Travel disaster Pyra is back (!) and this time in South California for the annual family-trip-that-went-on-hiatus-for-two-years. Join the V-sas as we go around South California on a budget.
From the eyes of a Floridian who loves the simplicity and peacefulness of sandy beaches… La Jolla and Pacific-Mission was like entering a tourists trap with a few lost seals and short cliffs tossed into the mix.
La Jolla DOES have Florida beat on scenery though. Northwest of San Diego, this is an upscale beach town with great shopping and eateries nearby. My family especially loved the scenery of “The Children’s Pool.” Short cliffs border rippling waves and surround a small cove where families play on the sand. There’s no doubt what the main attraction here is… the wild seals! Often a few curious ones ventured close enough to the beach, but most of the seals were plopped lazily on large rocks far away from people’s reach. Aww how cute!
Along the coast, small “tide pools” (natural carved holes in the beach rock about two feet deep) caught the waves… and animals. It was as though my high school biology teacher’s jarred specimen’s had come to life– crabs smaller than my pinky, anemone thingies, and fish swam around.
La Jolla’s biggest downfall was the tourist draw. There were plenty of people walking along the cliffs and not enough parking spaces for all the vehicles. And there’s something about pitched tents selling t-shirts that bug me…
But the number of people there was NOTHING compared to Pacific-Mission Beach (a short drive away). It was Spring Break… it was MTV reality shows… it was a Sports Illustrated swim suit fashion show– all in one. The long stretch of flat beach was pockmarked with bodies and the occasional Frisbee. On the sidewalk lining the beach as far as the eye could see were bars, tourist-goody shops, seafood restaurants, more bars and beach shacks. Perhaps I was the only spoiled person there (out of thousands of adults present) who declared that everything there “wasn’t my scene.” It was a human zoo of young professionals and eye candy… but not so much mother nature as human nature.
I definitely enjoyed the views of La Jolla, but Pacific-Mission was just too… expected. And of course– these are free beaches. Free to park and enjoy the view.
Click on my pictures to go to the beach with me!