Children’s Pool is a beach area protected by a breakwater wall. It was created in the 1930s with a gift from Ellen Browning Scripps. The idea was to have a safe area for children to swim. In the 1990s, seals and sea lions took over Children’s Pool and human swimming all but ended. However, as of this writing, in the summer of 2018, seasonal swimming at Children’s Pool is now back.
Beach Type: Small beach protected by break wall
Access: Staircase, possibly some rock climbing
Parking: Free street parking
Facilities: Restroom changing at Children’s Pool lifeguard station
Good For: Summer: Laying out in the Sun, swimming, snorkeling Winter/Spring: Seal viewing
Not Good For: People wanting heavy surf and waves
For as long as many San Diego natives can remember, Children’s Pool has been the place to see seals and sea lions. It was a prime tourist attraction for that reason. It was also a source of controversy between those that wanted to protect the seals and those that wanted to return the area to its original purpose.
It now seems that the city of San Diego has reached a comprise. From December 15 to May 15, Children’s Pool is closed to the public for seal pupping season. Of course, during this time many people come to watch the seals. Walking out on the breakwater wall and dodging waves is another fun activity.
For summer visitors, the city has built a state-of-the-art lifeguard station complete with restrooms and changing facilities. In the summer of 2018, there is a great deal of construction going on along Coast Boulevard to improve this area. However, even during construction, Children’s Pool is now once again a popular place for swimmers.
I will admit that our family has never gone in the water at Children’s Pool. The high bacteria content from the marine life made it unadvisable even when seals were not there. Our children have now outgrown Children’s Pool and prefer rougher surf. La Jolla Cove, right up the shore, is now our go to place in the area for its snorkeling.
For families with small children, Children’s Pool is a great reopening of a San Diego classic. It is right along our central La Jolla walk and is next to the many attractions, restaurants and shopping in the area. Parents can take turns watching the children as the other explores.
As a final note, that applies to all the beaches in the La Jolla Cove area, this is a popular place. There is free parking but it can be hard to find. We almost always park a few blocks away in central La Jolla village and walk down the hill. However, this also requires walking back up hill.