AskDefine | Define Jolla

Extensive Definition

La Jolla ( "luh-HO-yuh") is a wealthy seaside resort community of up to 42,808 residents within the city of San Diego, California. Population figures are imprecise because La Jolla's borders are indistinct. Generally the community's border starts at Pacific Beach to the south and extends along the Pacific Ocean shore north to include Torrey Pines State Reserve ending at Del Mar, California. Along the way La Jolla encompasses neighborhoods like Bird Rock, Windansea, the La Jolla commercial "village", La Jolla Shores, La Jolla Farms, Torrey Pines, Mount Soledad and La Jolla Village (including La Jolla Village Square). Interstate 5 forms La Jolla's man-made border to the east, with the exception of some University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and commercial property east of I-5 and north of La Jolla Village Drive, which are also considered in the wider definition to be part of La Jolla. (More specifically, the City of San Diego defines La Jolla's eastern boundary as former Highway US 101, which is now Gilman Drive, excluding UCSD, and the northern boundary as the southern end of Torrey Pines municipal golf course. Others define La Jolla as all of ZIP code 92037.)


La Jolla residents and business owners sometimes refer to the "city", "village," or "town" of La Jolla. Although the name is sometimes said to mean "the jewel" (from the Spanish "la joya"), it is believed to be derived from a Native American language, that of the La Jolla band of Luiseno Indians, who inhabited the area for centuries before the arrival of the Spanish.
  • La Jolla Farms - the homes on top of the cliffs above Black's Beach and adjacent to the western boundary of the UCSD campus.
  • La Jolla Shores - the residential area and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography campus along La Jolla Shores beach and east up the hillside. Also includes a small business district of shops and restaurants along Avenida de la Playa.
  • La Jolla Heights - the homes on the hills overlooking La Jolla Shores. No businesses.
  • Hidden Valley - lower portion of Mount Soledad on the northern slopes. No businesses.
  • Country Club - lower Mount Soledad on the north-west side, including the La Jolla Country Club golf course.
  • Village - a.k.a. Village of La Jolla (not to be confused with La Jolla Village) the "downtown" business district area, including most of La Jolla's shops and restaurants, and the immediately surrounding residential areas.
  • Beach-Barber Tract - the coastal section from Windansea Beach to the Village. A few shops and restaurants, mostly on La Jolla Blvd.
  • Lower Hermosa - coastal strip south of Beach-Barber Tract. No businesses.
  • Bird Rock - southern/coastal La Jolla, and the lower slopes of Mt Soledad in the area. Shops and restaurants along La Jolla Blvd.
  • Muirlands - relatively large area on western middle slope of Mt. Soledad. No businesses.
  • La Jolla Mesa - A strip on the lower southern side of Mt. Soledad, bordering Pacific Beach.
  • La Jolla Alta - The neighborhood east of La Jolla Mesa.
  • Soledad South - Southeastern slopes of Mount Soledad, all the way up to the top, east of La Jolla Alta.
  • Muirlands West - The neighborhood between Muirlands to the south, and Country Club - to the north.
  • Upper Hermosa - North of Bird Rock, east of La Jolla Blvd.
  • La Jolla Village - (not to be confused with the Village of La Jolla) - north-east La Jolla, east of La Jolla Heights, north and west of I-5, and south of UCSD. This neighborhood's namesake, The La Jolla Village Square shopping and residential mall, including La Jolla's two movie theatres, is located here.
It should be noted that The Village (of La Jolla) and La Jolla Village are distinct neighborhoods within La Jolla.


The University of California, San Diego (including the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the San Diego Supercomputer Center) is the center of higher education in La Jolla. National University is also headquartered in La Jolla. Among the several research institutes near UCSD and in the nearby Torrey Pines Science Park are The Scripps Research Institute, the Burnham Institute (formerly called the La Jolla Cancer Research Foundation) and the Salk Institute. The community's prep schools are La Jolla Country Day School, The Bishop's School, and The Preuss School UCSD. Elementary schools include The Children's School, Integral Elementary School of La Jolla, Delphi Academy, All Hallows Academy, Evans, Torrey Pines Elementary, La Jolla Elementary, and Bird Rock Elementary. The public high school, La Jolla High School, is in the San Diego City Schools district.

Mount Soledad

Mount Soledad is covered with the narrow roads that follow its contours and hundreds of homes overlooking the ocean on its slopes. It is the home of the large concrete Mount Soledad Easter Cross built in 1954, later designated a Korean War Memorial, that became the center of a controversy over the display of religious symbols on government property.


The landscape of La Jolla today is shaped by its development. With palm-lined streets, large estate homes in masterplanned and gated developments, La Jolla has become one of the most expensive neighborhoods in San Diego, boasting some of the county's most wealthy people.

Attractions and activities

La Jolla is also the location of Torrey Pines Golf Course, made famous by the PGA Tour's Buick Invitational held there each February (in 2005 and 2007, the competition was held in January). The 2008 U.S. Open will be held on the south course June 9 to 15th. Down the steep cliffs from the Salk Institute and the Torrey Pines Golf Course is the famous de facto nude beach, Black's Beach.
Walking along the beach at all times (but especially at sunset) is popular recreation. Those ambling along may be able to glimpse the “Green Flash”.
Downtown La Jolla is noted for its jewelry stores, upmarket restaurants and hotels. Prospect Street and Girard Avenue also have several famous boutiques and restaurants (including local favorites, such as the Girard Gourmet and Harry's Coffee Shop). Notable for its architectural and historical presence is the La Valencia Hotel, which used to welcome movie stars on retreat from Hollywood during the silent film era.
Skimboarding and surfing are very popular at many of La Jolla's beaches including Windansea Beach. The location is indeed mentioned in the legendary Beach Boys song, 'Surfin' USA,' in the final verse with the line "All over La Jolla..."
Ocean swimming at La Jolla Cove is very popular year round, where a swimming channel in the underwater park is demarcated and marked at 1/4 and 1/2 mile distances with buoys. For many years, La Jolla has been the host of a rough water swim. The events are the 250 meter junior swim for people twelve years of age and under, the one mile amateur swim for people 18 and under, the one mile masters swim for people nineteen and over, and the Gator man, a three mile swim from the La Jolla Cove to the Scripps Pier and back. It is available for everyone, but people under 18 must have a note from their coach. In order to compete in the amateur or junior events, one must also be a member of USA swimming.
Spectacular views of the ocean and much of San Diego can be seen from the Mount Soledad Memorial Park at the top of Mount Soledad.


The La Jolla area was known as “La Jolla Park” at least as early as 1886. The origin of the name is obscure. Some say it is a corruption of “ahoy”, called out by sailors seeking the attention of people on the shore. Promoters of La Jolla claim it is from the Spanish “la joya”, meaning the jewel. A more likely though less glamorous theory is that “La Jolla” is a corruption of the Native American word “Woholle”, meaning hole in the mountain, referring to the caves in the north-facing cliffs next to La Jolla Cove Park. Most of these have since either collapsed due to ongoing erosion, or have been intentionally destroyed by local authorities to prevent the drownings that were once frequent occurrences.

Notable residents


Jolla in Arabic: لا جولا، سان دييغو، كاليفورنيا
Jolla in Bulgarian: Ла Хоя
Jolla in German: La Jolla
Jolla in French: La Jolla
Jolla in Dutch: La Jolla
Jolla in Japanese: ラホヤ
Jolla in Norwegian: La Jolla
Jolla in Simple English: La Jolla, California
Jolla in Finnish: La Jolla
Jolla in Russian: Ла-Хойя (Сан-Диего, Калифорния)
Jolla in Swedish: La Jolla
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