Whatever it is that draws you to our beautiful community: be it the beaches, the resort-like hotel experiences, fine and casual dining, the unique upscale shopping, or simply whimsical curiosity, La Jolla can fill your “visiting hours” with more than you imagine. Before you decide your travel time to The Jewel of the Pacific, examine the Insiders list of activities and when they occur. You may want to construct your vacation calendar around the activities and their dates to enhance your stay. There’s always so much to do in what seems like so little time; it flies when you’re having fun, and La Jolla serves that up in abundance.
La Jolla Merchants Association presents Art Walk
First Friday of every month 4-7 pm.
Sip, snack, and stroll through 19 new and iconic galleries in this extended free happy hour event. La Jolla was largely an artist’s colony in the late 1800s and that culture remains an important element of La Jolla’s ethos today. For info, go to lajollabythesea.com.
Concours d’Elegance Car Show
April 19-21, 2024, Scripps Park
A show second only to Pebble Beach is the 16th La Jolla Concours d’Elegance (competition of elegance) featuring various types of fine automobile gems. Past years have showcased horseless carriages, Italian marques, British marques, woodies, 1950s classics, American sports cars, and the automobiles of Carroll Shelby. Spectators from all over the nation (and the world) travel to the breathtaking shores of La Jolla to view their favorite classics and join a three-day celebration beginning on Ferrari Friday night with over 75 of the luxury cars parked at the curbs for inspection throughout The Village. 2022 marked the return of the show after a pandemic pause. The popularity of the La Jolla Concours d’Elegance with the awesome display of exquisite automobiles is proof that if diamonds are forever, then cars are timeless. All net proceeds from the exhibition are donated to the La Jolla Historical Society. lajollaconcours.com
La Jolla Open Aire Market
Sundays 9-1 pm, Corner of Girard Ave. and Genter St.
The weekly La Jolla Open Aire Market brings the finest local farmers, artisans, and food vendors to make up one of the best and the biggest Farmers Market in San Diego. Each Sunday nearly 150 vendors participate in providing shoppers with bountiful choices in fresh, locally grown produce, a gourmet food court, full-time masseuses, unique artisan wares, live music, and even complimentary dog sitting. The upscale farmer’s market, located on the grounds of the La Jolla Elementary School, is open for business rain or shine. A major portion of market income benefits the students of La Jolla Elementary School and four other local public schools. Over a million dollars has been donated to LJES alone allowing for the building of a library and full-time librarian. The Insiders thank market creator Sherry Ahern for developing this popular community event. lajollamarket.com
Gator By The Bay
May 9-12, 2024, Spanish Landing Park (Directly across from the airport)
The spirit, sounds and flavor of Mardi Gras come alive at the largest and most-authentic Louisiana-themed music and food festival this side of the bayou. With everything from A to Zydeco, this 4-day, family-friendly cultural celebration takes place on picture-perfect San Diego Bay, featuring 100+ live musical acts & performances on 7 stages, wooden dance floors, shade, green grass and plenty of fun for the kids. gatorbythebay.com
Kiwanis Club Concerts by the Sea @ Scripps Park
July 16, 23, 30 & Aug. 6, 2023, 3:30-5:30 p.m.
The La Jolla Kiwanis Concerts by the Sea has been an annual community summer tradition since 1984, conceived by Ed Lawrence of the La Jolla Rotary Club, then run by the La Jolla Town Council, then handed off to the non-profit La Jolla Concerts By The Sea team who ended the over three-decade run when sponsor funding dried up. After a two-year pandemic pause, the La Jolla Kiwanis Club revived the much-loved tradition to again present free La Jolla Cove-sited, Sunday afternoon concerts held at Scripps Park – one of California’s most beautiful outdoor venues – showcasing some of the best SoCal and San Diego bands. Whether listening or dancing, these family-friendly concerts make Sundays in the park the place to be! For details go to kiwanisclublajolla.org/event/concerts-by-the-sea/
Mainly Mozart Welcomes the Largest Gathering of Concertmasters in North America with these Upcoming Events:
November 3rd, 15th, 17th, 18th, 2023
The Mosaic | November 3rd, 2023
Private Home in Rancho Sante Fe
Genius Week | November 15th, 17th, 18th, 2023
The Conrad, La Jolla
Mainly Mozart is a San Diego based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization known for the famed All-Star Orchestra Festival, top-yier chamber music, 300+ student Youth Orchestra, and innovative work in the autism community. For the 2024 season schedule go to mainlymozart.org.
