Cabrillo National Monument Travel Guide

  • Cabrillo National Monument
    by goodfish
  • Things to Do
    by goodfish
  • Things to Do
    by goodfish

Cabrillo National Monument Things to Do

  • The Juan that (almost) got away

    A short walk from the Visitor Center you’ll find a statue of the park’s namesake overlooking the bay he’s reputed to have discovered. The view is fabulous and the sculpture is very nice but how it GOT here involved a journey almost as arduous the one it memorializes. Way back in the 30’s, the nice people of Portugal - claiming Cabrillo was one of...

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  • Tour the Old Lighthouse

    The Old Lighthouse is located high on the tip of Point Loma. The "new" and actually useful Lighthouse is also located on the tip of Point Loma, but much lower down the tip. It turned out that the heavy night and morning costal clouds obscured the light at the top of the Point and it was useless to any ships sailing near.The Old Lighthouse has been...

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  • Tidepooling

    The lower western coast of the Point is an intertidal zone - which means that at negative tide, lots of sea critters are marooned in little pools between the rocks. The park has a designated area, accessible by road from near the upper parking lot, for exploring these watery ecosystems, and ranger walks/talks are often available during daytime low...

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  • Paths and Panoramas

    Cabrillo is very small compared to some other national parks/monuments so hikers will find their options rather limited. There is one longer trail - the 2-mile RT Bayside - that descends the slope on the eastern side of the park but is not a loop so you just turn around at the end and return the way you came. Otherwise, easy paths circle around to...

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  • Learning Experiences

    One of the things I love about our National Parks are the interesting tours and talks given by NPS rangers. Check the schedule in the Visitor Center when you first arrive for what’s going on at Cabrillo on your visiting day. Kids along? Sign them up for the Junior Ranger Program and make earning the badge an engaging, educational adventure for the...

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  • Whale Watch

    If you’re lucky enough to be in the area during the winter, the lofty Pacific-side overlooks are terrific places for watching the annual migration of Gray Whales. From mid -December through mid-February it’s possible to catch a glimpse of these great creatures as they head south to mating and calving waters in the Baja. There’s a designated,...

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Cabrillo National Monument Restaurants

  • On The Way, To or From!

    Originally I went to this location of the Living Room Coffehouse; Bistro and European Pastries because the building was one of San Diego's oldest. Frank Jennings built his home in 1886 and from his living room he could see the Bay of San Diego. That was long before Point Loma grew and now the view is obscured unless you go up stairs.Since 1998 the...

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  • Closed On Wednesday?

    You know, I avoid writing about places that I'm not satisfied with and the truth is, I'm not sure about this one yet.Saw the sign for Con Pane Rustic Breads & Cafe on the way to Cabrillo N.M. and thought to check out their breads. Lots of my European friends are interested in good breads and so I notice places like this.It is located on the ground...

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  • Great Mexican Food!

    Miguel's Cocina is about five miles down the hill from Cabrillo Monument, at Shelter Island. It is the second location of Miguel's Cocina in Coronado and the food is very good. They have a terrace patio and three cozy dining rooms to choose from. After exploring the Point Loma penninsula and not ready for a full meal, you might try Miguel's for...

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Cabrillo National Monument Nightlife

  • lmkluque's Profile Photo

    by lmkluque Updated Jan 8, 2012

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    Under the leadership of Katherine Tingley, the Universal Brotherhood and The Theosophical Society of America built this Greek Amphitheater in 1901. It was the first of its type to be built in the USA.

    Today it is part of the Point Loma Nazarene University campus and still in use. Contact the University for information about the scheduled events.

    Related to:
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    • Theater Travel
    • Architecture

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Cabrillo National Monument Transportation

  • Getting here without wheels

    The quickest way to get to the park from downtown is by car but if that’s not an option, you can do it via public transit - but ONLY during the week. We had decided not to get a rental for this trip as it was split between San Diego proper and Coronado Island, and most of our sightseeing would be in the city. If you’re in a similar situation, this...

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  • If Not On A Nuclear Sub...

    Many sailors arrive by Nuclear Submarine. Most likely this will not be an option for you.If you have to rely on public transportation, the 26 bus will bring you to Cabrillo NM. However, if you want to explore the tidepools or see more of the Point Loma area as well as visiting Cabrillo N.M., the best way of getting here and exploring is by car.The...

