Natural La Jolla: Coastal walks provide chance to spot wildlife


The best way to see La Jolla is to travel on foot. At a slower pace, you are able to take in the sights and notice the little things that you would otherwise miss. La Jolla has no shortage of places to walk and enjoy nature without feeling the crush of people. Here are just a few favorites places for watching wildlife.

Whale View Point. Besides the great green spaces of Ellen Browning Scripps Park, a walk along Coast Blvd will bring you to Whale View Point, where there is a small green space that’s perfect for watching for whales in the late afternoon, having a picnic or lounging on the grass.

Here you’ll also see ground squirrels munching on ice plant and harbor seals in the surf zone (you can see them on the beach at the Children’s Pool). The tidepools lie just below the bluffs here.

Coast walk through Scripps. The boardwalk begins just at Biological Grade and La Jolla Shores drive and the walk takes you down through the Scripps campus. There are several lookout spots (most with benches) where you can get great views of the Scripps pier and the wide blue Pacific.

If you head down onto the beach near the pier, you can walk all the way to the Marine Room and do some beachcombing and birdwatching along the way. This is a great place to work on bird identification as several shorebird species will be here searching for clams and worms.

The swing. To get a great view of La Jolla to the south, the Scripps campus hill is a great spot to visit. A single swing hangs here from a eucalyptus and it’s quite quiet, despite being just off the road at Discovery Way and La Jolla Shores Drive.

While you swing, you’ll see paragliders riding air currents above the bluffs if you look to the north.

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