What to do, see, eat, and drink in this charming enclave of San Diego.

La Jolla Cove
Jeffrey Eisen/Unsplash

Sunset’s Insider Guide series highlights seasonal diversions and secret travel tips from local experts.

Izzy Tihanyi


Meet the Insider: Izzy Tihanyi, CEO and Co-Owner, Surf Diva, Inc.

Location: La Jolla, California

Izzy Tihanyi started surfing when she was just eight years old. Her passion for the sport swelled, propelling her to a competitive level and eventually to teaching while attending the University of California, San Diego. Now, she co-owns Surf Diva with her twin sister Coco, where they focus on introducing women of all ages to the sport in a fun and encouraging environment. (We can vouch; our lesson on the pristine and protected La Jolla Shores had us up, stoked, and officially hooked within an hour.) Here you can find some of Tihanyi’s favorite places to visit, both on and off the water, in this charming enclave of San Diego.


Estancia La Jolla Hotel Spa Estancia Outdoor Patio
The spa at Estancia La Jolla.

Courtesy of Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa

“I love staying on the sand. La Jolla Shores Hotel is located beachfront with a beautiful view of the cove and access to excellent surfing and snorkeling with gorgeous sunsets.” Another option in the area is the Sunset Travel Awards-winning Estancia La Jolla, an expansive yet somehow intimate garden oasis known for their spa and wellness programming.


Marisi Pastas
Dishes at Marisi.

Courtesy of Marisi

Osteria Romantica is a block from the beach, offering authentic Italian cuisine including fresh, traditional homemade pasta, salads, grilled artichokes, with a deep, delicious wine selection.” A Sunset staff favorite is Marisi, an impeccably designed space focused on Italian hearth cooking and handmade pastas. Don’t miss out on their stellar Negronis.


Shore Rider Cocktails
Drinks at Shore Rider.

J. Dixx Photography

Shore Rider is the quintessential beach bar with a local surf vibe, craft beer, and cocktails. It’s the perfect spot to unwind barefoot with a burger and killer nachos after a day at the beach.”


Surf Diva Surf School
Lessons with Surf Diva Surf School.


“Of course we are going surfing! Sign up for surf and stand-up paddleboard lessons at Surf Diva Surf School, considered the gold standard of surf schools worldwide. We love sharing the stoke of surfing with our guests!” Another great way to get out on the water is to dive or snorkel in the La Jolla Cove, inarguably San Diego’s most famous dive site, where you can often spot a variety of sea lions, sharks, and fish that call the kelp forest home.


Surf Diva Surf Shop Exterior


Surf Diva Surf Shop has a great vibe and carries a curated mix of heritage surf brands alongside new brands, creating a fun and welcoming atmosphere. We’re all about sharing the love of surfing and the California beach lifestyle, with lots of surfboard rental options available too.”