Scripps Beach is a fairly uncrowded beach area right next to the incredibly popular beach at La Jolla Shores. This is mainly due to the fact that it is not as accessible. However, if the tide is low a visit to Scripps Beach Dike Rock area is a must do when you are at La Jolla Shores.
Beach Type: Sandy beach with tide pools
Access: half mile walk from La Jolla Shores or stairs near El Paseo Grande and Kennel Way
Parking: Free street parking, free parking lot at La Jolla shores
Facilities: Restrooms/changing facilities, half-mile south at La Jolla Shores
Good For: Surfing, swimming, family day at the beach, sunbathing, tide pools
Not Good For: ease of access, high tide
To get to Scripps Beach from La Jolla Shores just walk about half a mile north past the expensive ocean front homes. The area to the south of Scripps Pier is where you go to swim. The area north of the pier is for surfing. Further north the cliffs get higher and the beach gets rocky. This is the Scripps Beach Dike Rock area. A very popular place for tidepools. Check a tide chart for low tide.
If you want to go directly to Scripps Beach there is often street parking along the hilly sections of La Jolla Shores Dr. Just be careful and do not park in area reserved for the university. There is beach access just south of Caroline’s Café (a breakfast/lunch restaurant overlooking the beach).
The Scripps Beach area is part of the University of California – San Diego (UCSD). This is home to the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. This is the location of Scripps Pier, a research area that is not open to the public. On the hill above the beach you can see the Birch Aquarium which is also part of the campus of Scripps Institution of Oceanography. The Birch Aquarium is open to the public and is a prime San Diego attraction.
The tide pools are a main attraction of Scripps Beach. The tide pools are located north of the pier at an area called Dike Rock. Kids will love climbing around these rocks and seeing the creatures that come out during low tide. The Birch Aquarium offers guided tours of the tidepools. The best time to go is during the winter when you have low tides during the day. Unfortunately, during the busy summer months high tide is often in the afternoon.
At lower tides you can go around the rocks to reach the southern end of the infamous Black’s Beach. Black’s Beach is best known for being clothing optional. However, the clothing optional is over a mile up the beach. Southern Black’s beach is secluded and best known for the Mushroom House and the mansion 300 feet above the beach.