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Cabrillo National Monument

Cabrillo National Monument 

Cabrillo National Monument (San Diego, USA) – description, history, location, reviews, photos and video.

The Cabrillo National Monument is a separate park at Point Loma, dedicated to the landing of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo in San Diego Harbor in 1542. This landing is considered the first time that an expedition from Europe set foot on what would become the West Coast of the United States. In 1932, the site was declared a California Historic Landmark.

Cabrillo Park is very picturesque with wonderful views of the harbor and panoramic views of San Diego, as well as of Coronado and the North Island Air Force station. On clear days, you can see a wide panorama of the Pacific Ocean and even Tijuana from here. Also very photogenic are the rocky slopes of the peninsula itself, in which the ocean waves have carved many grottoes and caves. The only negative: it is almost always quite windy here.

The annual Cabrillo Festival takes place on site in October, on Sunday, in memory of the discoverer. In addition, there are celebrations of the Kumeyaai Indians, Portuguese and Mexican festivals with singing, dancing, traditional food and so on.

The promontory offers wonderful views of the harbor and skyline of San Diego, as well as Coronado and North Island Air Force Station.

The highest point in the park is the Point Loma Lighthouse, which is in the very center of the peninsula. One of the oldest Californian lighthouses, it became an icon of San Diego in 1855. The lighthouse has not been working for its intended purpose for a long time, and today it houses a museum of the caretaker, which is very interesting.

Many military artifacts from bygone times remain on the territory of the national monument, such as an artillery battery designed to protect San Diego harbor. These relics are scattered here and there on the peninsula, and most of them can be seen on the hiking trail that starts from the visitor center. At the very end of the route, behind the lighthouse, you can look into a special exhibition that tells about the military history of Point Loma.

Cabrillo National Monument

In 1926, by order of US President Woodrow Wilson, on the territory of the then Rosencrantz Fort (the naval base, which was then located at Point Loma), a site was allocated for the installation of a monument to Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo. In 1939, Portugal donated a sandstone statue of the discoverer to the United States. The sculptor Alvaro de Bri was the author of the work, and his creation was a monument 4.3 m high and weighing almost 6.5 tons. The history of the sculpture turned out to be difficult: it was made for the Golden Gate exhibition in San Francisco, but it was brought there too late, so it spent several years in the warehouse of the San Diego Navy training center until it was installed on the territory in 1949 parka. But it turned out that the sandstone was unable to withstand the harsh weather conditions of the cape, so in 1988 the statue was replaced with a limestone replica.

Despite the unfavorable environmental conditions in San Diego Harbor, the Point Loma Peninsula is still home to a wide variety of animals. The fauna of the intertidal zone is especially rich with its many rocky basins, where you can see the most interesting representatives of marine life. It is best to come to study it in late autumn or winter.

Just in the winter season (December – March), flocks of migrating gray whales can be seen from the peninsula. The station for observing them is located 30 m south of the old lighthouse. It was founded in 1950 and became the first public whale watching site in the world.

In the first year of operation alone, the whale station was visited by 10 thousand people.

A number of events take place in the park throughout the year. Firstly, this is “Free Weekends”, when no one is charged for entering the territory. Secondly, Whale Weekend (in January), Founder’s Day (August 25, the anniversary of the founding of the National Monument and the National Park Service) and Lighthouse Day (November 15), when you can climb the tower of the old lighthouse. closed to the public at other times. In addition, on the fourth Saturday of each month, one of the completely restored bunkers from the Second World War is open to the public.

Practical information

The Cabrillo National Monument is located at the end of Catalina Boulevard, accessible from downtown San Diego, Interstate 5 and Interstate 8 (west).

Opening hours: the park is open daily from 9:00 to 17:00 (access to the tidal pools closes at 16:30, to the walking trail at 16:00).

Entrance: for passenger transport – 20 USD, motorcycles – 15 USD, for pedestrians and cyclists – 10 USD per person.

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The prices on the page are for March 2019.

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