There are very few places in the world with such consistently phenomenal weather as La Jolla, California (sandiego.org/lajolla). Check out the weather charts if you don’t believe me. The temperature graph is virtually a straight line. Almost no rain, and the slight bump in highs and dip in lows at the tail ends of the year are mostly due to the marine layer coming off the gorgeous Pacific Ocean. Waterfront restaurants wend their way down the coast, and world-class shopping awaits. Just minutes from downtown San Diego, the village has been a haven for artists and tourists alike since the early 1900’s.
Hotels dot beach breaks all the way up and down the coast, but few come close to matching the verve and excitement you’ll find at the La Jolla Shores Hotel (ljshoreshotel.com). Smack-dab in the middle of California’s most beautiful weather lies one of Fodor’s top 12 family friendly spots in the nation. You can choose to stay in - the accommodations here are gorgeous and designed to be “an extension of the sprawling Pacific Ocean” just steps away. The decor and ambiance of the 128 rooms and suites (19 with kitchenettes) are inspired by California’s laid back attitude and movies on-demand en suite for the kids (or use the DVD player and lending library). Or you can opt for outdoor endeavors on property at the pool or jacuzzi or … as the beach is literally your backyard, enjoy spectacular front-row views of sand, surf and sunsets; complete with seaside service and complimentary chairs, umbrella and towels.
Try out the Shores Restaurant where award-winning Executive Chef Bernard Guillas and Chef de Cuisine Percy Oani incorporate the best seasonal and local fare into every menu (dishes showcase the finest regional ingredients from around La Jolla and San Diego, including fresh-caught seafood). Popular entrees include almond butterfish accompanied by fingerling potatoes, sunburst squash and lobster cream and sesame salmon paired with zucchini noodles, beechwood mushroom, sweet peppers and yuzu butter. More of a meat eater? Try a grilled to taste craft Angus burger or tender Angus short ribs. Chef Guillas also serves up “finger-lickin’” good meals for foodies 10 and under. The Marine Room offers an intimate date night overlooking a seaside panorama.
World-famous Waterfront Attraction
Just down the way, one of the area’s most famous attractions provides a taste for everyone’s palate: family friendly fun with some of the coolest critters around. SeaWorld (seaworld.com). Rides, shows, eats, drinks, characters and more await at one of the country’s most famous theme parks. For the older kids, try the newest Electric Eel coaster, with insane inversions, energetic twists, and incredible loops. Got the little ones in tow? Elmo’s Flying Fish in the Sesame Street Bay of Play is the place to be. From the gondola to the rafts on the river, SeaWorld has something for every age.
For guests who want to get up close and personal with some of the world’s most amazing seafaring creatures, SeaWorld offers educational and entertaining animal experiences and tours. Enter the chilly Arctic waters to interact with white beluga whales, venture behind the scenes for a face-to-beak encounter with a penguin, take a trainer-led poolside trek to touch and feed bottlenose dolphins or have a face-to-face connection with majestic killer whales. In all encounters, behaviorists share personal stories and unique facts about the animals.
While you’re in town, catch Clyde + Seymour spoof your favorite TV show, or learn more with your little environmentalist about the award winning rescue team through Sea Rescue, available in the Mission Bay Theatre. Killer whales to dolphins, beluga whales and penguins, every animal has a special place in the blue waters of the most playful park around.