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Cabrillo National Monument

Travel Guide North America USA Western United States California Southern California San Diego Cabrillo National Monument

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Introduction

Statue of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo

Statue of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo

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Cabrillo National Monument commemorates the landing of Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo at San Diego Bay on 28 September 1542 - the first time that a European expedition had set foot on what is currently the west coast of the United States.

Located at a park at the southern tip of the Point Loma Peninsula in San Diego, California, the monument is a 14-foot-tall sandstone sculpture of Cabrillo donated by the Portuguese Government in 1939. There are fantastic views of the city with Coronado Island in the foreground from the monument.

The park also includes a museum, an old defunct lighthouse, a new lighthouse and various former military installations.

Every year, various events are held at the monument. They include the annual Cabrillo Festival Open House; Kumeyaay, Portuguese and Mexican singing and dancing events; a historical reenactment of a 16th century encampment; and children's activities.

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Sights and Activities

  • The visitor center houses several exhibits, an auditorium with a film and slide-show, and a bookstore.
  • The Old Point Loma Lighthouse is a restored lighthouse, with ranger-led talks, interactive exhibits and displays.
  • The Bayside Trail is a self-guided two-mile walk through an endangered coastal sage scrub forest.
  • Depending on the tide at the time of your visit, there are some fun rock pools to explore. The surrounding cliffs are also a beautiful sight to behold.

Other outdoor activities include birding and whale watching.

Cabrillo Festival

Held annually in late September, the Cabrillo Festival includes a re-enactment of Cabrillo's landing on the shores of San Diego Bay.

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Opening Hours

Cabrillo National Monument is open 365 days a year, including all weekends and holidays, from 9:00am to 5:00pm.

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Cost

Entrances fees are $5.00 for passenger vehicles, and $3.00 for motorcycles, bicycles, and walk-ins. The fee gets you a ticket that is valid for 7 days, just in case you want to come back another day.

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Getting There

By Bus

The Metropolitan Transportation System (MTS) has buses to the Point Loma/Ocean Beach area, where the Cabrillo National Monument is located at the southern tip.
Route 28 on Rosecrans Street and Route 35 to Ocean Beach connect to the trolley station in Old Town, while Route 923 goes on Harbor Drive past the airport to Downtown.

By Boat

A watertaxi from Downtown or Coronado can be taken to Point Loma. Prices are around $7 one-way.

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Sleep

Lodging available in nearby San Diego.

Camgrounds

Day-use only.

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This is version 10. Last edited at 9:05 on May 21, 12 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

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