Point Loma

Get up and close with the sea life while whale watching, or go jet skiing, kayaking, paddle boarding, or surfing. Experience the beaches on the peninsula.
Todd Sarouhan
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Point Loma
Overview
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Things to Do
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Sightseeing
Best Places to Stay
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Know Before You Go
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Beaches
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Point Loma
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Explore the Seaside Community of Point Loma

Bali Hai Restaurant with a Classic Car on Shelter IslandErika at the Beautiful Coasterra Restaurant with a View of Downtown San Diego

Point Loma is a seaside community in San Diego and a natural peninsula that protects the seaward side of San Diego Bay. The area is a highly varied part of the city combining residential, commercial, tourist and wooded areas with military bases and other sites.

Spectacular Views in Point Loma

Among other things, Point Loma is known for its spectacular views. In particular, looking out to the west in the evening can offer some of the most breathtaking Best 14 Places to Watch the Sunset in San Diego in the world. The seaward side also provides interesting tide pools and opportunities for surfing.

Sunset over Boats in the Harbor on Shelter Island
Sunset over Boats in the Harbor on Shelter Island

Shelter Island

On the other side of the peninsula, Point Loma is much more protected and relaxed. Shelter Island, for example, is well within the bay and offers a calm, beach haven for both residents and visitors alike. It is easy to spend the day relaxing by the water and watching all the maritime activity in the bay.

Despite the name, it is actually not an island but rather an artificial peninsula made from material dredged from the bay.

This small strip of land features restaurants, parklands, beaches, hotels and more. It is a nice place to enjoy the calmer waters of the bay and to view all the nautical traffic.

Boardwalk Around Harbor Island in Point Loma
Boardwalk Around Harbor Island in Point Loma

Harbor Island

Just next to the airport is another outlet of land very similar to Shelter Island called Harbor Island. There are two large hotels with marinas, the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina and the Hilton San Diego Airport / Harbor Island. There are also a few restaurants with amazing views of Downtown San Diego.

View from the Old Lighthouse in Cabrillo National Monument
View from the Old Lighthouse in Cabrillo National Monument

Historic Point Loma

The history of Point Loma is very rich. It was the first landing site for Europeans arriving in what is today California. Some refer to Point Loma as the birthplace of the state.

There are numerous landmarks throughout the area including the Old Point Loma Lighthouse, the Cabrillo National Monument and the Naval Base Point Loma. These offer some fun opportunities to learn a little more about the community and the city.

The Pearl Hotel in Point Loma
The Pearl Hotel in Point Loma

A Great Place to Stay

If you want to enjoy a relaxed pace of life during your visit to San Diego, Point Loma is a great location and one of the best places to stay. It is a more expensive community than some of the others and offers a calm, coastal vibe. Although the southern end is dominated by federal lands, there are still places to see and visit.

Of course, there are also plenty of places with high activity and plenty to do. For example, Liberty Station is one of the city’s designated Arts Districts. It also features shopping, dining and a beautiful park.

No matter what you want from your visit to San Diego, you can find it in Point Loma. This peninsula has played an important role in the development of the city and it can play a big role in the story of your San Diego adventure.

Point Loma
Why you'll love Point Loma
Get up and close with the sea life while whale watching, or go jet skiing, kayaking, paddle boarding, or surfing. Experience the beaches on the peninsula.

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USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum
USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum
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Local Tips
What attractions are included with a Go City San Diego pass?

Attractions that you can visit with a Go City San Diego pass include:

The San Diego Zoo, Birch Aquarium, SeaWorld, Safari Park, LEGOLAND, Harbor Cruise, USS Midway Museum, the NAT Museum, Whaley House, PETCO Park Tour, iFLY San Diego and many, many more!

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Things to Do

Biking
Biking
Boat Launch
Boat Launch
Cabrillo Nat. Monument
Cabrillo Nat. Monument
Fishing
Fishing
Jetskiing
Jetskiing
Kayaking
Kayaking
Paddle Boarding
Paddle Boarding
Picnic Tables
Picnic Tables
Sailing
Sailing
Sunbathing
Sunbathing
Surfing
Surfing
Swimming
Swimming

Things to Do in Point Loma, San Diego

Point Loma sits between the Pacific Ocean, San Diego River, San Diego Bay and Old Town. This is an expansive area with a lot to see and do.

