See where explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo first set foot on the western coast of our nation.
Cabrillo was a Spanish conquistador who set out from Navidad, Mexico, to journey with his crew to the Pacific Ocean in 1542. It is believed that Cabrillo landed at Ballast Point, where he claimed the land for Spain. Another point of interest is the Old Point Loma lighthouse, established in 1855 and operated until the early 1900s. It is located in a two-story building with the lighthouse tower in the very middle. In total, 11 different lightkeepers stayed here.
Many people come to this monument to explore the tidepools at the rocky intertidal area. The best time of year to catch low tides is during the fall and winter months. There are low tides in the summer, but these usually occur in the middle of the night when the area is closed. Come early to get a parking spot and ensure that you can spend enough time at the tidepools. It is open to the public at 9 am and closes at 4:30 pm daily. Please bring good shoes with you; the area has rocky terrain and is often slippery. Groups of 10 or more need a permit to visit the tidepools, but smaller groups are free to come and go as they please. If you touch some of the wildlife, handle them with care and use a gentle touch. Do not force or detach them from rocks or other surfaces. This national monument has been open since 1913 and serves to help everyone remember this unique part of San Diego's history. Discover the beauty and history of San Diego at Cabrillo National Monument.