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On 28th September 1542, the Spanish sailor Juan Cabrillo landed in San Diego Bay for the first time. Today you can see the headland from the cliffs of Point Loma that would have greeted him upon his arrival. The spot is nowadays marked by an iconic four-metre tall sculpture made of limestone, commemorating Cabrillo as the first European visitor to set foot on America’s West Coast.
Head to the Visitor Centre where you’ll learn more about Cabrillo and his times through exhibitions like The Age of Exploration. Each year around the date of Cabrillo’s arrival you can join the festival at the site which includes a re-enactment of his landing.
As well as being a key location in the history of this part of the States, it is also a site of striking beauty, with incredible views all the way to Mexico. Visit in winter and you may even see migrating whales passing by.
Around the monument lies a larger national park, with many short walks and trails that are well worth exploring. Head out to the Point Loma Lighthouse, which is one of the oldest you’ll find anywhere on the West Coast. Today a replica of the original 1880s structure stands on the spot, and here you’ll learn all about how the keeper and his family used to live. You can also take a self-guided two-hour walk along the cliff tops.
If you find yourself needing a place to cool off, check out the tidal pools on the west side of the park. Here you’ll discover a pleasant beach hidden away from any crowds, which you can reach by car.
Open every day throughout the year except Christmas Day, the Cabrillo National Monument is well worth a visit whether you want a pleasant escape or an in-depth taste of local history.
Located in Point Loma, this apartment building is 2.5 mi (4 km) from Point Loma Nazarene University and 2.6 mi (4.2 km) from Shelter Island. Sunset Cliffs Natural Park is 2.6 mi (4.2 km) away.
Nestled on the beach, this Point Loma hotel is within 6 mi (10 km) of Sunset Cliffs Natural Park, Old Town San Diego State Park and USS Midway Museum. SeaWorld and Seaport Village are also within 9 mi (15 km).
Located in Point Loma, this golf holiday home is within 6 miles (10 km) of Old Town San Diego State Park, Marine Corps Recruit Depot and Harbor Island. Port of San Diego and B Street Cruise Ship Terminal are also within 6 miles (10 km).
Located in Point Loma, this hotel is within 3 miles (5 km) of Shelter Island, Point Loma Nazarene University and Sunset Cliffs Natural Park. Mission Bay and Old Town San Diego State Park are also within 6 miles (10 km).
Within easy reach of Coronado Ferry Landing, San Diego Convention Center and Petco Park, this Coronado resort is located next to a golf course and set on the beach. Area attractions also include USS Midway Museum and Cabrillo National Monument.
Located in the heart of Coronado, this historic holiday home is within 3 miles (5 km) of Naval Base Coronado, Coronado Beach and San Diego Convention Center. San Diego Coronado Bridge is 2.1 mi (3.4 km) away.
Located in Point Loma, this hotel is within 6 mi (10 km) of Old Town San Diego State Park, SeaWorld and USS Midway Museum. San Diego Convention Center and Mission Beach are also within 9 mi (15 km).
Situated in Coronado, this beach hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Coronado Municipal Golf Course and Coronado Beach. San Diego Convention Center and Seaport Village are also within 3 miles (5 km).