Cabrillo National Monument
On the southern tip of Point Loma, at the top of hill, you'll find Cabrillo National Monument. The spot is San Diego’s finest locale for history and fine views across the bay to San Diego's downtown. It's also the best place in San Diego to see the gray whale migration (January to March) from land. After a few minutes here, you may forget you’re in a major metropolitan area.
The visitors center at Cabrillo National Monument has an excellent presentation on Portuguese explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo’s 1542 voyage up the California coast, plus good exhibits on the native inhabitants and the area’s natural history. Also here is the Old Point Loma Lighthouse, which is appointed with late-19th century pieces, including lamps and picture frames hand-covered with hundreds of shells. On the ocean side, you can drive or walk down to the tide pools (at low tide) to look for anemones, starfish, crabs, and limpets.
Cabrillo National Monument is located southwest of downtown, on Point Loma, which juts out into the Pacific Ocean directly west of San Diego Bay. You can get here by car or take a bus from Old Town Transit Station. Plan to spend about 90 minutes here. Keep in mind that even on sunny days temperatures can be cool, so bring a jacket. The site has some great spots to have a picnic, so pack a basket, as there are no food options here.