Ellen Browning Scripps Park is located in La Jolla Village at the bottom of Coast Boulevard. Running parallel to the coast between Downtown La Jolla and the water’s edge, the five acres of green space is lined with palm trees and overlooks the Pacific Ocean. Scripps Park is reportedly the most photographed spot in San Diego, so visitors can expect to be awed by its stunning natural surroundings. It’s also a popular venue for outdoor weddings, which visitors will see with regularity. La Jolla Cove, a small beach nestled among rocky cliffs, sits at the park’s north end. A long boardwalk stretches the full length of the park on its oceanfront side. Free street parking runs completely along its Downtown side.
What to Do at Scripps Park
Scripps Park is a wide-open grassy park with intermittent spaces shaded by mature trees and other greenery. It’s a great place to unwind after a day of shopping in the Village or exploring San Diego’s many tourist attractions. Scripps Park is a good destination for some “me” time, a family picnic, a lively gathering of friends, a little romance, or a chance to catch the green flash at sunset. The highly trafficked park is host to a bevy of ongoing private events like intimate weddings, and community events like the summer Sunday free concerts in the park, and the annual La Jolla Half Marathon that finishes here.
La Jolla Cove is a popular jumping off point for scuba divers, swimmers, and snorkelers. It is known for the bright orange Garibaldi fish that congregate here, and other abundant marine life. Nature designed this beach for experienced swimmers, adventurers, and underwater enthusiasts – powerful one minute and serene the next. It is home to the annual La Jolla Cove Rough Water Swim, and visitors will often see swimmers practicing and making their ways from the Cove to La Jolla Shores over a mile away.
Note: La Jolla Cove is a protected marine refuge area, and the use of boogie boards, surfboards, kayaks, inflatable mattresses, or other similar water devices is forbidden.
Ellen Browning Scripps Park Essentials
Ellen Browning Scripps Park is open to the public 24 hours a day. There are picnic tables and barbecues available for public use, or visitors can bring their own. Restrooms are available at the park. No alcohol, glass containers, smoking, or overnight camping are allowed. Dogs must be leashed at all times. A variety of permits for special events can be requested, but only one permit per day is issued. Lifeguard services at La Jolla Cove are from 9 a.m. to dusk. Parking is free.
Visitors will find Prospect Street, La Jolla’s premier shopping, dining, and entertainment hub at the top of the hill from Ellen Browning Scripps Park. George’s at the Cove features seafood-centric cuisine by Chef Troy Foshee in either an elegant dining room or casual rooftop setting. Burger Lounge offers exceptional burgers and vegetarian options using locally sourced ingredients to eat in or take out; it’s a nice alternative to grilling at the park. There are several luxury, boutique, and great value hotel options in La Jolla Village. Grande Colonial Hotel and Pantai Inn are great choices.
Adventure seekers can check out SeaStar Adventures just a short distance from the cove where they can sign up for a snorkeling tour. Exploring the La Jolla caves via Sunny Jim’s Cave Store on Coast Boulevard, or popping over to La Jolla Shores Bike and Kayak Tours and kayaking back to the cove are also fun choices. Laid back options include strolling the boardwalk, watching the seals and sea lions from the seawall at the Children’s Pool, exploring La Jolla’s tide pools, or watching the surfers at Windansea Beach made famous by the book The Pump House Gang.