I recently visited Cabrillo National Monument in Point Loma, CA. I was worried about the weather as it was supposed to be a high of 85 and sunny, but instead it was a balmy 75 and cloudy. Not ideal for seeing great distances, but we could still see Coronado Island in full along with the majestic Coronado bridge.
The monument honors Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo as the first European to set foot on the west coast. Every Sunday in October, there is a reenactment of Cabrillo’s landing in Ballast Point complete with period food and children’s activities. The backdrop of the monument offers panoramic views of ships coming and going.
We also visited the original Point Loma Lighthouse, frozen in time. You can walk through the house and see how Robert Israel and his family lived while serving as keepers of the lighthouse. Learn about daily chores, activities, and the operations of the lighthouse itself. I found it very fascinating being able to peek through back in time; everything set up as how it might have been.
Another spot to visit are the tide pools. They were not visible when I went, but it is still a nice walk, and if you’re patient enough, you might be able to spot some whales. Once the tide is low enough, you can view a number of creatures that would normally be buried under the ocean. The low tide is best in the winter, and this year Veteran’s Day and Thanksgiving week will be perfect days to catch the low tide!
There are no restaurants at Cabrillo National Monument, and the only store is a small gift shop inside the Visitor’s Center. If you want to enjoy a meal during your visit, I definitely recommend bringing food with you for a picnic. There are plenty of benches throughout or places along the cliffside to throw down a blanket to enjoy the ocean view. And what better way to make a picnic than cheese and salami from Venissimo Cheese Shop at Seaport Village?
Parking: Plentiful; but carpooling is encouraged
Duration: 1-2 hours
Cost: $5 for 7 day access per vehicle; free for military with ID
Posted by: Cat Fizer-Rau
Title: Front Desk Agent