Of the seven sea caves in the La Jolla  cliffs, Sunny Jim’s Cave (1325 Cave St., daily 9 a.m.–5 p.m., adults $4, children $3) is unique. You don’t need a kayak or scuba gear to get down into this cave; a manmade tunnel created 100 years ago lets visitors into the cavern via a reliable land route.
You’ll purchase admission at the weathered, shingle-fronted Cave Store, then climb carefully down the 145 steps to the cavern proper. You’ll see a sizeable sea cave of sandstone, carved over the millennia by the Pacific into the cliffside.
You can look from inside the cave out towards the ocean—an interesting and perhaps just a little bit eerie view.
But how did the tunnel get built? Gustav Schultz, a retiree and painter, hired laborers to hand-dig the tunnel in 1903 as a tourist attraction.
The cave was later named “Sunny Jim’s” after a cartoon breakfast cereal mascot by the author of The Wizard of Oz. (No, I am not making this up.) Schultz painted local landscapes in the Cave Store until his death in 1912.