Fit for multi-generational travel and the U.S. Open, it's the place to stay and play on the beautiful southern California coast.
Blessed with an ideal climate year-round, California’s La Jolla beckons sun and sea worshippers with its incomparable blend of bedazzling beaches, spas and golf courses. With facilities for tennis, golfing, surfing, diving, sailing, fishing, cycling, and hiking, the list of outdoor recreational possibilities and learning opportunities is endless for total family fun.
The mesmerizing beauty of the beaches, coves and parks include La Jolla Shores, a long flat beach ideal for families and surfers and La Jolla Cove, which boasts a cliffside walkway for romantic strolls as well as a sheltered cove for swimming. More active family members will find that jogging along the coastline at La Jolla Cove provides breathtaking views. The less active will find Ellen Browning Scripps Park the place for picnics by the sea. At the broad Blacks Beach along the Pacific, it’s relaxing to contemplate the amazing sandstone formations as they reflect the golden California sunshine.
Learning About Nature Along the Coast
Watersports enthusiasts should drop by the San Diego-La Jolla Underwater Park. This marine park beckons snorkelers and beachcombers to explore its many natural tidepools and coral reefs. Above Windansea Beach, towering cliffs cast shade on a sandy shore where spectators line up to watch some of the best surfing in California. The whole area is named for the rare Torrey pine trees found in Torrey Pines State Reserve along miles of forested trails.
One regional highlight is the fascinating Birch Aquarium at Scripps (858/534-3474). Situated on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the beautiful complex contains more than 0 tanks, a demonstration tide pool, and an interactive museum. The aquarium introduces a variety of sea life ranging from the cold waters of the Pacific Northwest to the creatures that inhabit the tropical waters of Mexico. The south wing contains the Scripps Hall Of Oceanography, well known for oceanographic research and instruction.
Learning About Culture in La Jolla
In contrast, the sophisticated city of La Jolla is a center for arts and culture with an electric mix of museums and galleries. The Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego (858/454-3541) features contemporary paintings, sculpture, photography, drawings, and graphic art created since 1945. The museum’s permanent collection is displayed indoors concurrently with temporary exhibitions. Most appealing to younger children, the garden paths and exterior landscaping at the oceanfront facility provide space for outdoor sculpture. The city’s many fine art galleries include Alexander, Fingerhut and the Contemporary Fine Arts, offering a variety of paintings, sculpture and mixed media, both for exhibition and sale.
When you’re planning your visit, inquire about the upcoming schedule at the La Jolla Playhouse (858/550-1010). This regional theater with a national reputation was founded in 1947 by Gregory Peck, Mel Ferrer and Dorothy McGuire.
Relaxing as a Family at Torrey Pines
The rustic and elegant Lodge at Torrey Pines is perched upon this dramatic coastline with a stunning backdrop of rugged cliffs and the rolling Pacific. In style, it pays homage to the California Craftsman architecture of the early 1900’s. The cedar shingle and sandstone-bluff exteriors feature clinker-brick masonry, rich Jatoba woodwork and natural stone surfaces. From the porte cochere, three-panel stained glass doors depicting the area’s famous Torrey pines open onto the Douglas fir-beamed lobby, where rocking chairs surround the fireplace. The resort’s spacious 171 guest rooms graced with balconies or terraces are also furnished with Craftsman-style warmth.
Behind the Lodge, built on a grand scale, are a heated pool with relaxing poolside cabanas, and a terrace with both comfy adult-size and children-size lounges. A vanishing-edge whirlpool overlooks the golf course. We found the croquet lawn could be enjoyed for hours on end.
For adults only, the Spa at Torrey Pines (858/453-4420) celebrates a combination of sea, land and air with signature treatments and beauty regimens for body, mind and spirit. An extensive menu of massages, facials, wraps and hydrotherapy, with facilities for dry saunas, herbal-infused steam baths and the pleasures of aromatherapy are available. At the fitness center, Life Fitness strength equipment includes treadmills, bicycles, elliptical cross-trainers and free weights. There are also scheduled fitness classes in yoga, Pilates, and T’ai Chi, all conducted outdoors on the Arroyo Terrace.
The Lodge is prominently situated adjacent to the 18th hole of the famed South Course of the Torrey Pines Golf Course (800/985-4653) which was designed in 2001. Every February, the PGA Pros test their mettle, irons and woods at the Buick Invitational here, atop the cliffs above the Pacific Ocean. Memorable action in the tournament over the years brings to mind Tiger Woods’ course and tournament-tying record scores in 1999. In addition, the Rees Jones-designed course has been selected to play host to the US Open June 12-15, 2008, the first U.S. Open to take place in Southern California since 1948.
The Lodge’s signature restaurant, A.R. Valentien, offers fine dining with innovative seasonal cuisine. Executive Chef Jeff Jackson uses only the best provisions (the menu changes daily depending upon what’s offered at local farmers’ markets) and the wine list features California wines exclusively. The restaurant was named for the 20th-century Impressionist Albert Valentien, and features one of the largest collections of his early works in ceramics, watercolors and oils. Casual diners and families can enjoy breakfast, lunch and healthful light snacks at The Grill, which adds a California twist to typical bistro fare.
Local Family Attractions
The Lodge is conveniently located to many family attractions. SeaWorld Of San Diego(760/747-8702), a 150-acre marine life entertainment park with more than 20 exhibits including the star attraction, Shamu, needs no introduction. Kids will thrill to the whales that soar into the skies, dolphins that entertain and otters that play. At the San Diego Wild Animal Park (619/234-3153) in Escondido, there’s an area dedicated to the preservation and display of endangered species. Scheduled shows include the Bird Show, Elephant Show and various Animal Encounters. Nearby in Carlsbad is Legoland (760/918-5346), a family theme park where everything is based or built of brightly colored plastic Lego blocks. Geared for children 2-12 years, it has 40 interactive rides and many kid-powered attractions to keep everyone busy.
Your teens and avid shoppers will delight in exploring both La Jolla’s Girard Avenue and Prospect Street, where high-end boutiques brim with designer clothing, jewelry, fine art, and antiques. At the Coast Walk complex, handmade crafts, toys and casual designer clothing are displayed alongside a sweeping view of the Pacific Ocean. Specialty shops can also be found on streets adjacent to Prospect Street.
The Lodge At Torrey Pines Is located at 11480 Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037. For reservations, contact your travel consultant or call The Lodge at 858/453-4420 or visit www.lodgetorreypines.com.
This scenic region is easily reached from most international destinations via the San Diego International Airport, just 15 miles south of La Jolla. From the airport, families will want to rent a car to explore on their own. To enjoy another, more picturesque form of travel, consider the train. The nearest Amtrak stops are in San Diego.
Photos by Mel Greenberg
This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question, and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.