Walking Path at La Playa in Point Loma
Walking Path at La Playa in Point Loma

Hiking in Point Loma

One of the most popular hiking areas in Point Loma is the bluffs trail. This route is at the southern end of the peninsula on the seaward side. It is a fun place to see the power of the Pacific Ocean and to explore some of the fascinating tide pools.

Right next to that trail is Cabrillo National Monument and the Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery (more information about those sites below). The paths around these two sightseeing destinations also provide an enjoyable place to hike along.

On the San Diego Bay side of the peninsula is the Bayside Trail. This includes the Point Loma Lighthouse. It is another place to take in the beautiful views over the water that Point Loma is known for.

Boat Docks next to Shelter Island in Point Loma
Boat Docks next to Shelter Island in Point Loma

Fishing in Point Loma

San Diego’s coastline is well known for its ample and diverse marine life. Some areas are legally protected, so make sure you check the local rules before you start fishing anywhere.

If you want to get a fishing charter or tour, head to the bay. There are many places that will take you out, especially between Shelter Island and Harbor Island. Try your luck and maybe you can catch a trophy size yellowtail fish!

Whale Watching in Point Loma

The whale watching in San Diego is among the best in the world. Most notably, the Pacific gray whales pass by the city every year while migrating north and south. If you visit during the late winter or early spring, you can often see mothers traveling with their new young.

There are numerous whale-watching tours that you can take. Many of these launch from Point Loma in San Diego Bay. They will take you out in a boat to see what you can spot.

Better yet, the gray whales are often visible from Cabrillo National Monument during their winter migration south. They sometimes come close enough to the shore to see with the naked eye. However, most are in the kelp beds starting at about three-quarters of a mile from the coast.

Chinese Restaurant in the Village of Point Loma
Chinese Restaurant in the Village of Point Loma

Arts and Entertainment in Point Loma

Point Loma is the home of Liberty Station, one of the designated Art Districts for the city. It has public art installations, open-air concerts, public arts events and more to enjoy. Additionally, it houses White Box Live Arts, a popular performing arts theater.

On the peninsula proper, visitors can check out the Salomon Theatre. This is located on the Point Loma Nazarene University campus.

For some livelier options, you may want to head to Shelter Island where there are some venues with live music and happy hour specials. Whatever you enjoy, there is likely a place for you in Point Loma. Watching a live concert in the bay is actually part of Unique Things to Do in San Diego

Beautiful Beaches, Cliffs, and Surf at Sunset Cliffs in Point Loma
Beautiful Beaches, Cliffs, and Surf at Sunset Cliffs in Point Loma

Cliffs and Beaches in Point Loma

The natural beauty is one of the best reasons to visit Point Loma. Along the seaward side of the peninsula are mostly cliffs. Although these offer some of the most stunning views in the city, they can be dangerous and are not safe for going in the water.

At the southern tip of the community are the tide pools. These provide some interesting insights into sea life for anyone who wants to explore around. The intertidal zone is fairly easy to explore and a popular site for families.

In the northern part of Point Loma is Ocean Beach. This neighborhood houses Ocean Beach Pier & City Beach as well as Ocean Beach Dog Beach. These offer more conventional beach experiences.

Shelter Island and the surrounding part of the San Diego Bay also have some nice beaches and waterfront places to relax. These can be particularly fun if you enjoy seeing the cruise ships and other vessels coming into the harbor.

Local Tips
Looking for Live Entertainment?
Check out Humphreys Concerts by the Bay for live concerts ranging from They Might Be Giants to The Go Go's.

Sightseeing in Point Loma

In addition to having many great activities to do, Point Loma is also home to some beautiful sights to see. If you want to take a tour around the community, these are the places you should check out.

Overlooking Main Coastal Road Cabrillo National Monument
Overlooking Main Coastal Road Cabrillo National Monument

Cabrillo National Monument

The Cabrillo National Monument is an area at the southern tip of the peninsula. The monument itself is a statue celebrating Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo, the leader of the first group of Europeans to reach the west coast of the now United States. The area is believed to be the site where Cabrillo and his crew first landed.

The monument is worth viewing and is an interesting reminder of the history that came before us. Additionally, the surrounding area includes several other noteworthy sites, making this a great trip for an afternoon or even a full day.