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  • Cabrillo National Monument Hotels

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Cabrillo National Monument Shopping

  • lmkluque's Profile Photo

    by lmkluque Updated Aug 15, 2012

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    This is one of the views outside the Information Center.

    On the left the US Naval Submarine Base can be seen and on the right North Island Naval Air Base can be seen. Beyond is the northern part of San Diego.

    At the Information Center there is an array of things to buy. Some are typical tourist gift items, flags, magnents, post cards, shot glasses and of course key chains. There are also a whole array of books. Unique books about San Diego, about the Ocean, flora & fauna, and my favorite, history.

    What to buy: Can't really tell you what to buy because I don't know your tastes or interests. The quality of the items are in all ranges from affordable to expensive. There are even little trinkets that the kids can afford on their vacation budget money.

    So,my advise is, buy anything in your price range that speaks to you.

    San Diego Bay from Cabrillo NM.
    Related to:
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    • Historical Travel
    • Family Travel

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Cabrillo National Monument Local Customs

  • lmkluque's Profile Photo

    by lmkluque Updated Jan 8, 2012

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    The Old Point Loma Light House, built in 1854 at the top of the peninsula, served from 1855-1891. Set 462 feet above sea level, the highest light in the nation, was usually obsured by low clouds. This posed a problem, as the bright light could not be seen by the ships coming into the harbor.

    To solve the problem a new lighthouse was built in 1891 at the foot of the peninsula and still is in service. It is possible to see this new lighthouse by driving down the tidepool road and this I recommend.

    The Old Lighthouse and the Lighthouse barn are preserved as museums of the late 1800's. Both buildings are quite interesting to enter and the displays are set out in an easy way to understand for all ages.

    The Lighthouse is believed to be haunted and it is expecially exciting for children who may hear thumping sounds coming from the walls of the little girl's sick room or see, through the basement window, a rocking chair that seems to move. Of course, it is just imagination, but fun and exciting anyway.

    Old Point Loma Lighthouse at Cabrillo N.M. Lighthouse in use today Lighthouse Kitchen Front of the Old Lighthouse Lighthouse Barn Display
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Cabrillo National Monument Warnings and Dangers

  • No Rovers

    Pets, aside from service animals, are not allowed in any of the areas on the upper portion of the point (Visitor Center, trails, lighthouse, etc.) so best to leave Spot at home. If you have your pet along, they'll have to stay in your vehicle, and that's a really bad idea on a hot summer day. They are allowed in the lower tidepool area but must be...

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  • Tourist Can Be Targeted!

    Unfortunately crooks target tourist's cars because of the greater chance of their thefts going unchallenged. Who wants to spend their valuable vacation time pursuing vandals when everything stolen has been insured?Storing everything in the trunk/boot keeps theives ignorant of what you have.

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Cabrillo National Monument Tourist Traps

  • lmkluque's Profile Photo

    by lmkluque Updated Jan 8, 2012

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    Ships sailing past this sight going east (left) will enter the Bay of San Diego.

    This is where the "inner" call of the sea will attack!

    The meager plants shown here give an idea of the "natural" state in which San Diego was originally found. All the lovely palm trees and colorful flowers which can be seen today, are not native to this area.

    However much of the plants seen on the trails throughout CNM are natural to this area of Southern California. the birds and animals found around CNM are natural to the area and sometimes can be quite exciting to see, especially for the kids.

    Unique Suggestions: Enjoy the respect that the National Parks Service has shown for the integrity of the flora and fauna in this area.

    Tip of Point Loma from Coronado Beach Flora at the Top of the tip of Point Loma Awesome views! Lizards can be seen everywhere The tail of an escaped lizard left on Ice Plant
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Cabrillo National Monument Off The Beaten Path

  • Agave Shawii

    Agave shawii is a very unique yucca. That is how I recognize it. It is a very rare plant only found in San Diego County along Baja California. It consist of green ovate leaves that has little needles or teeth that surround the leaves. It blossoms with beautiful yellowish or reddish flowers. Some may think it is an ugly plant and think it may be a...

