La Jolla, with some of Southern California's most beautiful coastline, is considered by many to be the jewel of San Diego. Located 12 miles north of Downtown, La Jolla is defined by rugged ocean bluffs, steep canyons, and hillsides culminating at Mount Soledad. Since the 1880s, La Jolla has been a favorite vacation destination because of its exceptional weather, world-famous beaches, and wide variety of hotels, shopping, dining, and events. Due to its importance as a visitor destination, the California Coastal Act designated La Jolla as a special community of regional and state-wide significance. This community of about 32,000 residents across 5,700 acres retains its own small-town character and civic pride while remaining a part of the City of San Diego. The community is centered around the "Village," the "Shores," and "Bird Rock" commercial districts. La Jolla is home to the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the Stephen Birch Aquarium, the University of California, San Diego, the La Jolla Playhouse, Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial, and the San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art.