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“One of the best views in America!”

Cabrillo National Monument
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$149.00*
and up
Coastal Tour of San Diego
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$63.72*
and up
San Diego GoCar Tour
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$30.00*
and up
San Diego Two Hour Harbor Cruise and Sea Lion Adventure
Ranked #8 of 451 things to do in San Diego
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Stately monument honoring Cabrillo, discoverer of San Diego Bay, is located in Point Loma that overlooks the city and the Bay.
Useful Information: Wheelchair access, Activities for older children
Reviewed February 15, 2012

This is the time of year to catch a glimpse of a whale migrating to Mexico. Bring your binoculars to see whales and hiking boots because the tide pools are slippery and magical. We have seen an octopus, starfish and gorgeous sea urchins. Beautiful coastline and love the lighthouse too.

Thank SeahorseSecrets
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,355 - 3,359 of 3,948 reviews

Reviewed February 14, 2012

Make sure to check out the tidal pools. There were volunteers there to explain what I was seeing.

Thank BeaForoni
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 13, 2012

Visitor Center and Monument Quick Tips:
1. Website: http://www.nps.gov/cabr/index.htm
2. Visitor’s center is a great place to start if you are here for the history of the area. The small ‘Age of Exploration’ exhibit gives you great information on the times of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo (a fact finding ‘hunt’ sheet is available for children)
3. Theater rotates three 20 minute films (shown at the top of every hour); website has schedule): ‘In Search of Cabrillo’; ‘On the Edge of land and Sea (Tide Pools)’; and ‘First Breath: Gray Whales’
4. Monument to Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo and its associated views is a must
5. Driving to Cabrillo National Monument you will pass Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, the final resting place of some of the many who have served in the military. Such a beautiful, peaceful, resting place for those who served.

Point Loma Tide Pools Quick Tips:
1. Optimal time to visit: best during the ‘negative tides’ found in the winter months (check online for tide levels and times)…but always come at low tide
2. Tide Pool Location: After paying your $5 entrance fee, take the first right down towards the ocean
3. Parking: FIRST parking lot you come to (not marked as tide pool area).
4. Distance: You will have to walk along a short path and climb down some rocks to get to the tide pool area
5. Clothing: come prepared with good water shoes or tennis shoes you do not mind getting wet, a change of cloths, and even a walking stick
6. Warning: The rocks are very slippery; I took a fall. My 76 year old mother felt uncomfortable risking a fall on the rocks and stayed on the shoreline. There were several volunteers in the area
7. What you might find: sea stars, sea urchins, sea cucumbers, barnacles, mussels, snails, crabs, limpets and anemones. Various algae: Palm Kelp, Scouring Pad and Surf Grass. And if you’re lucky…a Red or Pacific Octopi
8. Review the ‘rules’ for handling sea creatures available on park website

Our most exciting find of the day; Blue Knobby Starfish

2  Thank spontaneoustrip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 13, 2012

Cabrillo National Monument and Tidal Pools Park & Monument
The Most Beautiful Coastal Location and Attraction in
Southern California!

There are a lot of beautiful places to visit and amazing scenery
in a lot of coastal locations in Southern California and as a
"beach photographer", I have photographed and travel to
almost every scenic enclave and spot along the Southern
California coast and I can tell you that there is zero hesitation
in my mind when it comes to naming Cabrillo National Monument
as the most scenic place to be and visit.

There are a host of things about the area that make it special and
#1 is that it is on a 500 foot tall peninsula that overlooks all of
downtown San Diego on one side with mountains in the background
and the Pacific Ocean on the other with whale migration and great
surf breaks a regular event.

Cabrillo Naitonal Monument is much more than scenic views however
and the National Park has a walk thru tour of San Diego's first light house,
a great theater with historical movies on whales and area history running
daily, great scenic utlooks, a bookstore and gift shop, great tidal pool
areas and of course some small hiking trails that cover just over a mile
along the edge of the bluff.

I am lucky to live ten minutes away from this spot and I am able to get
there once a month or so just to go back and refresh my mind with
the amazing views I came to San Diego to see and also get that fresh
ocean breeze hitting my face as I watch monster waves crashing into
the massive coastal boulders and rocks at high tide.

At low tide the area has some of the best tidal pools in San Diego
and the scenic backdrop with layers orf rock and sediment in an
area with no coastal development and just nature is awesome.

If you are looking for the Best San Diego Attraction for the money
(a car load of kids and parents is ONLY $5.00) then pack a small
lunch (eating is in very small areas of the park and not on trails)
and come to Cabrillo National Monument and check out all the
historic buildings and scenic coastal trials for an amazing afternoon
with plenty of fresh air and sunshine.

Sean Callahan
SoCal Beaches Magazine Writer
and Outdoor Photographer

1  Thank SanDiegoBeachLocal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 11, 2012

This is the high point entrance to San Diego Bay. From this height you can get a great overview of the city. If it is your first visit I suggest that you go there early your first day because you look over the whole area...the bay on one side and the Pacific on the other.

There is a film about the discover of San Diego by Juan Cabrillo which is free at the visitor's center. The area is absolutely beautiful even in February. It is next to a huge military cemetery that is like Arlington with all its white tombstones.

You can look over Coronado Island at the Naval Base there and we watched an aircraft carrier go out to sea while at Cabrillo...really a sight to see. Also, it overlooks the Navy submarine base. The views are simply spectacular.

If you have a senior parks pass, it is free. Otherwise, there is a $5 per car charge. The view is worth it!

Thank Flyinggal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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