Sunny Jim’s Cave

The seven La Jolla sea caves, perched within a 75-million-year-old sandstone sea cliff, are only accessible via kayak except for one: Sunny Jim’s Cave.

We happened upon Sunny Jim’s Cave by a happy accident: we had stopped the car to find a bathroom and coffee and ended up walking down a stairway alley that led to beautiful coastal cliff views.

Sunny Jim Cave, La Jolla, California -

Next to this view was a little shop called the Cave Store. The words ‘entrance to cave’ on a sign in the window and the cat sleeping next to it caught our eyes so in we went. After petting the black and white kitty, purchasing our tickets, and petting the cat some more… we went down a few stairs in the store that led to the cave tunnel.

Tunnel entrance to Sunny Jim Cave, La Jolla, California -
It took all of 1902 & 1903 for this hand dug tunnel to be completed. It was used by smugglers to bring in illegal Chinese immigrants and contraband whiskey (during Prohibition).

Sunny Jim Cave, La Jolla, California -

Sunny Jim Cave, La Jolla, California -
The end of the tunnel leads to a beautiful view from within Sunny Jim’s cave.

Other than the little crabs crawling on the rocks of the cave, we had it all to ourselves for the most part but that’s probably because this is a quick stop. After about 10 minutes we emerged from the cave, pet the cat again, and made our exit. You can see our kayaking excursion into one of the other seven sea caves here.

Pelicans outside sunny Jim Cave, La Jolla, California -

Pelicans outside Sunny Jim Cave, La Jolla, California -

Sunny Jim’s Cave Overview

  • Address: 1325 Coast Blvd, La Jolla, CA 92037
  • Fees: $5/adult, $3 kids (16 & under)
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Hours: M-F 10am – 4:30pm; Sat & Sun 10am – 5pm
  • Length: 145 stairs
  • Things to note:
    1. The tunnel consists of 145 stairs & may be wet. There are hand railings available, but no wheelchair access. If stairs are difficult, just take your time. The cave isn’t going anywhere. 😉
  • Pets allowed: No.
How About You?
  • Have you visited Sunny Jim Cave?
  • Do you have any local insight or tips? Feel free to leave a comment below!
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