If you’re interested in vacationing in San Diego, you may be asking, “Should I stay in La Jolla or San Diego?” You’ll want to carefully consider these options to ensure you choose the area that’s right for you. San Diego and La Jolla both offer visitors a unique experience, but we can help you determine which is best for your Southern California dream vacation. Don’t worry! You’ll be soaking up the sun in no time. 
There are so many exciting things to do in both La Jolla and San Diego. Access our complimentary Travel Guide to discover the highest quality restaurants, galleries, and activities available in the area.  

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How to Choose Between Staying in La Jolla or San Diego

La Jolla 

While La Jolla is technically in the city and county of San Diego, it’s often thought of by locals as an independent area. However, it does refer to a particular area within San Diego. We can describe this area with one word: picturesque. This upscale beach town is home to some of San Diego’s most excellent restaurants, shops, and homes. 


La Jolla is known as San Diego’s Jewel by the Sea. Within La Jolla, you’ll find some of San Diego’s most awe-inspiring homes, as well as some of the highest price points. The community consists of everything from couples enjoying a luxury retirement to families vacationing for the summer. 


One of the best parts of La Jolla is its rugged coastline that makes for some of the best views in all of San Diego. Beaches are the primary focus in this part of town and for a good reason!  Each offers something a little different. You can choose Shell Beach to search for starfish, La Jolla Shores for a flatter landscape, and even Children’s Pool to spot sea lions. 
Discover more details about La Jolla’s best beaches


You’ll never run out of things to do while staying in La Jolla! You can find everything from luxury art galleries to upscale shopping in Downtown La Jolla. Plus, if you’re feeling outdoorsy, indulge in the local hiking trails in Torrey Pines State Park or play a few holes at the famous Torrey Pines Golf Course.
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San Diego


You can expect San Diego to feel more like an urban city than a relaxing beach town like La Jolla. There may be larger crowds, but that’s because there’s most going on! 


There is no shortage of beach access in San Diego. Ocean Beach tends to attract the largest number of visitors with its classic Southern California atmosphere and panoramic, coastal views. This area is casual and laid back with surf shops and oceanside bars lining the shore. You can also find the popular Dog Beach north of here so your four-legged friend can enjoy the sunshine as well.  


San Diego boasts a lengthy roster of attractions, including the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park, SeaWorld, Petco Park, Legoland, and Balboa Park. Millions of people travel each year to experience the fun for themselves. You’ll also find a wide array of educational museums and award-winning restaurants in the area. 
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Stay With Monarch Luxury Villas

Modern La Jolla Escape kitchen owned by Monarch Luxury VillasRegardless of where you choose to stay, Monarch Luxury Villas offers a collection of some of the most highly saute-after homes in San Diego. Whether you decide to stay nestled in the hills of La Jolla or near all of the action in Downtown San Diego, we have the perfect villa for you. Imagine private pools, panoramic vista, private chefs, and full concierge services. We know how to experience luxury in San Diego. Allow us to show you. Book your stay at one of our stunning villas today.

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. 

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These Are the Best La Jolla Beaches to Visit

La Jolla Shores Beach

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. 

Children’s Pool

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

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

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

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. 

Stay with Monarch Luxury Villas 

Luxe at La Jolla Shores open air patio that looks out over the La Jolla shore 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.