La Jolla's "Sunny" Jim Cave - Only land access sea cave in California

Real Estate Agent with HomeSmart Realty West, Carlsbad, CA 01335928

I have lived in San Diego County for 26 years and it amazes me the amount of things there are to do all year round due to the mild weather. I try and get out to see as much as possible so when I had visitors looking for seashells to purchase and bring back home I remembered the shell store in La Jolla that I have passed by so many times but never actually visited. I decided to research it for my visitors and to my amazement the store not only had shells but is home to the ONLY land access sea cave on the California Coastline!

 La Jolla has 7 sea caves and the Sunny Jim Cave is the only one that is accessible by land. The others are only accessible by sea. You enter the Cave Store on Coast Blvd in La Jolla where they charge a minimal entrance fee of $4 per adult and $3 per child to enter the tunnel. The ceilings are low and there are 147 steps down to the actual cave. Once you reach the bottom it is breathtaking. The darkness of the cave is offset by the opening to the beautiful bright blue seas of La Jolla. We saw kayakers, swimmers, sea lions, and Girabaldi while we were there. It was a great way to spend 20 minutes or so. Once at the bottom also check out the different colors in the rock formations. Mineral deposits have colored the rocks in deep reds, grays and yellows.

La Jolla Cave Rocks

The cave opening to the sea resembles an old cartoon character created by Frank Baum of the Wizard of Oz called "Sunny Jim". He was the mascot for a British Wheat cereal product in the 1920's. It really is amazing how similar the cartoon characters is to the opening!

Sunny Jim Character

La Jolla Cave Opening


 So, whether you live in San Diego or are planning to visit, put this on your MUST SEE list! The La Jolla Sunny Jim Cave only takes a short amount of time and you will be glad you did it. Once you are done check out the store and pick up some souveniers to bring home. Then take a stroll down Coast Blvd and enjoy the gorgeous sea, sea life, restaurants and shopping and sunshine!

Visit The Cave Store for more directions and store hours.

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Comments (4)

Michael A. Caruso
Surterre Properties - Laguna Niguel, CA


 I remember back in the late 70's, early 80's when they didn't charge a fee to visit these caves.  Eveything has a price now.... Maybe you can put up a photo of the cave next time, so you can see the image. It's a cool place to visit!

Aug 23, 2010 10:32 AM
Debbie Rumsey
HomeSmart Realty West, Carlsbad, CA - Encinitas, CA
Realtor, Green, SFR

Thank you Michael!  You are way too quick for me....I was having technical difficulties with my computer when I was trying to get the photos on.  The photos are up!

Aug 23, 2010 11:02 AM
Scott Wiest

I remember back in the around 1980 me and a other local friend Don went into the Shell Shop with our long hair attitude. Don and I entered to go see the Cave and the owner said we need to pay a $1.00 each to see we laughed at him and said we can see it for free. Don and I left and went to the Cliffs and jumped into the Ocean and swam up into the Sea Cave sat under the balcony walk way and pulled out my ziplock bag with marijuana pie and lighter and took some hits to hear vistors say they smelt Pot as we looked up between the slats of wood,chuckling at our feat . when they left we we climbed over and walked and up into the Shell Shop laughing wet and Stoned.Too see the look on the owners face was priceless He told us to leave as smart-ss punks we remarked we saw it for free. Those where the good Days Thanx Cave Shop owner  LMAOF 

Mar 24, 2012 03:19 AM
Paul Gapski
Berkshire Hathaway / Prudential Ca Realty - El Cajon, CA
619-504-8999,#1 Resource SD Relo

yeah ive been there very nice and its a great little workout

Aug 11, 2012 02:36 AM