- Cabrillo National Monument commemorates the landing of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo at San Diego Bay in 1542. This event marked the first time that Europeans had set foot on what later became the west coast of the United States. Cabrillo left San Diego and sailed northward, exploring the uncharted coast line of California. His contributions helped with the difficult task of colonizing the expanded Spanish Empire in California. Highlights of the monument include the Old Point Loma Lighthouse, Fort Rosecrans coastal defense remains, a coastal sage scrub ecosystem and the Cabrillo Tidepools.
Copyright: National Park Service
Cabrillo National Monument
Recreation - The glass enclosed Robert J. Lagomarsino Visitor Center at this site offers a spectacular view of San Diego Bay, surrounding mountain ranges and Tijuana, Mexico. The facility offers various programs and a small museum about Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, audio stations in six languages. The facilities are fully accessible.
Programs offered at this site vary throughout the year and include natural and cultural history themes. The Bayside Nature Trail is available on site and includes interpretive panels about the ecology of Point Loma. The Old Point Loma Lighthouse is restored with furnishings representing the 1880's. It is open daily.
Cabrillo is an excellent place to learn about the warm waters, and the creatures that live in it, of the southern California Coast. Several vantage points along the western portion of the monument provide excellent viewing of the gray whales that migrate to these environs each winter. Tidepooling is a popular activity at the beach areas during low tides. Exhibits and books at the visitor center will help you determine the species you're viewing along the coast.
Climate - The southern California coastal climate is mild with little variation in temperature year round. Be prepared for high winds, fog and sea spray at any time of the year. Visitors to the islands should dress in layers, with short and long pants, windbreaker, hat, sunscreen and waterproof outer clothing
Cabrillo National Monument is located on the southern tip of Point Loma, approximately ten miles south of the city of San Diego.