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The Point Loma Peninsula
Cabrillo National Monument lies at the tip of the Point Loma Peninsula, just west of the city of San Diego

NPS Photo

 

The drive to Cabrillo National Monument will take you through diverse areas that tell of the Point Loma peninsula’s history. In Spanish, “loma” means “hill,” and is a fitting description of the rolling topography of the area. Archaeological remnants tell of human occupation of the Point as far back as 7,000 years. In 1797, the Spanish constructed Fort Guijarros on the eastern side of the peninsula, as a means of guarding the entrance to the harbor. Fifty-five years later, in 1852, the southern portion of Point Loma was set aside as a military reservation. Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery was established in 1934 and today honors over 86,000 veterans and dependents who are interred there. Residential neighborhoods on Point Loma were originally established by generations of fishermen and remain varied today, with small cottages tucked next to multi-million dollar homes. Catalina Boulevard is part of San Diego’s 59-mile Scenic Drive, and affords spectacular panoramic views of the ocean and city on your way to Cabrillo National Monument.

 
A car driving down a road and stopping at a small white building with gates across the road. A large blue tank is on the left side of the road.

NPS Photo

Driving to Cabrillo National Monument takes you through a Navy gate. If it is staffed by Navy personnel, slow down at the white gate and follow their instructions. When it is unstaffed, proceed slowly through the gate. For the next 2.5 miles of the drive, you will see more Navy structures and beautiful views of Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, Downtown San Diego, and the Pacific Ocean.

 
Dozens of cars stopped on a two-lane asphalt road. On both sides of the road hundreds of white gravestones are in rows.

NPS Photo

On Holidays and weekends, the wait time to enter the park can be 30 minutes or longer. We recommend arriving before 11 am on Holidays, weekends, and low tide days to avoid the wait. In this photo looking north, the line of cars to enter the park is backed upthrough Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery. Cyclists can use the bike lane and pedestrians can use the walk-up window. Of the park entrance station.

 
A park volunteer wearing a blue jacket and sunglasses stands next to a park service arrowhead sign and a small sign that reads “Walk up Window”

NPS Photo

Rangers and park volunteers will greet you at the park entrance.

 

FROM DOWNTOWN SAN DIEGO

  • Take Harbor Drive past the airport
  • Turn left onto Rosecrans Street
  • Turn right onto Canon Street
  • Turn left onto Catalina Blvd. (also known as Cabrillo Memorial Drive)
  • Follow Catalina Blvd.; go through the Navy gate all the way to the end

FROM INTERSTATE 5 NORTHBOUND

  • Take the Hawthorne Street / Airport exit
  • Follow the road to the left under the freeway towards the bay
  • Turn right onto Harbor Drive
  • Take Harbor Drive past the airport
  • Turn left onto Rosecrans Street
  • Turn right onto Canon Street
  • Turn left onto Catalina Blvd. (also known as Cabrillo Memorial Drive)
  • Follow Catalina Blvd.; go through the Navy gate all the way to the end

FROM INTERSTATE 5 SOUTHBOUND

  • Take the Rosecrans / Highway 209 Exit
  • Stay on Rosecrans Street into Point Loma
  • Turn right onto Canon Street
  • Turn left onto Catalina Blvd. (also known as Cabrillo Memorial Drive)
  • Follow Catalina Blvd.; go through the Navy gate all the way to the end

FROM INTERSTATE 8 WESTBOUND

  • Take the Rosecrans / Highway 209 Exit
  • Stay on Rosecrans Street into Point Loma
  • Turn right onto Canon Street
  • Turn left onto Catalina Blvd. (also known as Cabrillo Memorial Drive)
  • Follow Catalina Blvd.; go through the Navy gate all the way to the end

Last updated: February 8, 2022

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

1800 Cabrillo Memorial Drive
San Diego , CA 92106

Phone:

619 523-4285

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