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  • Prickly Pear Cacti

    Prickly pear cacti is a very well know species of plant that I personally grew not to like upclose…ah..youth..lol….but I sure do still respect it and admire it for its hardiness. It grows these flat rounded platyclades as they call them, and usually are covered with needles or spines. Ouch, these little coats of armor hurt, believe me. My Aunt...

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  • Lemonade Berry Bush

    Walk around and enjoy the beauty:If you have noticed that along the walking path from the Point Loma Lighthouse to the Whale watching overlook, you’ll see many wonderful species of local plants. The park took the time to plant many of the significant plants that are local to this area. The Lemonade Berry bush appears to be a very simple, but will...

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Cabrillo National Monument Sports & Outdoors

  • Fishing Requires Patience.

    Fishing at Sunset Cliffs in Point Loma is not the most popular place, but it can be done and if you're just itching to give it a try why not? Many real fishermen dream of fishing off an islolated island in some for or other and this just might be a good place for the imagination. Not many people are out here most of the time, the parking is free...

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  • Skin / Scuba Diving!

    Diving the kelpbeds of Point Loma is a popular sport around here. Cabrillo N. M. isn't the place most people would normally dive from, but Point Loma might be. Also, either Cabrillo or Point Loma would probably not be a place that most tourists would dive from, Rather up the coast a bit at Pacific Beach or La Jolla from where there are shops to...

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  • Bayside Trail

    The Bayside Trail is a 2.5 mile round-trip trail that follows and old U.S. Army service road through nice examples of the plant life indigenous to the area and the remnants of the WW2 military installations. I did not take this trail as I was tired by the time I got to the park. Good walking shoes, a hat, sunscreen, weather appropriate clothing,...

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Cabrillo National Monument Favorites

  • Disabled Accessible

    California is very disable accessible. You find this is most of restrooms, doors, entries and the sidewalks. And if you find some place that is not, reporting it is always welcome. We want to make our state accessibe for everyone to enjoy. 

The park is very accessible to disable individuals, which is awesome. Nicely paved walkways that...

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  • Living in Point Loma

    Point Loma's residential section historically was developed to house military personnel and their families, some of the homes can be very modest, but in the past years the value of property has risen and many houses have been redesigned into elegant living spaces as can be seen in the fourth photo. Living in Point Loma can be very expensive. The...

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  • Ranger Answers Questions

    Cabrillo National Monument 1800 Cabrillo Memorial Drive, Point LomaPhone: 619 557-5450www.nps.gov/cabr.Open Daily 0900-1730Admission: $5.00 per car; $2.00 per person walking or biking.A National Park Service Ranger is on duty every day the Monument is open and is ready to answer any questions about the Monument, about the flora & fauna or about San...

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Comments (1)

  • Basaic's Profile Photo
    May 2, 2013 at 1:13 PM

    I am in good company here; me and three charming ladies. For the tourists, though, this was an interesting place to visit.

 
Explore Deeper into Cabrillo National Monument
“They stood the watch"
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Assistant's Cottage
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Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery
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Old Point Loma Lighthouse
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The adventure starts here
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Tide Pools, the Beach and Surfing
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Watch the Whales
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Pacific Fleet and Civilian Ships
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Artillery Bunkers
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Military Displays
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New Lighthouse
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Inside the Old Lighthouse
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Old Lighthouse
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Cabrillo Monument
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Area Views
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Visitors Center
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Bayside Trail at CNM
Off The Beaten Path
Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery
Off The Beaten Path
Sunset Cliffs!
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The Visitor's Center!
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Free Whale Watching
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Tide Pools!
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Military History Exhibit
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See & Speak To The Costumed Docents
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San Diego'sTheosophical Society
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Bring Your Own!
Restaurants
Watching a Regatta
Sports & Outdoors
Cabrillo Point Monument Statue
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Bay Overlook
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California Historical Landmark No.51
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Radio House Cabrillo National Monument
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Whale Overlook~
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Fire Control Bunkers Cabrillo National Monument
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Old Point Loma Keepers Quarters - Exhibits
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Old Point Loma Lighthouse - 1855-1891
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Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo Headstone?
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Cabrillo National Monument Visitor Center
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Cabrillo National Monument
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Tide Pools and Views!!
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Map of Cabrillo National Monument

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