The views of San Diego and Coronado from the tip of Point Loma are amazing as you look across the bay to downtown San Diego. However, the view on the drive out to Cabrillo National Monument is for a different reason. The trip to Point Loma is only about 15 or 20 minutes from downtown San Diego. On the way, you will pass through Naval Base Point Loma on Cabrillo Memorial Drive and just before entering the National Park portion you pass through Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery. The Cemetery dates back to the late 1800’s and contains several Monuments and Memorials in addition to the graves. This photo, taken on Memorial Day Weekend, is a reminder of the veterans who have given their lives for our country.
Cabrillo National Monument will sneak up on you. On the surface you won’t expect much out of it, just a pretty view, but the more you walk around and explore the more it grows on you . I have been visiting since I was a kid and it continues as a favorite for reasons that are hard to put a finger on why. I think it is the views, the simplicity and even the serenity of the location. This history of the old lighthouse is worth exploring as well as the museum at the visitors center. To see the main area does require some walking but there are sidewalks. There are views from every lookout around the visitors center and even the parking lot. Keep an eye out for the pill-boxes and other remnants from the lookout stations built during World War II to help protect the critical San Diego Harbor.
For even more fun, visit the tide pools along the rocky Pacific Coast side of the peninsula. The tide pool parking lot is a challenge on busy weekend days, but patience is rewarded. One hint is that there is a second parking lot on the road past the first lot most people start at. Climb at your own risk, but it is worth it to get down on the rocks at low tide. A Cabrillo National Monument visit can be done in about two hours, or you can relax and spend an afternoon.
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