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SAN DIEGO — Two beaches in San Diego County have been ranked among the best in the U.S. by Tripadvisor.

La Jolla Cove, beloved by both locals and tourists for its sunsets, sea lions and picturesque dining experiences, placed ninth in the U.S. on the travel company’s Best of the Best Beaches rankings.

“We just loved the place. If you are an animal lover it is a must,” a reviewer named Jadranka P wrote on Tripadvisor. “We spent hours watching the seals and sea lions and their frolicking around.”

Coronado Beach, home of sparkling golden sand and the iconic red-roofed Hotel del Coronado, was also highlighted, placing 15th in the country.

Tripadvisor says the rankings are determined by ratings and reviews provided by travelers. The company’s top 10 list for the U.S., which featured two California entries to Hawaii’s four, appeared as follows:

  1. Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area – Puako, Hawaii
  2. Siesta Beach – Siesta Key, Florida
  3. Poipu Beach Park – Poipu, Hawaii
  4. Moonstone Beach – Cambria, California
  5. Kailua Beach Park – Kailua, Hawaii
  6. Driftwood Beach – Jekyll Island, Georgia
  7. Ruby Beach – Olympic National Park, Washington
  8. Cannon Beach – Cannon Beach, Oregon
  9. La Jolla Cove – La Jolla, California
  10. Ho’okipa Beach Park – Paia, Hawaii

Tucked between sandstone cliffs, La Jolla Cove is a small beach that makes a big impression because of its stunning sightlines. It’s one of the most photographed beaches in Southern California, according to the city of San Diego.

The cove is ideal for swimmers, snorkelers and scuba divers due to its excellent water visibility. It’s home to a permanent lifeguard station, which juts out from the cliffside with a modern-looking wood and glass design. And, of course, it’s famous for the encounters you can have with wildlife there: visitors share the sand and rocks with basking seals and sea lions (though they’re urged not to get too close, as many do).

La Jolla Cove’s place in the top 10 was a step up: Last year, the local hotspot placed 14th.

Coronado Beach is also no stranger to a place on the Best Beaches list. Perhaps no other coastline captures the “San Diego postcard” vibe more fully, synonymous with both romantic getaways and family vacations. The wide, sandy beach literally sparkles because of a mineral called mica, and it’s set against a backdrop of seaside estates and charming streets that are perfect for a long walk or a bike ride.

File – The sunset at Hotel del Coronado and Coronado Beach. (Adobe Images)

You can view Tripadvisor’s top 25 beaches in the U.S. and in the world on the travel company’s website.