Natural La Jolla: Summer fun in La Jolla as days wind down to fall


Summer is slowly drawing to an end as many kids are already heading back to school. It will still be a while before our temperatures dip down and we return to the cool breezy days of the fall, so there are plenty of things to see and do in La Jolla before summer fades away.

Snorkeling is a fun way to see what’s beneath the waves during the late part of summer, while the warm water and hot sun linger. At The Cove, you can see garibaldi defending their territories and you may see starfish along the seafloor as well. Over at the Shores, leopard sharks swim in shallow water just off the Marine Room restaurant. They won’t bite you; they like only clams and small invertebrates that they can find along the sandy bottom.

On top of the water, there should still be some whales visible from shore — blue whales, the largest living animal, can be seen fairly close by — their spout is vigorous and tall, and can be seen from far off. Of course, there are endless sea lion and seal watching opportunities along the shoreline, although the seals spend a good portion of their time underwater and playing in the nearshore waters at this time of year.

Flowering trees and bushes are abundant as well. You can spot gold medallion trees, hibiscus, and flowers that bloom all year like the striking bird of paradise. Sweet summer in Southern California!

Kelly Stewart is a marine biologist with The Ocean Foundation who writes about the flora and fauna of La Jolla. She may be reached at