"Cabrillo National Monument" Cabrillo National Monument Tip by Stephen-KarenConn

  Cabrillo National Monument
by Stephen-KarenConn

Cabrillo National Monument commemorates the spot where Portuguese explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo anchored near Point Loma at the entrance to San Diego Bay in September 1542, just half a century after Columbus first landed in the new world. He was the first European to explore the west coast of the United States, setting sail from Mexico "to discover the coast of New Spain." Cabrillo died a few months later, but his expedition pressed on, exploring the previously unknown Pacific Coast all the way north to present-day Oregon.

It would be more than 300 years before maritime traffic had become heavy enough to warrant a lighthouse at Point Loma. A sandstone structure was erected in the mid-1850s at a point 422 feet above the sea. After 36 years it was replaced by a new light at a lower elevation, because the higher light was often enshrouded with fog.

The Overlook at Cabrillo National Monument offers a splendid 360 degree view. In late winter gray whales pass this point on their annual 5,000 mile migration from their breeding lagoons in Baja California to their feeding grounds in the Arctic.

The National Monument has a statue of Juan Cabrillo, and also a modern visitor center and interpretative exhibits. It is open daily and a small entrance fee is required. Click the web link below for current hours and fees.

Address: 1800 Cabrillo Memorial Drive, San Diego, CA 92106

Address: 1800 Cabrillo Memorial Dr, San Diego, CA 92106
Directions: Off Catalina Blvd.
Phone: 1-619-222-8211
Website: http://www.nps.gov

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Apr 4, 2011
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