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Point Loma San Diego, the Cabrillo National Park

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Point Loma San Diego, the Cabrillo National Park

  |   California, National park, San Diego, Travel

Point Loma San Diego, the Cabrillo National Park

Once you wind your way through the confusing signs and streets of Point Loma, and find yourself climbing through the naval base and past the visually stunning veterans cemetery at Fort Rosecrans, you come into the Cabrillo National Park.

Cabrillo National Monument commemorates explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo’s first landing at San Diego Bay on September 28, 1542. Cabrillo was the first European to visit what is now the West Coast of the United States.

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Point Loma

When you pass through the fee gates (You have to pay $5 to get a car through the gates) you have a choice to make, take the winding road down to the ever adventurous tide pools, or continue to the old Cabrillo Lighthouse and Memorial.

Take the first right to the tide pools and you will find yourself slowly creeping your way down the steep pacific side of the point with views of the west coast stretching from Rosarito, Mexico to Catalina Island.

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Point Loma

A short walk down to the beach from the parking area immerses you into  the world of aquatic life with a sea shore that is right out of a northern pacific post card. The rocky beach is filled with pools of sea life that you can touch and examine – just don’t harm or take anything with you. Rangers are on-site during low tide to help answer any questions.

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Point Loma

You can sometimes see the whales or porpoises swimming at a distance during certain seasons.

You walk towards the memorial and visitors center your eyes will catch the best view San Diego has to offer. From the hills of Tijuana to the hills of Orange County, the breath taking city scape is photogenically inescapable.

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Point Loma lighthouse

The lighthouse have two buildings, the lighthouse and a little museum on the side with information on the lighthouse’s history. When you get to the lighthouse, you can go all the way up but not to the light because it’s gated. However, you can walk around and see the different rooms inside.

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Point Loma lighthouse

While in operation the lighthouse had the highest elevation of any lighthouse in the United States. However, the location on top of a 400-foot cliff meant that fog and low clouds often obscured the light from the view of ships. On foggy nights the lighthouse keeper would sometimes discharge a shotgun to warn ships away. On March 23, 1891, the flame was permanently extinguished and the light was replaced by the New Point Loma lighthouse at a lower elevation.

Whale Overlook, near the lighthouse, is a popular whale-watching spot, especially in January and February.

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Point Loma

5:00 PM Park Closure

Cabrillo National Monument is open 364 days a year, from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM – It is  closed Christmas Day, December 25. For security purposes, the entrance station closes at 4:30 PM, the main gate into Cabrillo National Monument is closed at 4:45 PM, and all visitors must exit the park by 5:00 PM.

On Sunday, October 1, 2006, the Navy began closing Post 2 on Cabrillo Memorial Drive (Catalina Blvd.) and Electron Drive at 5:00 PM. As a result, 5:00 PM is the latest that the general public is allowed to enter the Federal Naval Reservation.

This is a permanent change and is being done to improve the security of Naval Base Point Loma and to make more efficient use of limited Navy funds.