Summer Activities


With only the community of rich old folk and the occasional tourists to keep you company, summer in La Jolla may seem like a snooze fest to students. But you can still scratch that summer itch by having fun under the San Diego sun with these beach activities.


Only 10 minutes from campus, La Jolla Kayak offers an array of kayaking experiences sure to make for a day outside. Breathe in the salty air on a two-hour kayak tour of La Jolla Cove’s Seven Caves and Underwater Park for only $49. Don’t forget to take an underwater camera to document the experience. Take photos of dolphins and sea lions, or snap pictures of your friends as they ungracefully flip their kayaks. For those who crave adventure, La Jolla Kayak also offers a snorkel-and-kayak combination tour that begins with a guided kayaking tour of the La Jolla caves followed by a snorkel session with leopard sharks, bat rays and fish. Not only is kayaking a fun activity for those flying solo; it’s also perfect for all the summer lovebirds out the there. For only $70, couples can go on an hour-and-a-half-long guided tour and end the evening by soaking in the romantic sunset from their kayaks. While kayaking in La Jolla mainly revolves around sight-seeing, the Mission Bay Aquatic Center offers a two-and-a-half hour-long lesson that focuses on technique and will have you kayaking like a pro in no time. If you have already mastered the skill of kayaking, skip the tour and venture into La Jolla’s uncharted waters with a kayak rental for just $30. 


Spearfishing is not a summer activity for the faint of heart. It is exactly what its name suggests: hunting fish using a spear. The spear can be propelled by hand and the use of an elastic band, which is referred to as a polespear, or it can be fired from a pneumatic gun. Hunters usually wear diving gear, though a snorkel can be substituted as well. Spearfishing is one of the most environmentally friendly fishing methods, because hunters target a single fish at a time, leaving no bycatch, and causing no pollution damage to underwater habitats. It can also provide a fresh meal for those willing to brave the deep. There are some costs to take into consideration, as spearfishing requires investing in diving equipment, like wetsuits and goggles, as well as the polespear or spear-gun itself. Those “catches” aside, spearfishing is an art that can be practiced locally in La Jolla and along the shoreline of California in areas where fishing is permitted. Beforehand, it is also important to research laws on size limits and to be aware of which species can be targeted. There are a few dive shops near campus that provide equipment, such as the Spear Shack of Ocean Beach. La Jolla Water Sports also offers guided spearfishing tours ($80) for novices and experts alike.


Easily one of the most accessible beach activities for the casual beachgoer, snorkeling is a popular pastime, since it requires little additional skill beyond basic swimming ability. It is a great way to relax and cool down during the warm summer months. As far as equipment goes, only a snorkel and a mask are necessary in order to set out to discover the interesting sights beneath the water’s surface. As locations go, La Jolla Cove is not only one of the most acclaimed snorkeling spots; it is also quite accessible from campus. As a marine ecological reserve, it has a wide variety of sea life native to California, such as garibaldi, sea lions and lobsters. La Jolla Shores and Mission Bay are also good places to snorkel. While snorkeling is very novice friendly, some services are available to take groups on guided tours through more challenging areas. Snorkeling San Diego offers a tour of the famed La Jolla Cove ($70) as well as the breeding grounds for local leopard sharks in La Jolla (pricing depends on group size). La Jolla Water Sports also offers a tour of the Cove (pricing is available upon request). Both services provide paying customers with a mask, snorkel, and fins.

Stand Up Paddle Boarding

A cross between kayaking and surfing, stand up paddle boarding is perfect for those who want a relaxing way to enjoy the waves while still getting a full body workout. The cost of SUP in La Jolla is relatively high (prices range from $75 to over $100), but the Mission Bay Aquatic Center — only 20 minutes south of La Jolla — boasts a number of water sports at a special discounted price for UCSD students. Splurge on a two-hour introductory SUP lesson for $39 and learn the basics of the sport on the calm waters of Mission Bay. After mastering the basics, up the ante with some other challenging SUP courses. MBAC offers intensive exercise classes, such as SUPcore Yoga, in which you do yoga while floating on your board, or SUPcore Fit, in which you complete rigorous paddling sets that will put your athletic prowess to the test. SUP will leave your body sore the next morning, but it’s so fun that you’ll yearn to go back and try it again.