Welcome To The Cave Store
Inside the infamous Cave Store, a century-old bootlegger's tunnel leads through the sandstone cliffs of La Jolla Cove into Sunny Jim's sea cave. Tours are self-guided, and approximately 15 minutes in duration.
The Cave Store has offered tours of the tunnel and sea cave since 1905.
Tours are offered FIRST-COME, FIRST-SERVED basis. NO RESERVATIONS NECESSARY OR AVAILABLE.
Tickets are available at the door ONLY. NO ADVANCE PURCHASES.
For the safety of our staff and guests:
We are now allowing 15-20 people into the cave at a time, and masks are
required for guests who have not been fully vaccinated.
We appreciate your support and interest in our historic attraction. We wish all our guests and their families health and safety during the public health crisis.
Please be aware that tours involve 145 stairs, each way. This amounts to about five minutes of self-paced stair climbing. Before visiting your tour, we recommend checking in with every member of your party to ensure they feel comfortable making the trip.
The stairs can be slippery, so for your safety, we also advise wearing closed toed walking shoes.
ADMISSION AND HOURS
Tours run 9am - 4:30pm
Adults: $10 | Youth (3-17): $6
All under 18 must be accompanied by an adult or have a written and signed letter from their parent/ legal guardian.
Service dogs allowed, pets/emotional support animals are not.
ABOUT THE CAVE STORE
La Jolla's Favorite Historic Landmark
This tunnel was dug out by two Chinese laborers hired by German artist, mining engineer, and entrepreneur Gustav Schultz in 1902.
It leads from the Cave Store, Schultz's original residence, down through the sandstone cliffs of La Jolla Cove and into Sunny Jim's Sea Cave.
It's been said that during Prohibition, bootleggers smuggled alcohol and opium into San Diego through the sea cave by carrying it through this tunnel!
Tours are approximately 15-20 minutes long and self guided. Come prepared to both descend and climb the original 144 stairs (roughly a five minute ascent at a gentle pace). Experience a real piece of San Diego history at the Cave Store.
More questions? Check out our FAQ's here.
IN THE NEWS
Tucked away in La Jolla, California stands a wood-shingled house that doubles as a retail store and sells all manner of beachfront necessities, including watercolor paintings, jewelry, and snorkel gear. It would be just one of a million coastal boutiques if not for an incredible twist. It has a back entrance that descends into a colorful sea cave and one of the most spectacular and hidden views of the ocean in the entire state.
"Inside a small wood-shingled building on La Jolla’s oceanfront Coast Blvd lies a beach-themed gift shop and access to one of La Jolla’s coolest attractions. In fact, tourists who wander into Sunny Jim’s Cave Store to browse might just be surprised by the dark tunnel leading down to Sunny Jim cave—the only sea cave in California that is accessible by land"
"Sunny Jim Cave is one of seven unique La Jolla Cove caves. Having been open to the public since 1903, the cave boasts a fascinating history and a little bit of folklore. From the man who discovered and dug the tunnel to bootleggers and an old Cafe, we managed to uncover a few interesting facts about Sunny Jim Cave."
"For the last one hundred and ten years, this sea cave – the Sunny Jim cave – has been one of San Diego’s best long term microadventures, and is a location with a unique history."
THE LAST ADVENTURER (2016)
“'The Sunny Jim Cave was one of seven La Jolla caves originally exploited as a tourist attraction in the early 1900s by Gustav Schultz, a German immigrant, artist, and engineer. Schulz, a self-proclaimed professor, artist, photographer and civil engineer, who dug a tunnel into it and provided public access from land, first by rope and then stairs, collected a modest sum from anyone wishing to enter,' said La Jolla Historical Society historian Carol Olten”
CAVE TOUR VIDEOS
Courtesy of a few of our vlogging visitors