California Travel Tips

One Lovable Beach and Battle Rages at Children’s Pool in La Jolla

Published on: March 06, 2012

A sea wall at Children’s Pool in La Jolla, California paid for by philanthropist Ellen Browning Scripps provides a vantage point for watching the Pacific Ocean and seals during the pupping season (December 15-May 15). The wall was built so that children would have a gentle cove to play in the water. The cove, which is called Children’s Pool,  has been taken over by seals–and some locals would like it to become a permanent place for the seal population, not humans.

When first visiting the beautiful San Diego community of La Jolla, you may care less whether there’s a roped area to keep humans at bay away from the seal population on the beach.  Tourists tend to stray into seemingly uncharted waters and sometimes get themselves into predicaments not knowing the dangers.  At Children’s Pool, there’s a lot of trouble we tourists can get into, and it’s not just the seals we must look out for.

Recently a pro-seal group used bullhorns to try to shoe off human visitors to Children’s Pool. Tourists unwittingly can step into a battle ground. A unanimous vote of La Jolla Parks and Beaches, Inc. on Feb. 27. told the people with the bullhorns to get rid of them.  It is one of countless lawsuits and sagas over this beloved and scenic beach that divers, swimmers and families with kids want access to–created with humans in mind.  A compromise currently allows a rope to be placed on the beach during winter months.

A battle has raged at this popular beach spot for many years with no end in sight. It’s a beautiful beach to visit and watch the sea from the sea wall. And if you’re unsure about swimming there, head north or south to other beaches beyond this spot.


Official information provided by the governing San Diego Beaches Lifeguard Services ( says this:

The Children’s Pool is a small beach partially protected by a seawall. The original intention was to create a fully protected swimming area, but in recent years sand has filled in much of the area inside the wall. This is a very picturesque beach with a panoramic view. During much of the year, seals and sea lions are present on or near the beach and a reserve for these marine mammals, called Seal Rock, is just offshore. Several small beaches are nearby including Wipeout Beach to the south and Shell Beach to the north. This is a popular beach for scuba divers because of the reefs just offshore. These same reefs can create very strong currents and other hazards, particularly in high surf conditions.

When visiting be sure to see the Birch Aquarium, or participate in many events throughout the seasons.


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