Cabrillo National Monument

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San Diego has a long, rich, and colorful history dating back to the mid 1500’s, starting when Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo first landed in what is now San Diego in 1542. Declaring the port he landed on a “very good enclosed port,” he named the bay San Miguel (what we now call San Diego Bay). This first expedition was not considered a successful one, as bad weather stopped Cabrillo and his crew from getting much further than Monterey, and Cabrillo ended up dying from complications of a fall in 1543.

His crew continued on towards Oregon, but soon turned back to Mexico due to bad weather and scant supplies, and it would be 60 more years before Sebastian Vizcaino rediscovered and renamed San Miguel in 1602 to San Diego, as it would be known forever more. Today, Cabrillo National Monument remains a testament to the bravery of those early explorers and is a popular tourist attraction.

Cabrillo Statue 

Our hero, Cabrillo the Conquistador, stands tall and proud as he looks over the bay he discovered in 1542. You can discover the trials and tribulations he faced over his short life in the Visitor Center here at Cabrillo National Monument.

Old Point Loma Lighthouse

Ocean voyages were often perilous journeys wrought with danger, and the lighthouses that lit the way among rocky points would help the captains that piloted ships avoid crashing in the dark of night—but not the Old Point Loma Lighthouse. Built in 1855 and taken out of commission a mere 36 years later in 1891, it was soon discovered that it had not been placed in an optimum spot for protection, thanks to frequent fog and low lying clouds that blocked the light from sailor’s views. Today, it has been restored to its former glory and serves as a teaching tool; tourists can learn about lighthouses and their purposes as they explore the interior and grounds upon which it sits.

The Rocky Intertidal Zone

Cabrillo National Monument is home to a great number of tide pools where visitors can examine an ecosystem of plants, fish, and invertebrates—creatures lacking a backbone, such as mollusks. Tide pools are created in sunken areas that become visible at low tide, and this protected area is one of the best areas to visit for this purpose.

Living History

Making history come alive, volunteers can be found wandering throughout the Cabrillo National Monument dressed in costumes of the period and educating visitors in the history of this spot and all of San Diego. When you come across these selfless individuals, stop them and ask them whatever questions you may have; they live to share their knowledge!

710 Beach Rentals

Discover the rich and colorful history of San Diego when you book your luxurious 710 Beach Rentals vacation home today. We’re more than just beautiful beaches and glorious scenery, and the Cabrillo National Monument is just one of San Diego’s “hidden” gems.


Visit the Cabrillo National Monument

Address: NSC San Diego, Point Loma Annex, 1800 Cabrillo Memorial Dr, San Diego, CA 92106

Phone: (619) 557-5450