Think La Jolla, CA might be your new home? Check out our guide to living in La Jolla. We’ve covered it all: neighborhoods, schools, activities and more. So get excited! Relocating to La Jolla might be the best decision of your life.
Interesting Facts about La Jolla
It’s “The Jewel City”
La Jolla’s nickname is “The Jewel” of San Diego, “The Jewel City” or “the jewel of the sea.” The story is that “La Jolla” is an alternate spelling of “la joya” which means “the jewel” in Spanish. Scholars have long disputed the idea, but the name persists, and we may never know how it truly got started.
The Myth of the Munchkin Houses
This myth about La Jolla has been busted, but it is still one of the area’s most famous points of interest. After filming “The Wizard of Oz” in California, rumors spread that the little people who had starred in the movie gathered to create a small community on the coast. The rumors were supported by the existence of “munchkin houses” in La Jolla, which were so small, that a person of average height could touch their roofs.
Today, there is one “munchkin house” left in La Jolla. However, even that is an illusion. Because of the way the house was built into the hillside, it appears to be small from afar. Since the house was built in the 1930s, when the average height for a man was 5’ 8,” the doors may be lower than you’d expect; still, they’re definitely big enough for the average person.
It’s Got 7 Miles of Beaches
The beaches here are some of the most beautiful in the world, and they’re a great place to enjoy La Jolla outdoor activities! There are 10 public beaches in La Jolla, each a bit different than the next. For example, La Jolla Shores features a public launch for kayaks, while Children’s Beach was constructed with a barrier to create easy waters for kids to swim in.
La Jolla Demographics
There are about 33,000 people living in La Jolla today. The community has a suburban feel to it, and attracts both families and singles to the area with its gorgeous weather and views, and strong community feeling. Here are a few things to keep in mind about the residents of La Jolla:
They’re Highly Educated
About 75% of La Jolla residents have received at least a Bachelor’s Degree, with 38% of the population having achieved a Master’s Degree or higher. Suitably, La Jolla also is the home of the University of California at San Diego (USDC), which is counted among the top universities in the world.
La Jolla is home to a proud LGBTQ+ community. The San Diego Pride Parade is one of the biggest events of the year, and one of the largest Pride events in the country, and La Jolla joins right in with their own Pride Month Celebrations.
They’re All Ages
While La Jolla isn’t the most ethnically diverse (83% of residents identify as White), it’s a welcoming spot for people of all ages. If you look at the statistics, folks between 25-64 are evenly distributed. Even those over 65 only account for 28% of the residents.
How Much Does it Cost to Live in La Jolla?
The average cost of living in La Jolla can vary wildly, with a good portion of both renters and homeowners, and a mix of retirees, singles and families. One noticeable trend is that the closer you get to the water, the more expensive everything is.
The average home in La Jolla is sold for $1.6 million. Apartments start at $1,100 a month for a one bedroom, though even a studio could be two or three grand a month along the shore. You can also rent a home in La Jolla, they are usually more expensive per foot than apartments.
Schools in La Jolla are known for the academic achievements of their students. La Jolla High School is a California Distinguished School, and is the only school on the West Coast to be part of the Cum Laude Society. There are also numerous private schools available, including The Bishop’s School, La Jolla Country Day School, and The Gillispie School. Additionally, USCD offers La Jolla residents easy access to top university programs.
Jobs in La Jolla
La Jolla’s unemployment rate is one of the lowest in the country at just 2.5%. The majority of people working in La Jolla are in blue collar work; 30.7% of La Jolla professionals identify their jobs as white collar. The median average income for men is just above $94,00 per year; women see a lower number here, with a median around $44,000 per year. The poverty rate is practically non-existent, even when compared to the whole of San Diego, which has a 15% poverty rate.
Where to Live in La Jolla
La Jolla is actually a neighborhood in San Diego, but that doesn’t stop the area from being broken down into smaller communities. The Jewel City has three main parts: Bird Rock, University Towne Center (UTC) and La Jolla Cove.
Local lore says that Bird Rock was indeed named after a rock that looked like a bird. But don’t take that as a test of the neighborhood’s creativity and excitement. Bird Rock is one of the best San Diego neighborhoods. The walkable, peaceful community is known for being family friendly, which is emphasized by the fact that 66% of its residents are homeowners.
UTC refers to the eastern portion of La Jolla, also commonly called “University City.” UTC is known for having more affordable housing options than Bird Rock or La Jolla Cove, making it a popular location for students and young singles. Though the average home cost is only about $400-$500K (about half the average for La Jolla overall), more than 70% of residents in UTC choose to rent.
La Jolla Cove
Named after and encompassing the cove itself, La Jolla Cove is a beach community perfect for those who love a view of the water. Homes in the cove will tend to be more expensive than those further inland, but the access to the shore is unbeatable.
What’s the Weather like in La Jolla?
Like most of Southern California, La Jolla’s weather is mild year-round. Plus, the positioning of the cove created a microclimate, so La Jolla residents enjoy even more stability in the weather. The temperature here averages around 70 degrees, but almost never goes above 90 or below 50.
On average, La Jolla receives less than 2 inches of rain per month, with 0 average inches during the summer months. Snow hasn’t stuck to the ground in La Jolla since December 13th, 1967. Even the clouds are known to dissipate before the afternoon, leaving you with sunshine, sunshine, and more sunshine.
Fun Things to do in La Jolla
Head to George’s for Dinner
When someone living in La Jolla says they’re “going to George’s,” they almost never mean a friend’s house. George’s At The Cove is a fine dining experience offering incredible views, complemented by a menu touted to be one of San Diego’s best. At George’s, you can expect fresh-caught seafood, sensational steaks, and delicious local wines to try.
Catch a Show at the Playhouse
In La Jolla, “The Playhouse” refers to the La Jolla Playhouse, a nonprofit theater company founded by actors Gregory Peck, Dorothy McGuire and Mel Ferrer. Since 1947, the play has produced countless shows, many of which have gone on to become hits on Broadway. It’s also received over 300 theater awards, including more than 30 Tonys.
If the quality of the shows wasn’t tempting enough, The Playhouse is also a La Jolla attraction for foodies. Every Friday, food trucks line up outside the venue. The best part? The Playhouse covers the cost of local beer samplings, so your drink is on them.
Watch the Sunset
La Jolla is famous for its gorgeous sunsets. Whether you’re lucky enough to be able to see the horizon from your home, or you’re sitting on the beaches, there’s nothing as relaxing as watching the sun go down while listening to the sound of the waves. Want a higher view? Check out the La Jolla Cliffs. If you’re brave enough, you can even dive from them.
So, Should You Move To La Jolla?
If you like what you’ve read, the answer could be YES! When you’re ready, La Jolla’s best moving and storage company is here to help. If you have more questions about the area, or want a detailed quote, give us a call at (858) 230-8281.