Welcoming Spring in La Jolla at Cormorant Boutique Hotel

I’m no stranger to San Diego. Each time I return I never fail to discover a new neighborhood. On my latest excursion, I realized that’s one of my favorite things about visiting. I have my beloved spots but always manage to add in somewhere new. This time? I got to discover the beautiful La Jolla during my stay at Cormorant Boutique Hotel. 

La Jolla is one of San Diego’s many gems. It brings to mind Santa Barbara’s Montecito. It’s lavish, upscale, and will make anyone who visits feel like a million bucks. Although it’s certainly on the higher end, remember, this is San Diego. Despite its rich beauty, there’s still an incredibly laid-back attitude. 

La Jolla’s Cormorant Boutique Hotel

Cormorant sits tall at the corner of Prospect Avenue. Directly down the street are the world-famous La Jolla shores and coves. Tourists flock from around the world to see the La Jolla shores and won’t be disappointed. I first took them in during my trip in 2021 and was in awe. The surroundings are stunning and the best part is the seals barking in the background. Along with the adorable dogs of the sea, there was an array of birds hanging out this time around, too. I wish I knew more about bird watching but since I don’t, I just enjoyed observing them. 

The 26-room Cormorant Boutique Hotel opened under its new name three years ago. The building was formerly the La Jolla Village Inn which had opened in the 1940s. It was also home to the Prospect Market, La Jolla’s only store. Cormorant has kept that legacy alive as their attached grab-and-go mart is named just that. 

My lovely suite. (c) Mary Farah

Room with a View

My Superior Sea View King suite was ideal for a quick getaway. The room checks in at over 300 square feet. I had a wet bar, fridge, and workspace along with a couch. The highlight was the ample patio with a complete view of both La Jolla Village and the ocean. As much as I love walking out to the ocean, it was just as inviting to take it all in from my suite. 

Since we have a cramped Queen bed at home (AKA a toddler and dogs), the King bed gave me some heavenly sleep. I’m not one to think much of bed sheets, but these were silky soft along with plush pillows. After those restful nights, I felt even more like a princess as I used the Nespresso machine to begin my days. 

To feel even more like royalty, Cormorant has the local hangout Birdseye Rooftop Restaurant and Bar. Since its opening, they have racked up several local awards and readers’ choice for Best Rooftop Bar. Guests can also order room service from Birdseye. 

View from my patio and side view of Cormorant. (c) Mary Farah

Exploring La Jolla

La Jolla is very walkable from Cormorant. The Village has shops, restaurants, coffee houses, and bars. Directly across from my suite was Dr. Juice which had fresh juices and smoothies. I’m surprised they don’t open until 10 AM but other than that, no complaints about my green juice. Just a bit down the street is the local favorite, Parakeet Cafe. They have numerous locations throughout the area and I found myself at their LA Jolla Cove shop. The organic iced latte was just what I needed in between saying hi to the seals. 

No visit to La Jolla is complete until a hike through Torrey Pines and a visit to the Birch Aquarium at Scripps. Both are not within walking distance but just about 10 minutes by drive. The Torrey Pines Natural Reserve Park has over 1,750 acres of natural habitat and is a “must” for everyone. There’s beach access, cliffs, trails, and of course, Torrey Pine trees galore. 

View from Birch Aquarium. (c) Mary Farah

Loved the whale sculptures at the aquarium’s entrance. (c) Mary Farah

Birch Aquarium at Scripps

The Birch Aquarium had also been on my list to see. Once again, I was surrounded by the Pacific Ocean. It’s hard to escape it in San Diego, especially La Jolla, and I’m here for it. I was particularly drawn to their current exhibit, Hold Fast, which shares the fascinating power of kelp. Hold Fast is a powerful and immersive art exhibition that explores the impact of climate change on local kelp forests through the eyes of local artists and scientists. It challenges the ideas of what climate work can include by bridging the worlds of art and science.

The space is much more modest compared to larger aquariums like Long Beach or Georgia. It would be easy to squeeze in a visit between larger attractions like the zoo or Balboa Park. Birch may not be large but there’s still plenty to see including penguins and giant Pacific octopus. 

(Side note, I’m someone who loves USA aquariums. I was honored to be among a panel of travel experts to select the Best Aquarium nominees in Newsweek’s Readers’ Choice. Check it out here.)

Cormorant Boutique Hotel offered me such great accommodations during my quick visit to La Jolla. It’s such a centrally located part of San Diego and my suite made me feel away from it all. One note I’ll end on, I wouldn’t recommend Cormorant for a family getaway. This is a great option for a solo trip, couple, or group over 21. They do offer ADA accommodations on the first floor, but the rest of the gorgeous suites are upstairs without elevator access. Parking is valet.

Learn more and book a stay HERE.

(*Special thanks to Cormorant Boutique Hotel and Visit San Diego for making this trip possible. All opinions are my own.)