There's no denying the allure of La Jolla, which means "the jewel" in Spanish. This seaside town is where the cool, southern California vibe meets modern luxury and refined culture.
Art is everywhere in La Jolla, from murals by famous artists to the many galleries along Girard Avenue to the area homes designed by some of our region's best architects.
While in La Jolla, music lovers should be sure to stop by the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library, a historic music and arts library in the heart of downtown La Jolla where you can see intimate classical, jazz, and new music concerts. The Athenaeum also features three gallery spaces: one devoted to national artists, another to emerging regional artists and the third to artist books, of which the Athenaeum has a renowned collection.
The La Jolla Historic Society hosts art exhibitions throughout the year. Exhibits focus on important architects in the area as well as families who have contributed to the history and growth of La Jolla. The historic society also organizes a "secret garden tour” of La Jolla homes as well as an annual tour of the many stunning modern homes in this neighborhood. For those that can't attend the tour, the Modern San Diego blog offers a map that visitors can use to create their own tours of these architectural gems.
Another of La Jolla's notable architecture sites is the Salk Institute designed by Louis Kahn, one of the most influential architects of our modern era. And the quirky mushroom shaped Sam Bell Beach House perched right on Black's Beach is a local landmark.
Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known to his reading audience as Dr. Seuss, was a longtime La Jolla resident. UC San Diego's Dr. Seuss collection, held at the university's Geisel Library (the library building itself is notable as a famous example of "brutalist architecture"), includes original drawings, sketches, proofs, notebooks, manuscript drafts, books, audio and videotapes, photographs, and memorabilia. Parts of the collection go on view during the summer and every March.
For concerts, look no further than the eclectic programming of the La Jolla Music Society. Throughout the year at varying locations, you can see classical ballet, famed orchestras, jazz greats like Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea, and premier chamber groups. The Music Society also hosts SummerFest, a nationally-recognized chamber music festival featuring more than 70 world-class artists and ensembles. For more orchestral music, check out The La Jolla Symphony & Chorus which produces six concert weekends a year. Affiliated with UC San Diego, the symphony's artistic leadership is not afraid to program challenging works. The result is programming in which 40% or more of the performances include premieres, recent compositions, and rarely performed orchestral and choral works.
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