San Diego is home to many of Southern California’s top paddle board spots, but La Jolla Cove holds the crown for being the very best. La Jolla Cove has the complete package: beautiful scenery, water clarity over 30 feet deep and frequent sightings of diverse marine life. You can view vibrant Garibaldi (California’s state fish), leopard sharks (August is peak viewing season), stingrays, yellowtail and other friendly fishes year round. Keep your eyes peeled for a whole crowd of sea lions and seals on the cliffs of the cove. You can’t miss them because they like to yell a lot.
Surf conditions within the cove are typically calm, as most of the area is protected by the cliffs of the cove itself. However, it’s always wise to check surf conditions before paddling off, especially for beginner paddlers.
Crowd factor: La Jolla Cove is one of the largest tourist locations in all of San Diego, and for good reason. The summer will be packed with kayak, SUP, snorkel and scuba diving tours. Early fall is going to be your best bet for empty waters.
Parking: Easy access. Park at La Jolla Shores, it has a massive free parking lot. Parking by the actual cove can be tricky and the walk down to the beach, via the cove stairwell, is tight and full of beach goers. That’s why La Jolla Shores is your best bet for accessing and paddle boarding the beauty that is the La Jolla Cove.
Amenities: Public showers. Public bathrooms. Open grassy areas to clean off your paddle board. Plenty of shops and restaurants in the immediate area. Paddle board rental shops are also available.
Suggested boards/board categories: Any. Inflatable or hard paddle board, you can’t go wrong with either at the La Jolla Cove!