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Cabrillo National Monument

A historic monument on the spot where Juan Cabrillo first arrived from Spain over 500 years ago, this is a great place to while away the hours.

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.


Guide to Exploring Cabrillo National Monument


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Upscale 3 BR in Point Loma by Domio

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        Best Western Plus Island Palms Hotel & Marina

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          Hotel del Coronado, Curio Collection by Hilton
          Hotel del Coronado, Curio Collection by Hilton

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            Beautiful House With Pool, Hot Tub, And Gorgeous View, Only Steps From The Beach

            Beautiful House With Pool, Hot Tub, And Gorgeous View, Only Steps From The Beach

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              Bay Club Hotel & Marina

              Bay Club Hotel & Marina

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                Glorietta Bay Inn Coronado Island

                Glorietta Bay Inn Coronado Island

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