Things to Do in Point Loma

March 9, 2023

things to do in point loma

Point Loma is a beautiful, relaxed part of San Diego with loads to see and do. In this post, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite things to do, places to stay and delicious spots to eat!

One of the most popular activities in the area is visiting Cabrillo National Monument. It’s a great way to learn about the history of the area while enjoying some gorgeous views and tidal pools.

Cabrillo National Monument

If you're looking for a bit of nature and history while in San Diego, Cabrillo National Monument is a must-visit. This quaint park offers a lighthouse, trails, tide pools and an epic view of San Diego.

The monument honors Spanish explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo who landed on what's now known as Point Loma in 1542. The monument is a great place to imagine what it was like for the early explorers as they explored new lands.

There are a couple of main hiking trails at Cabrillo, including the 2.5-mile Bayside Trail that offers sweeping views of Ballast Point (where Cabrillo landed), downtown San Diego, Coronado Island and Tide Pools. There are also shorter trails such as the one-mile Point Loma Tide Pools and Bluffs Trail that's a perfect family hike.

There are also exhibits and films at the Visitor Center. The "Age of Exploration" exhibit tells the story of Cabrillo and his voyage, while ranger-guided programs offer an insight into what life was like here more than a century ago.

Liberty Station

Liberty Station is a bustling neighborhood hub with a diverse array of shops, restaurants, a gourmet market, a theater, a conference center, and more. Its 361-acre waterfront location on a boat channel just off of San Diego Bay makes it a short drive from the airport and downtown.

Aside from its thriving food scene, Liberty Station is home to the popular Liberty Public Market. This daily marketplace features more than 30 artisan vendors offering dishes that satisfy all tastes and palettes.

You’ll also find a Trader Joe’s grocery store and a movie theater. If you’re looking for some local art, you can visit Pigment, a shop featuring items from local artists.

You can also take a stroll along the Promenade, bookended by walks, archways and examples of historic architecture. There are plenty of murals to explore as well, like the colorful Greetings from the U.S. Naval Training Station or the mural Rolling It Forward, which features a boat and rolling waves painted by skateboarders.

Shelter Island

Originally a sandbank only visible at low tide in San Diego Bay, Shelter Island was built up in the 1950s and is now a 1.2-mile long peninsula connecting Point Loma to the mainland. It is home to hotels, restaurants, marinas and public parkland.

It has a popular outdoor concert venue with world-class entertainment. It is also a great place to go boating and whale watching.

The town bathing beaches at Wades Beach and Louis' Beach are also excellent places to have a picnic, swim or play in the water. The white sand is popular with families, while the water is calm and cool, so it's perfect for kids.

Shelter Island's shoreline park is a mile-long ribbon of grass and picnic tables that offers incredible views of the Bay, North Island, Coronado and downtown San Diego. It is a pleasant stroll that's quieter than a typical San Diego beach boardwalk and it makes for an ideal place to take in the scenery.

Tidal Pools

There's no better way to discover the incredible marine life that inhabits the Californian coast than with a visit to the tide pools around Point Loma. These rocky areas are home to a variety of unique animals, including snails, crabs, chitons, sea anemones and fish.

Tide pooling is a great activity for families with young kids as it gives them an up-close look at the wildlife that thrives in these dynamic habitats. You can also take a guided tour of the area for more in-depth insights into tide pooling and its significance to marine ecology.

The best time to visit the tide pools is during low tide. Tides vary on an annual cycle as a result of the gravitational pull of the sun and moon.


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