"Discovering" Cabrillo National Monument
Cabrillo National Monument sits at the edge of the world we know, today, as California. Officially, the first European to land on the west coast, Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo is credited with "discovering" California in September of 1542.
If European explorers were a little less focused on imperialism and a little more focused on the beauty around them perhaps we could drop those quotations.
Upon entering the visitor's center at Cabrillo Monument you notice the curators have aptly placed quotations around the word discovered. Of course Cabrillo didn't discover the golden state, it's been populated for centuries. If European explorers were a little less focused on imperialism and a little more focused on the beauty around them perhaps we could drop those quotations.
Nestled on the tip of Point Loma, a mammoth statue in the likeness of Cabrillo overlooks the pristine San Diego Bay. A gentle reminder that this little oasis of California will never look as magical as it did the day he and his crew set foot on the rocky cliff shores.
A gentle reminder that this little oasis of California will never look as magical as it did the day he and his crew set foot on the rocky cliff shores.
The Old Point Loma Lighthouse looms on a hill, just about the statue, a reminder of the good ole days when men and women worked around the clock to keep giant oil lamps burning to prevent ships from crashing to shore.
The lighthouse interior is a reminder of simplicity. A time when all you needed was a bed, a small rag rug, and a guitar to help pass the quiet foggy nights on the tip of the bay.
Just beyond the lighthouse, through the main drag of the Naval Base at Point Loma, you'll find the majestic tide pools that enthralled the fifteenth century explorer. Rock cut away into small cliffs, this intertidal ecosystem is one of the best on the California coast.
As the waves spray a salt mist that mixes with the heavy fog, it's hard to imagine the sense of loneliness met by the sense of freedom in this quiet corner of the world.
And I wonder what would have happened, had Cabrillo not stopped here at all.
The scenic views and variety of trails--a few of which are paved and only a mile--make a trip to this southernmost National Park worth the journey. Perfect for an afternoon of tide pooling, whale watching, and gentle hiking, Cabrillo National Monument shouldn't be missed!
Spring is the perfect season to see the wild flowers and enjoy the best weather at Point Loma!
Have you been to Cabrillo National Monument? Do you have other favorite National Monuments I need to check out? How about other places to explore in San Diego? Tell me about it in the comments!