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Cabrillo National Monument

San Diego

San Diego Metro Area, California

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Cabrillo National Monument

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  • Cabrillo National Monument is located at the southern end of Point Loma.- Cabrillo National Monument
  • The monument's visitor center and adjacent overlooks.- Cabrillo National Monument
  • Entrance to San Diego Bay as seen from the visitor center overlook.- Cabrillo National Monument
  • Halsey Field/North Island Naval Air Station with downtown San Diego beyond.- Cabrillo National Monument
  • Educational signage informs visitors throughout the monument grounds.- Cabrillo National Monument
  • Statue of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, the 16th-century explorer the monument was named after. - Cabrillo National Monument
  • Road down to the tide pools. - Cabrillo National Monument
  • Tide pool access.- Cabrillo National Monument
  • Coastal Access in Cabrillo National Monument.- Cabrillo National Monument
  • - Cabrillo National Monument
  • Old Point Loma Lighthouse.- Cabrillo National Monument
  • Whale Overlook.- Cabrillo National Monument
  • Whale Overlook- Cabrillo National Monument
  • Not a bad place to catch a sunset.- Cabrillo National Monument
  • - Cabrillo National Monument
  • Great views of the Coronado Islands- Cabrillo National Monument
  • The active Point Loma Light Station.- Cabrillo National Monument
  • Old Point Loma Lighthouse.- Cabrillo National Monument
  • - Cabrillo National Monument
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Historic site. Easily accessible. Hiking and tide pools. Incredible views.
Cons: 
Dogs are prohibited on trails.
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Region:
San Diego Metro Area, CA
Congestion: 
High
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Parking Pass: 
National Park Pass
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Contributor

The Cabrillo National Monument depicts Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, the first European explorer to venture to the America’s West Coast. This event took place in 1542, and the monument was constructed 350 years later in a popular park that overlooks downtown San Diego and the San Diego Bay. Visitors hoping to learn more about Cabrillo’s journey can head to the visitor center. There they will be greeted by rangers who are knowledgeable about the park’s history, and visitors are also encouraged to take a look at an exhibit entitled “Age of Exploration.”

Following a path from the visitor center to the Old Point Loma Lighthouse will take you to the park’s summit. This is the best place to take in the view of San Diego, and the lighthouse itself is beautiful. There are additional exhibits there that show visitors how the lighthouse was run in the 1880s. If you head southward along the Bayside Trail at this point, you will find Whale Overlook. Gray whales are migratory, and as such cannot be seen year round, but they are generally visible from this spot in the winter. San Diego is nearly in the middle of the 10,000-mile round-trip migration route. Other large sea creatures you might see include dolphins, sea lions, and seals. Even if you don’t catch sight of a marine mammal, chances are high that you will come across wildflowers and coastal sea scrub as you negotiate the path.

When the tide is low you can make your way down to the water west of the Old Point Loma Lighthouse. This part of the park is frequented by tourists, and the tide pools see over 215,000 visitors annually. It is easy to see why: the tide pools are bursting with life! You are likely to encounter anemones, mussels, seaweed, California sea hares, periwinkle snails, limpets, and octopi. Despite the congestion, this attraction is definitely worth a visit.

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(1 within a 30 mile radius)

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