Jewel by the Sea

Exploring the seaside charms of La Jolla

After three hours of drinking your way through San Diego’s craft breweries, you may need to rest your spinning head (just saying). And while there are many options for accommodations in the downtown core, as well as the so-called “Hotel Circle” of Mission Valley, undoubtedly the best bet for rest and relaxation is La Jolla. The quaint and affluent suburb is home to many of the region’s top restaurants and hotels and many of its prime outdoor attractions (including Torrey Pines State Reserve and La Jolla Cove). Perhaps nothing captures the charming seaside vibe better than La Valencia Hotel. The circa 1929 property, with its mixture of Spanish and Mediterranean influences, has a beautiful outdoor pool, cascading courtyards and the La Sala lounge and patio, with its stunning views of the Pacific. The hotel’s Med restaurant also takes full advantage of the locale, with a contemporary seafood-forward menu under the direction of executive chef James Montejano (make sure to order the delectable paella with extra lobster). Perhaps the hotel’s greatest asset, however, is its charming and resourceful concierge staff, led by Nancy Hirsch. From brewery tours to kayaking expeditions, Hirsch helps you make the most of your time in the area. –M.O’G.