Free Family Fun: The Murals of La Jolla Walk

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La Jolla may be known for its combination of surf, sand and seals, but did you know it’s also an art hub in its own right?  Hidden away in the streets of La Jolla Village are the Murals of La Jolla. This colorful 14-stop mural installation is a perfect way for a family to spend an afternoon taking in some culture while exploring the beautiful streets of this beachside neighborhood.

MCMAKIN_6130AA_860Photo Credit: Murals of La Jolla 

The Artistic Low Down
The Murals of La Jolla consists of 14 larger than life outdoor pieces from celebrated artists like John Baldessari and Ann Hamilton. Themes such as the past vs. present, the universe at large and imagination are explored and brought to life in fun ways that will make the kids “ooh and ahh” over bright colors and impactful visuals. We especially loved Roy McMakin’s “Favorite Color” for its cheery grid of colorful boxes (which also makes a great backdrop for a family photo), while Richard Allen Morriss “Applied” got everyone in the mood for some delicious ice cream.

Insider’s Tip: Some of the pieces have a more adult theme, so its worthwhile checking out which pieces to visit with the family via the Murals of La Jolla map and website.

John Baldessari: Murals of La JollaPhoto Credit: Murals of La Jolla 

Planning your Route
The majority of the 14 murals are split across a couple of blocks of downtown La Jolla. Given the wide footpaths and pedestrian-friendly walkways, you could easily walk to each mural. Or if something more active is on the cards, grab the bikes and zip around your art adventure. The murals aren’t in a direct path so you will be going back and forth a bit, and be aware that you’ll need to peek around corners or visit out the back of a building to find your majestic murals. Think of it as an art scavenger hunt and you’ll be on the right track. If you have littles ones that might not last the distance, you may want to pick a few pieces so you have a mini adventure rather than taking in the full experience.

IMG_5042Photo Credit: Lenya McGrath

Family Friendly Pit Stops
Taking in all that art can be exhausting but luckily there are plenty of family-friendly pit stops. If your kiddo’s need a park break, the La Jolla Community Park (close to Roy McMakin’s “Favorite Colour”) has a great playground for kids of all ages. If you’d rather take in an ocean view, Scripps Park (close to William Wegmen’s “Opening”) is great for a picnic. Häagen-Dazs will be sure to sort the whole family out if ice cream is in order (close to Nina Katchadourian’s new work, “Whale”). And if you need a full meal, check out The Public House (close toKim MacConnel’s “The Girl from Ipanema”), which is a great option for burgers for the kids and ales for the parents with an outdoor garden on Kline Street.

IMG_2988Photo Credit: Lenya McGrath

Parking and Amenities
On-street parking is available throughout La Jolla. However its worth noting that the closer you are to the beach, the busier the streets and parking becomes much harder to find. Restrooms are available at both La Jolla Community Park and Scripps Park.


Have you been on the Murals of La Jolla walk?  What did you think of it?

— Lenya McGrath

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