla Shores vacation home. This contemporary villa offers three bedrooms to comfortably sleep up to six guests. You’ll also find a hot tub on a private patio that overlooks La Jolla Shores Beach. The Pacific Ocean will be just steps away from your back door. This beautiful property offers so many more amenities that will make your vacation unforgettable. Book your stay with us today.