Cabrillo National Monument in San Diego honors the location where Juan Rodriquez Cabrillo became the first European to step foot on the western United States. This is the most southwestern point in the continental United States. You will find that there are lots of things to do in the gorgeous setting.
Make the Visitor Center your first stop. You will find a ranger to answer all of your questions. Be sure to check out the schedule of activities. You may want to join a guided tour or watch a film or slide show in the auditorium next to the Visitor Center.
Take a self guided tour of the Old Point Loma lighthouse, built in 1855. The lighthouse tower is only open two days every year: August 25 to celebrate the birthday of the National Park Service and November 15, which is the anniversary of the lighthouse. There are ranger-led talks around the lighthouse grounds.
South of the lighthouse is Whale Outlook. Many whales are spotted from here during the winter months when the Pacific Gray Whales migrate from the Arctic to Baja California and back. Along the western edge of the monument are tide pools. Take time to explore the marine life during a low tide.
Enjoy the spectacular coastal scenery on the two mile hike along the Bayside Trail. This is an easy hike. It’s downhill as you go out and uphill coming back. It’s a wide path with multiple stops. There are informational signs and benches along the way.
The Bayside Trail begins on the northeast side of the lighthouse. Enjoy views of the harbor and the city of San Diego. Watch ships sailing in and out of the bay and jets taking off from the naval base. This is an excellent hike year round, but spring is especially scenic because of the colorful wildflowers that dot the landscape.
The breathtaking scenery at makes Cabrillo the perfect setting for a day outing. Take a picnic and enjoy lunch surrounded by the natural beauty of this wonderful location. Bring your camera; this is a great place for taking pictures.
Contact Information for Cabrillo National Monument
Cabrillo National Monument
Address: 1800 Cabrillo Memorial Drive, San Diego, CA 92106
Telephone: (619) 557-5450
Open daily (365 days a year) from 9 AM – 5 PM
Directions traveling south on I-5:
Take the Rosecrans exit. Stay on Rosecrans into Pt. Loma. Turn right on Canon Street. Turn left on Catalina Blvd. (This road is also called Cabrillo Memorial Drive.) Continue on Catalina Blvd. all the way to the end.
Directions traveling north on I-5:
Exit at Hawthorne Street. Follow the road under the freeway towards the bay. Turn right onto Harbor Drive. Turn left onto Rosecrans. Stay on Rosecrans into Pt. Loma. Turn right on Canon Street. Turn left on Catalina Blvd. (This road is also called Cabrillo Memorial Drive.) Continue on Catalina Blvd. all the way to the end.
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