The Shores, The Birch Aquarium, The Salk Institute and The North Torrey Pines State Reserve are wonderful places that you could visit when hiking through La Jolla beaches.
In addition to photography one of my hobbies is hiking, so when I moved to San Diego I looked for trails in the area. My very first hike here started at The North Torrey Pines State Reserve and went south following the coast line to La Jolla Shores. There are several points of interest where you may stop including The Salk Institute or The Birch Aquarium.
The North Torrey Pines State Reserve is the home of the rarest pine tree in the US (Pinus Torreyana) that now grows only here and on Santa Rosa Island off the coast near Santa Barbara. The trails in the park are in very good condition and they are easy to walk. The flora (including the torrey pines) and the sights of the Pacific Ocean are a good chance to take amazing pictures.
South of Torrey Pines is situated The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, which was founded by Jonas Salk who discovered and developed the first polio vaccine. The building was designed by Louis Kahn a famous American architect and is a hallmark of San Diego architectonic patrimony. Amazing sunsets! you can’t miss it if you ever visit San Diego.
Close to The Salk Institute is The Torrey Pines Gliderport. If you are brave enough, you can take paragliding lessons or… just enjoy the view of these flying dudes.
The hike ends at La Jolla Shores, that’s a busy beach on sunny days. In addition to surfers and tan people, it is also the home of The Scripps Coastal Reserve. The iconic pier is part of this research institute, and it juts 1,050 feet into the Pacific Ocean. The walk from the Salk institute to the pier provides excellent opportunities to examine the dramatic land-sea interface in Southern California.
Finally, if you have time, you could visit the Birch Aquarium, part of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. This is a relative small installation, with didactic purpose, but it’s close and you could take cool pictures of marine life.
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