Ever since discovering our first secret sea cave in San Diego, we’ve been wanting to catch them all! The Sunny Jim Cave is not as much of a secret as the others, but I’m always surprised how many people still don’t know about it. It’s the only land access sea cave in California and is the easiest one to get to. You don’t even have to get in the water to see the inside!
The Cave Store is La Jolla’s oldest business and home to the Sunny Jim Sea Cave. For $5 ($3 for kids) or if you buy $20 worth of jewelry, you can get a pass to descend a 144-step tunnel that gives takes you inside the Sunny Jim Cave.
Frank Baum, the author of The Wizard of Oz, named it after the Force Wheat Cereal mascot from the early 1900s. Do you see the resemblance?
The original tunnel was dug using picks and shovels in 1902. The stairs were added in 1910, guests had to use a rope to get down. During Prohibition in the 1920s, the cave was used to smuggle alcohol into La Jolla.
The tunnel is well lit and there are handrails to help you down, so it’s great for all ages. The stairs can get slippery and there might be puddles of water down in the cave, so you just want to be careful as you’re walking around. After spending time down in the cave, be sure to take a walk around the shores as well! There are some beautiful views of the rocky cliffs below!
PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS: Be sure to bring a tripod with you to take longer exposure photos. We had our GorillaPod Focus and mounted it onto the wooden railing. Unfortunately, there is an additional rail that lines the wooden deck that might get in the way of your photo. Also, the cave opens to the North East so you won’t be able to catch the sun setting through it.
There are still quite a few sea caves for us to find and explore and we can’t wait to share them with you! In the meantime, be sure to check out this one when you’re in the La Jolla area.
Is this something you would try to visit if you’re in the San Diego area? What types of things do you try to explore when visiting a new city?