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La Jolla Sea Lions

Surfers, scuba divers, swimmers, and seals all share the same beach! The small inlet is one of San Diego’s most photogenic locales. Founded in the early 1930’s by collaboration between local philanthropist Ellen Browning Scripps and the city. Scripps desired a small sea beach for young children and families to experience; something partially shaded by the sometimes-strong current. Her wish was granted, and a wall was erected to enclose a small bit of shoreline.


Eventually, sea lions and seals caught on to the calm waters and reefs that eventually formed around the beach. The seals made their way over from Seal Rock, an outcropping just offshore of the beach. At times, 200 or more seals and sea lions can be seen napping, pupping, or just lounging around. Advisory access to the beach is granted under certain conditions at these times—most people just settle for a picture. The area attracts scuba divers (the surrounding waters are teeming with shallow reefs), naturalists, and seal lovers alike! The seals are around just about all the time; to catch baby pups “pupping” on the beach, you’ll have to ask a lifeguard when the best times are. The best part is, the seals are just a couple minutes’ walk from the Empress Hotel!

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