Photo: Christiana Rivers

The grandparents popped into town and offered to babysit overnight! You need a quick getaway on a budget. You’re in luck because there’s a gem in your hometown’s backyard. La Jolla means “the jewel” and this date night itinerary in the gorgeous locale will leave you feeling like a shiny new couple. Read on to see where to book a room in the heart of La Jolla so you can take a serene stroll to a bunch of romantic venues.

Photo: Empress Hotel


Reserve a room at the quaint, boutique Empress Hotel. The newly remodeled rooms have a laid-back, modern, beach-inspired vibe and rates are extremely reasonable for the posh area. You can’t beat the convenient, perfect location either. From the hotel, literally everything in La Jolla from shops to restaurants to the beach are within a 5-10 minute walk. Upping your value even further, your stay comes with a delicious, complimentary breakfast buffet that includes pastries, hard boiled eggs, coffee, juice, cereal, bagels, waffles and more. Another perk is that you can order room service from the Manhattan of La Jolla restaurant located on the first floor––the beloved Italian restaurant has been there for 28 years! Enjoy their Cannelloni in your room or head downstairs for cocktails and to listen to live music Weds.-Sat. nights.

Empress Hotel
7766 Fay Ave.
La Jolla, Ca 92037

Photo: Puesto


Nothing says date night like tacos and tequila and Puesto serves up the best of both in La Jolla and beyond. A short walk from the Empress, this hip, vibrant, airy restaurant with friendly service and a lively atmosphere will really put the fiesta into your date night. With Taco Tuesday (3 p.m.-close) and Happy Hour specials (Mon.-Fri. 3-5 p.m.), it’s easy to get your fill of margaritas and fresh, homemade, gourmet tacos for a steal. If you’re dining outside of those hours, share the Taquitos plate and the Tequila Flight or Valle de Guadalupe Wine Flight, or mix and match the Tacos plate (don’t miss the zucchini & cactus variety)!

1026 Wall St.
La Jolla, Ca 92037

Photo: Beth Shea


An idyllic beach is just up the street from the Empress as well. Wipeout Beach is like your own slice of paradise. It’s small, secluded and less crowded than La Jolla Shores. The perfect setting for canoodling in the waves or cuddling on shore.
Wipeout Beach
700-818 Coast Blvd.
La Jolla, Ca 92037

Photo: Ciarra S. via Yelp

Take a 10 minute walk to the historic and iconic Sunny Jim Sea Cave and for $5/person, you can walk down the steps of the cave to behold a magnificent ocean view.

Sunny Jim Sea Cave
1325 Coast Blvd.
La Jolla, Ca 92037

Photo: Beth Shea


Sunset at the Beach
They say the best things in life are free and that’s certainly the case with a La Jolla sunset. Take a quick walk from the Empress to Coast Blvd. and Cuvier St., where you’ll find the perfect grassy perch to set down a blanket and watch the sun set over the ocean.

Get a massage
Rama Thai Massage is a (hot) stone’s throw from the Empress and their $55 one-hour massage special for new clients is a real bargain. You can also book an in-room massage if you’d rather stay in your hotel room.

Rama Thai Massage
920 Kline St #100, La Jolla, Ca 92037

Where are your favorite places for a date in La Jolla? Share in the comments!

––Beth Shea