La Jolla, California

From Academic Kids

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One of the beaches at La Jolla Cove.

La Jolla, California, is a seaside resort community within the City of San Diego. Pronounced "La-Hoy-Ya", which is possibly Spanish for "The Jewel", it is often referred to as the "Jewel by the Sea." La Jolla borders Pacific Beach to the south and extends north to Torrey Pines State Reserve and Del Mar, California to the north. Along the way it encompasses neighborhoods like Bird Rock, Wind 'N Sea, The Village, La Jolla Shores, La Jolla Farms, and Torrey Pines. Interstate 5 forms La Jolla's man-made border to the east. With its' palm-tree lined streets, large estate homes, and mediterranean climate and atmosphere, La Jolla is reminiscent of a southern Eurpean village with the flair of Beverly Hills. Much of La Jolla's natural charm stems from the presence of Mount Soledad, the narrow curvy roads that follow its contours, and the hundreds of unique homes that are nestled on its slopes, many boasting spectacular ocean views from its heights. La Jolla's population is 24,440 as of January, 2005 [1] (

La Jolla is noted for its natural beauty stemming from its rugged coastline dotted with sandy beaches; unique village atmosphere comprised of quaint shops, designer boutiques, galleries and a wide variety of restaurants; interesting residences ranging from historic cottages to modern architectural masterpieces and mansions; and by the presence of several higher-education and research institutions, such as University of California, San Diego (including the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the San Diego Supercomputer Center), the Scripps Research Institute, and the Salk Institute. It is also the location of Torrey Pines Golf Course, made famous by the PGA TOUR Buick Invitational held there each February (in 2005, the competition was held in January). Down the steep cliffs from the Salk Institute and the Torrey Pines Golf Course is the famous de facto nude beach, Black's Beach.

La Jolla's uniqueness gives it an identity separate from the rest of San Diego, and many people think it is a separate city. This is perpetuated by La Jolla residents and business owners who often refer to the "city" or "town" of La Jolla. La Jolla does have a town council which works to unify the voice of the community.

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Seals on Children's Beach, La Jolla

Beaches in La Jolla, from the south to the north, are Wind 'n' Sea Beach, La Jolla Cove, La Jolla Beach and Tennis property, La Jolla Shores, Scripps, and Black's Beach, leading up to Torrey Pines State Reserve.

Walking along the beach walkway at all times but especially at sunset is a very popular undertaking for both couples and singles.

La Jolla has always been regarded as the shopping mecha of San Diego, with Prospect Street and Girard Avenue, housing high end designer boutiques like Banana Republic, Polo Ralph Lauren, Rolex, Tommy Bahama, Armani Exchange and Nicole Miller to name a few, and has often been comparable and referred to as the Rodeo Drive of San Diego. Downtown La Jolla is littered with jewelry stores, fine dining and several excellent hotels, many commanding outstanding views of the cove and/or ocean.

In recent years, harbor seals have taken over the Children's Beach, a small man-made cove near downtown. The seals are protected animals under federal law, so removing them has become a difficult and controversial issue. As of now, the beach is open; the rope is down. However, harassment of the animals is prohibited; swimming is allowed but not recommended.


Origin and pronunciation

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La Jolla

The area was known as La Jolla Park at least as early as 1886. The origin of the name is obscure. It is pronounced "Lah HOY-ya", not "Lah Ho-ya" as it should be in Spanish. Some say it is a corruption of ahoy, called out by sailors seeking the attention of people on the shore. The people of La Jolla claim it is a misspelling of La Joya, meaning "The Jewel" in Spanish. Perhaps the most-likely, although least-glamorous, theory is that La Jolla is a corruption of the Indian word "Woholle", meaning "hole in the mountain", referring to the caves in the north-facing cliffs next to La Jolla Cove Park.

Notable Residents of La Jolla

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Sunset at La Jolla
  • Kary Mullis, a surfer from La Jolla, discovered PCR (polymerase chain reaction) a very important process of genetic engineering that is vital in researching cures for various diseases (such as cancer).
  • Until recently, Deepak Chopra ran his Center for Well Being in La Jolla.
  • Doug Flutie NFL Quarterback makes his home in La Jolla.
  • Armi Kuusela, winner of the first Miss Universe beauty pageant, back in 1952, lives in La Jolla with her husband, Albert Williams.
  • Novelist Anne Rice also lives in La Jolla, Calif. Rice, 63, is author of Interview With the Vampire, and other best sellers.

Literary La Jolla

Theodor Geisel, also known as Dr. Seuss, was a resident of La Jolla at the time of his death in 1991. Unlike many celebrities, his address and phone number used to be listed in the local phone book. In fact, the main library at the University of California, San Diego, is dedicated to him.

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View from La Jolla Cove

Raymond Chandler, among the earliest and most influential noir novelists, moved to La Jolla late in his career. He died there 13 years later, but not before delivering a bleak aphorism about then-stuffy La Jolla, "A nice place -- for old people and their parents."

The title article in Tom Wolfe's The Pump House Gang is about a group of surfers from Windansea Beach in La Jolla who "attended the Watts riots as if it were the Rose Bowl game in Pasadena." (see [2] ( for an excerpt)

External links

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La Jolla

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