Cabrillo National Monument : Michelin's recommendations
Located on the crest of a sandstone ridge 400ft above the sea, this park at the southern tip of Point Loma commemorates the European exploration of the US Pacific coast in 1542 and preserves one of the oldest lighthouses on the West Coast. Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo, the first European to set foot on California soil, anchored here and stepped ashore on September 28, 1542. During the 19C, ships calling at Old Town anchored at Ballast Point-a finger of land jutting into the bay on the east side of Point Loma-rather than risking the shallower waters closer to the fledgling settlement. Ballast Point became the site, in 1797, of Fort Guijarros, a 10-gun port battery erected by the Spanish to defend against potential incursions by the British. Point Loma remained a coastal artillery fort until 1947. In 1855 the southwesternmost and highest lighthouse in the US was built here. Coastal fog and low clouds frequently obscured the beam, however, and in 1891 a new lighthouse was erected at the southwest tip of the point, well beneath the cloud ceiling. From the foot of a statue of Cabrillo behind the visitor center (3mi from fort gate), sweeping views extend over San Diego and its bay as far south as Mexico. Displays in the center include exhibits on Spanish exploration and the area's natural and cultural history.
- Address : 1800 Cabrillo Memorial Dr. USA - San Diego, CA 9210692106San Diego
- Phone : (619) 557-5450
- Website : http://www.nps.gov/cabr