Add to that the image of palm trees, well-kept green lawns, bougainvilleas in a myriad of colors, a white board-walk populated with inline-skaters, skate-boarders, cyclists, joggers, and walkers, ice-cream eating children and their smiley and happy parents. There. You have just imagined the fanciest quarter of San Diego – La Jolla Shores Beach. A one-mile stretch of stunning shoreline that offers some of the most picturesque and breathtakingly beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean.
La Jolla Shores is to San Diego what Beverly Hills is to Los Angeles. It shines with the wealthy, but also spreads its gates wide open for the many tourists who stroll around the flat expanse enjoying the shops and galleries, a picnic in the park or watching the waves break at sunset, before leaving to allow privacy and calm to once again be restored.
The beach itself is protected by laws that prohibit the removal of any object or marine creature from it. The sand is interspersed with fool’s gold sparkling in the sun, blinding your eyes, and relocating your mind into a fairytale world inhabited by princes and princesses. The glistening specs of gold are reflected by the water and saturate the atmosphere in a blur of entrancement.
This makes going into the water for a snorkel so much more exciting and memorable as all of the dazzling color heightens your senses, allows you to see perfectly, and activates your adrenaline.
The ocean is unique so no two visits will be the same. On one occasion when the conditions were crystal clear I went for a swim, only to be accompanied part of the way by a pod of dolphins that were gleefully enjoying themselves, jumping out of the water doing flic-flacs, racing each other and staying close for quite a while.
The very next day I went again, this time with a friend for some snorkeling. We were soon joined by a stingray and school of worryingly friendly leopard sharks that swam around us, crossing through our legs, brushing against our calves, smelling our fear – but all the while being very peaceful, playful even. We grew calmer and more confident by the minute, and by the end I started enjoying this very close and personal encounter with these powerful creatures that have been the pin-ups of nightmares ever since the movie “jaws” came out.
Though during this moment I was frightened to the core, joy was flooding through every pore of my body, heightened by dancing gleams of gold everywhere.
I guess what I want to tell you is to go! Go now! Even if you are currently on an Alaska Cruise whilst reading this, go! Visit La Jolla Shore, a sparkling diamond on the Californian Pacific Coast that will charm, thrill and enchant you by its beauty!
Photo Credits, Flickr: #1 mikol_ice, #2 Joel Olives