San Diego County Fair (Del Mar Fairgrounds)
June 6 - July 4, 2024 Theme: “To Be Determined"
For info about the 2023 fair, visit sdfair.com.
La Jolla Music Society’s Summer Fest Concert Series
July 28 - August 26, 2023, Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center
For tix and info visit ljms.org/summerfest for artists ranging from jazz to classical, concerts, dates and venues. As one of Southern California’s leading presenters of premier performing arts, La Jolla Music Society, a nonprofit, contributes to San Diego’s cultural vitality year-round through a rich variety of presentations, including classical, jazz, global roots, contemporary music, and dance, at its state-of-the-art venue, The Conrad. President and CEO Todd Schultz says, “Over the past 15 seasons, San Diegans have come to trust the taste and curatorial skills of Artistic Director Leah Rosenthal, who crafted our winter season, which brings in huge stars in the worlds of music, jazz, and dance, as well as up-and-comers on the cusps of great careers. We pride ourselves in presenting quality performers whom audience members can trust to give engaging performances whether they already know the name or not.” For even more details go to TheConrad.org.
Del Mar Thoroughbred Club Pacific Classic
November 1st - 2nd, 2024
Known as Del Mar’s richest and most prestigious race, the PC carries a $1 million purse and this year’s winner will recieve an automatic bid to race in Breeder’s Cup, the World Racing Championship set for Nov. 4-5. dmtc.com/calendar/detail/pacific classic.
The World Famous La Jolla Cove Swim (formerly known as the La Jolla Rough Water Swim)
Sept 10, 2023 | 9am - 3pm
The La Jolla Cove Swim is an open water swim event that includes a 1-mile swim, 250-meter swim for kids, 3-mile swim, and 4-mile swim. It is the second oldest open water swim in the United States. 2023 marks 107 years since the first race was held. It has been
run almost exclusively by volunteers and community members. The La Jolla Cove Swim is a non-profit event and is operated
under The Kiwanis Club of La Jolla, a 501(c)3 organization. All proceeds from this annual swim, which traditionally takes place the first Sunday after Labor Day, will be donated to community organizations. Go to lajollacoveswim.org for details.
It’s our nation’s oldest rough water swim. The event was first held at The Cove in 1916 and remained continuous until a pandemic pause in 2020.
San Diego Spirits Festival
Sept. 24-25, 2022
What’s happiness without a cocktail you might well ask? The San Diego Spirits Festival distills the essence of the luxury craft cocktail and liquor market into a world-class event. Attendees will toast to the glory days with an unlimited tasting experience featuring world renowned brands and boutique distillers. San Diego’s annual spirits extravaganza will take place at the newly renovated Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) in La Jolla, featuring unlimited cocktails from over 60 brands, live music, exciting entertainment, access to MCASD’s galleries and so much more. No need to BYOB. info@sandiegospirits festival.com
16th Annual La Jolla Art and Wine Festival
Saturday, October 7th - 8th, 2023 | 10am - 6pm
Visitors can expect art, regional and international wines, craft beer and spirits, live entertainment, silent auction, a food court, more than 15 pet rescue stations and family-friendly fun. The festival features more than 160 juried mixed media artists from across the U.S. and Mexico. Since its inception by founder by La Jollan Sherry Ahern, the festival has donated more than $1 million to five local public schools.
The organizers are repeating the working success of last year’s local rescue forever homing efforts with pet adoption stations throughout the festival. Come with a companion and leave with one more.
66th Annual La Jolla Christmas Parade & Holiday Festival
Sunday, December 3rd, 2023 | 1:30 pm. Theme: "Christmas on the Sand"
As the last float crosses the finish line, parade organizer Ann Kerr Bache and her team already begin plans for next year’s event.
Join nearly 10,000 La Jollans and visitors from around San Diego, and the world, curbside to view the sixth largest community parade in America, featuring marching bands and banner-bearing service clubs and societies, equestrians, organization-sponsored floats, and beauty queens riding in classic cars. The 11:30 a.m., 90-minute pre-parade holiday festival presents musical acts, dancers, games and a photo op appearance by Santa for kids of all ages. To participate or donate, go to ljparade.com. Tell them the La Jolla Insiders sent you.