San Diego/Point Loma-Ocean Beach

Sitting at the mouth of San Diego Bay on a peninsula west of the city's airport, Point Loma offers a pleasant diversion from the city's busy tourist-filled neighborhoods and beaches, with lovely scenery and the historic attractions of Cabrillo National Monument overlooking the area's spectacular coastline. Nearby sits laid-back Ocean Beach, a small, relaxed beach town without all of the usual bells and whistles typical of the popular beach neighborhoods just to the north.

Get in

By car

If driving, there are three primary access points into Point Loma: Rosecrans Street from Old Town to the northeast, Harbor Drive past the airport from the east, and Nimitz Boulevard from Mission Bay to the north.

By public transit

The Metropolitan Transportation System (MTS) operates buses in San Diego, but unfortunately service to the Point Loma area is slim, with routes few and far between and running pretty infrequently. Route 28 on Rosecrans Street and Route 35 to Ocean Beach connect to the Trolley station in Old Town, while Route 923 connects Ocean Beach to Downtown on the weekdays and the airport on Saturdays via Harbor Drive.

If you want to go to the Cabrillo National Monument or Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery via the bus, take the #28 bus to Shelter Island Drive and Rosecrans Street and then take the #84 bus towards Cabrillo Monument. But note that the #84 only runs on the weekdays, and very infrequently at that.


Cabrillo National Monument

  Cabrillo National Monument, at the end of Catalina Boulevard,  +1 619 557-5450. Open daily 9AM-5PM. $10 per vehicle/motorcyle, $5 per person walking or bicycling in; national parks passes applicable.

Located at the tip of Point Loma, Cabrillo National Monument commemorates Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, who led the first European exploration to what is now the west coast of the United States, in 1542. Point Loma was the one of the places he stopped, and the first contact Europeans made with what would one day be California. The monument has a statue of Cabrillo and exhibits on his expedition in the visitor center.

The Old Point Loma lighthouse

Being over 400 feet above the ocean, the views from Cabrillo are marvelous, overlooking the Pacific Ocean to the west and San Diego Bay, Coronado, the airport, and Downtown San Diego to the east. Mexico and several off-shore islands are also visible from this vantage point on a clear day. A short walk from the parking lot is the   Old Point Loma Lighthouse, which was built in the 1850s to warn approaching sailors of rocks. However, the location proved poor and a new lighthouse was built closer to ocean, leaving the old lighthouse empty. Today the old lighthouse has been preserved and is open to tour. Each year, on the lighthouse's birthday, the top of the lighthouse is opened for visitors to enjoy the same view that the lighthouse keeper had.

In addition to its main sights, Cabrillo also offers a few other attractions:


Sunset Cliffs


Point Loma, as the home of Shelter Island and Harbor Island, offers plenty of opportunities for boating on the San Diego Bay.



Cabrillo looks over San Diego

Newport Avenue in Ocean Beach offers a great variety of unique stores and boutiques. Any demographic can find something down Ocean Beach's main street. Once a week, typically on a Wednesday, you'll find a farmers market. The market offers food, fresh produce and other fare as well as live entertainment and small attractions. It takes up the entire two main blocks of the shopping district and typically lasts from 4-8PM.





This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Friday, March 04, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.