High on a hill at the edge of beautiful San Diego harbor stands the impressive Cabrillo National Monument. This historical landmark is located on the Point Loma Peninsula, and it’s worth a visit if you’re in the area. Surrounded by former coastal military stations, the monument represents the expedition of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo and his landing at San Diego Bay in 1542.
A visitor center provides plenty of information regarding Cabrillo’s voyage, including an educational film and several interesting exhibits. You’ll get a condensed history of the area as well. The story behind the Old Point Loma Lighthouse and its involvement in coastal defense is particularly fascinating. There are also fun interactive displays to help younger visitors understand the past.
Take in Some Inspiring Views
Once you learn about the story of Cabrillo, step back outside and soak up the warm California sun. You can check out the artistry of the regal statue with one of the most gorgeous views in the area as the backdrop. The monument overlooks the water and offers a remarkable panoramic vista of the San Diego skyline, Coronado and a seemingly endless Pacific Ocean.
The tide pools near the monument are as mesmerizing as the scenery. They’re filled with a diverse array of colorful sea life. Park rangers are usually mulling around and will answer questions about the habitat and ecosystems. If you visit between December and March, you may get lucky enough to spot a gray whale migrating as well. Look toward the west and watch for the V-shaped telltale spout.
Explore the Area
The nearby Bayside Trail is ideal if you want to extend your visit to the monument. It’s a three-mile hike that you can stroll at your own pace. Head to the Old Point Loma Lighthouse or just explore aimlessly. You’ll see the bay from different perspectives as well as some very pretty plant life. You may also see military ships coasting along the aquamarine water, which is an inspiring image.
The entrance fee to the Cabrillo National Monument $5 per carload, so it’s an easy and affordable outdoor adventure to plan. There is truly something for everyone to enjoy. Bring your children for a quick history lesson, impress out-of-town guests with the beauty of the West Coast or just enjoy a spontaneous, peaceful, scenic view with a loved one.