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View from the Cabrillo National Monument picture in San Diego
Views from Cabrillo Monument picture in San Diego
Old Point Loma Lighthouse picture in San Diego
Ocean views at the Cabrillo Monument picture in San Diego
Tidepools at the Cabrillo Monument picture in San Diego
View from the Cabrillo National Monument picture in San Diego
Views from Cabrillo Monument picture in San Diego
Old Point Loma Lighthouse picture in San Diego
Ocean views at the Cabrillo Monument picture in San Diego
Tidepools at the Cabrillo Monument picture in San Diego

Key Info

Price & Hours

  • $10 per vehicle; $5 for bicyclists and pedestrians
  • 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily

Details

  • Monuments and Memorials, Sightseeing Type
  • 1 to 2 hours Time to Spend

Local Experts Scorecard
Based on 8 interviews

  • Must-see
  • Recommended
  • If You Have Time

Read about how we rank Things to Do.

The southernmost tip of Point Loma is where you'll find the Cabrillo National Monument. The statue depicts Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo who, in 1542, was the first European explorer to navigate the Californian coast. Situated about 10 miles southwest of downtown San Diego, this monument is much more than just a memorializing effigy. The main reason people make the journey to the monument is its incredible views. From the Cabrillo Monument, you can enjoy sweeping views of the Pacific as well as the Point Loma naval base below (where Cabrillo initially docked his ships), downtown San Diego, Coronado, and on a clear day, the mountains of Tijuana, Mexico.

Once you've gotten your fill from the top, walk or drive down Cabrillo Road to experience the Point Loma Tide Pools (best experienced during the winter months), or take a scenic walk along the adjacent bluffs. There's also the 2.5-mile Bayside Trail that cascades down into the east side of the point and ends right above the bay waters. For those more interested in the historical aspect of the attraction, the NPS site features ranger-guided talks further explaining the story behind the Cabrillo Monument as well as the restored Old Point Loma Lighthouse, located a short walk south from the monument on Humphreys Road. 

Recent visitors proclaim that this is the best view in San Diego. Travelers also strongly recommended taking advantage of the trails and especially the tide pools. Some even said to make sure to plan your trip around the low tide to best see the creatures that dwell within. Others enjoyed learning about the history of the monument the most, saying a trip to the visitors center enhanced their experience. 

The Cabrillo National Monument is open to the public every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $10 per vehicle and $5 per person for walk-ins and cyclists. While public transportation stops here, getting to the Cabrillo Monument from downtown will be lengthy. You'd have to take the trolley from downtown to Old Town Transit Center then take the 28 bus to connect to the 84 bus that drops off at the monument. It's important to note to take caution while exploring the tide pools. During high tide, do not attempt to traverse the rocky areas to get from one tide pool to the next. The water at the beach is also not safe for swimming. For more information, visit the Cabrillo National Monument website

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#1 Balboa Park Home to the renowned San Diego Zoo. this 1,200-acre park is the city's cultural hub. Located in downtown San Diego (about 2 miles north of the city center ... Read more » f11photo / Getty Images

#2 San Diego Zoo and Safari Park This 100-acre establishment is one of the most famous zoos in the country. The San Diego Zoo is not only one of the largest zoos in the USA but also ... Read more » fortherock / Flickr

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#4 Coronado Beach Compared to Mission Beach, this popular shoreline boasts fewer sunbathers and calmer waves. Just across the bay from San Diego, Coronado Beach is popular with families and couples alike thanks ... Read more » slobo / Getty Images

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#6 Cabrillo National Monument The southernmost tip of Point Loma is where you'll find the Cabrillo National Monument. The statue depicts Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo who, in 1542, was the first European explorer to ... Read more » russellstreet / Flickr

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