Hey everyone, The cave store in La Jolla, ca, is a tiny little tourist spot. With an interesting history dating back to the times of prohibition. Outside of all the store’s beach-inspired Nick knacks, the cave store has built quite a buzz out of their old smuggler’s tunnel.
See The Full Detailed Video Below
The Cave Store Visiting Information
- 1325 Coast Blvd, La Jolla, CA 92037
- Dates & Hours:
- Open everyday from 9 am to 4:30 pm on a first-come, first-served basis.
- Dates and hours of operations may change. We recommend calling them or checking their website beforehand to confirm their business hours.
- Adults (Age 18 and up): $10
- Youth: (Age 3-17): $6
- Children (Age 2 and below): Free
- Tickets can only be purchased at the store.
- How much we spent during our visit:
- $32 for admission tickets
- Free street parking. They recommend trying the business and residential areas in between Torrey Pines Road and Prospect St. (Ivanhoe, Silverado, and Cave St are all good options) before trying Prospect St. or Coast Blvd.
- A walk down tunnel to the sandstone sea cave.
- Time spent:
- 40 mins
- Places to eat:
- Deli-icious (1237 Prospect St, La Jolla, CA 92037) – 0.1 mile away. A 3 min walk.
- Raymundo’s Taco Shop (7918 Ivanhoe Ave, La Jolla, CA 92037) – 0.2 mile away. A 5 min walk.
- The Cottage (7702 Fay Ave, La Jolla, CA 92037) – 0.6 mile away. A 13 min walk. We called an hour before for take out and really enjoyed the pancakes.
- Pet allowed:
- Yes, but only service animals within ADA guidelines.
- Stroller friendly:
- What we observed:
- Parking was hard to find during the weekend. You might have to drive around a bit to find parking.
- We recommend arriving before they open to avoid the long line.
- You need to sign a waiver when purchasing tickets.
- The Cave Store is a self-guided tour and takes about 15-25 minutes to complete
- There are 145 steps (each way) to get down to walk to the caves.
- Some parts of the stairs were wet. We recommend wearing a pair of non-slip footwear.
- Our youngest (age 3) needed to be carried down and up the steps but the older kids (age 5, 6 and 8) had to do a few breaks going up but they did it on their own.
- The cave area is small so it might be a wait to take photos. They allow 15-20 people into the cave at a time. Note: Our family photos/videos did not come out great when we tried to shoot with the cave opening in the background. But you can get some great photos of the view point and see kayakers and snorkelers.
- This short trip is great for families with younger kids. You can experience a little adventure inside a cave without doing long hike to get to it.
things to bring
- Check the weather before you go. The weather can be changeable; layered clothing and non-slip shoes are recommended.
- What we packed:
- Sunscreen, lip sunscreen, disposable urinal bag, disposable liquid/solid bag @Suds2go portable cap, fruits, veggies, snacks, and water.
- You can get the links to all our travel essentials here: Travel Essentials | Califoreigners
- Ways to save money:
- Pack a meal, snacks, and water.
- Other places to visit in the area:
- La Jolla Cove or Shell Beach
- Recommended itinerary:
- Use the restroom
- Visit the Cave Store
- Have a picnic or pick up takeout from Deli-icious, Raymundo’s Taco Shop or The Cottage.
- Have a beach day at La Jolla Cove or Shell Beach during low tide.
- Follow us on Instagram @thecaliforeigners, Youtube @Califoreigners, TikTok @Califoreigners
What We Said In Our The Cave Store Video
Located on the northern end of the popular La Jolla bluffs. Visitors come from all over to stand in line, pay the admission, walk down 242 stairs and say, “oh, that’s it?!?” While I will admit walking down the stairwell towards the cave opening gives off a fun, adventurous feel, you’re left wanting a little more once you’ve experienced the main view. We blame social media for drumming up the wow factor, but the underground tunnel and dock are exactly what you see online. A small wooden dock inside a cave that looks out into La Jolla cove.
Looking out through the opening, you can see kayak and paddle boarders enjoying the cove, and that’s about it. Plus, the immense amount of sunlight coming in from the hole isn’t too kind to the cameras, so you’ll have to pick between a white blown-out background or a black silhouette for your group picture.
How To Make the Visit Worth Wild
All these knocks aren’t to say that access to this cave isn’t cool. It’s just hard to justify a long wait in line to see the cave since it’ll only take one minute to experience. So if you want to check out the cave, be sure to arrive before opening. No wait time makes the short experience much more appealing.
Also, be sure to walk and enjoy the bluffs right next to the store. From there, you can walk a well-maintained path to a couple of overlooks with benches to enjoy the view.
Similar Options That Might Interest You
Heading south, you can experience the rest of La Jolla’s famous coast and sea lions. We also recommend scrips aquarium, a short drive to the north.
See you again with more around California with kids.