There is perhaps no more educational and entertaining way to experience the La Jolla Ecological Reserve (the protected part of the San Diego-La Jolla Underwater Park) than taking part in a kayak tour to explore the gorgeous sea cliffs and renowned Seven Sea Caves. Everyday California came highly recommended as “the” tour to take and it didn’t disappoint.
After getting geared up with helmets and life jackets, it’s was a quick stroll to the foot of Avenida de La Playa at the south end of La Jolla Shores. We kicked off our shoes at the “honor system” beach stand and headed to the water’s edge, where our guide, Trent, engaged the group a quick tutorial on the “do’s and don’ts” of paddling and we were off for the start of our two-hour tour.
I’ve been on many a tour - land and sea - in my life and as amazing as the scenery is, I’ve found that a key component to how much you’ll take away from the experience rests with the knowledge and personality of your guide. We lucked out with Trent - a seasoned enthusiast who has been with the company for six years - and who proved to be a wealth of information about the environs while ensuring our group a safe, fun and highly entertaining experience.
Along the way paddling out to the caves (including Sunny Jim’s Cave and the Arch Cave), we saw amazing sandstone and limestone formations, sea lions sunbathing on the rocks, caught sight of bright orange Garibaldi beneath the surface (our California State fish) and even learned a bit about the kelp beds outside the caves. The water wasn’t quite clear enough to see the leopard sharks that Trent assured us were swimming around by the scores beneath us.
When conditions permit, Everyday Callifornia guides help guests paddle inside Clams’ Cave - the only cave visible from land. Trent jumped into the water and literally guided our kayaks (two at a time) into the cave, keeping a running commentary on what to expect and introducing our kids to a giant sea lion inside that Trent surmised was the victor in a recent sea lion battle for this premium position.
On the way back to our starting off point, Trent stopped at the “perfect” spot to slide off the kayak for a quick swim in the 70-degree waters. Our 13-year-old son didn’t have to be asked twice and was the first one to jump in. Then it was back to the shoreline, where guides were waiting to help us “catch” a wave in. All in all ... a truly excellent adventure and one I’d highly recommend.
2261 Avenida de la Playa