Taking in seascapes can come at a price, especially in La Jolla. If it's not bumping into shoobies, it's an all-out arms race for parking. So finding a vista point free of obstruction takes some searching, which is what makes the hidden swing such a diamond in the rough. Tucked away on a decidedly unpopulated rugged ridge behind the Birch Aquarium, there's not a selfie stick in sight.
There used to be a couple more swings right off Expedition Way, but now it's only this lone soldier hidden down a dusty path. The trail brings back memories of P.E. physical fitness tests but leads to a small grove before anyone need break a major sweat. From the swinging bench, the La Jolla Cove peeks out from a curtain of eucalyptus trees. It's a perspective normally reserved for the multi-million dollar mansions, but, lucky for us, its polished patio chairs are a couple hundred yards farther from the ocean.
Yeah, the swing's browned, industrial-sized staples look to be a tetanus shot waiting to happen and the backrest might snap at any moment. And sure, part of the view features a close up of a cement driveway, which chauffeurs in a parade of Audis and Range Rovers. Still, this spot's imperfections add contrast to its character. It's off the beaten path, just far enough to escape the rat race while still eyeing the buzz from a distance. It's a sweet spot to sip from smuggled beverages, far from a lifeguard's watchful eye. It's not an adventure that demands an entire day and, naturally, sunset is the swing's golden hour. The occasional neighbor or mountain biker could cruise over, so for total solitude try a weekday afternoon or a cool evening. For those who have lost all sense of adventure, here are the coordinates to plug into Google Maps: 32.864321, -117.247991.