The Old Lighthouse at Cabrillo National Monument
The Old Lighthouse at Cabrillo National Monument

Old Point Loma Lighthouse

Old Point Loma Lighthouse is in the same area as the national monument. It sits atop a hill so that passing ships can see the light. The old lighthouse was discontinued in favor of one closer to the shoreline.

This is an attractive and interesting place to visit. It serves as a museum for Point Loma and San Diego. It is one of the most beloved landmarks in the city.

Point Loma Bunkers

Point Loma was an important artillery base that helped to protect the harbor. During WWII, the bunkers on the base held guns that could launch torpedoes and other ordinance at enemy vessels. No attacks were made on San Diego and the site was discontinued after the war.

Today, the bunkers are open for visitors. They are a fascinating glimpse at local history and can be fun to explore while in the area.

Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery with an Oceanview in Point Loma
Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery with an Oceanview in Point Loma

Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery

Slightly further north on the peninsula is this national cemetery. Interred in the cemetery are numerous veterans of the country’s military including several Med of Honor recipients. Also, on the grounds are a few memorials to various ships’ crews and other units that served with distinction.

The cemetery is a somber reminder of the sacrifices so many people have made for the country. Although not a conventional sightseeing destination, many people visit to pay their respects.

Featured Activity

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Explore San Diego Bay
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Places to Stay in Point Loma

Much of Point Loma is made up of residential neighborhoods.

Pool with a Marina View at Kona Kai Resort & Spa on Shelter Island in Point Loma
Pool with a Marina View at Kona Kai Resort & Spa on Shelter Island in Point Loma

If you want to stay in the area, some of the best areas to stay are Shelter Island and Harbor Island, both areas have several hotel options. They also provide easy access to many of the other attractions around Point Loma. One of our favorite resorts is Kona Kai Resort & Spa on Shelter Island.

The Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina on Harbor Island in Point Loma
The Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina on Harbor Island in Point Loma

Another option is to stay near the airport on Harbor Island. Both these places are on the western side of the community. The Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina is a great option here.

Point Loma is a wonderful part of San Diego and should be on every visitor’s list of places to see. You could spend a full vacation in this community enjoying the relaxed vibe and numerous attractions. It is also close to many other popular sites in the city, making it a great launching point for your trip.

Featured Hotel
Kona Kai Resort & Spa, A Noble House Resort
Poolside Bar at the Kona Kai Resort and Spa
Bayfront
Bayfront
Breweries
Breweries
Families
Families
3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars
Poolside bars, bonfires on the beach, Vessel Burgers, an island vibe, and an ideal location are just a few things that make the Kona Kai Resort & Spa special.
Prices Starting at $189
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Know Before You Go & Tips

Amazing Sunsets
Amazing Sunsets
Cafes
Cafes
Parks
Parks
Shopping
Shopping
Walkable
Walkable

Tips for Visiting Point Loma

The Famous Point Loma Seafoods in Point Loma
The Famous Point Loma Seafoods in Point Loma

Looking for Good Seafood?

Point Loma Seafoods is one of the best seafood restaurants in Point Loma. Actually featured in the Best 15 Things to do in San Diego at night . Not a typical restaurant but more of a fish and seafood market where you can also order freshly prepared fish or seafood in form of plates, salads, sandwiches, ceviche and even sushi. There is a large outdoor seating area overlooking the bay in Point Loma with views of the San Diego skyline. Looking for good seafood is actually mention on Best Things to Do Near the Cruise Port.

Don’t Forget to Visit Liberty Station

Liberty Station is technically in Point Loma and is definitely worth a visit. Liberty Station was formerly the Naval Training Center (NTC) in San Diego. The land was acquired by the city of San Diego in 2000 but all of the buildings and barracks remained and now are converted into restaurants, stores and art studios. This quaint area is fast becoming a gem of San Diego.

One of our favorite places is the Liberty Station Public Market set inside Barracks 1 is an open market with permanent food stands and even a cocktail bar and beer bar. A great place to come for happy hour!

Check out Downtown San Diego

Downtown San Diego is only a 5 minutes car ride away. There is so much to see from the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum to the historic Gaslamp Quarter. If you are in town during baseball season be sure to catch the Padres play at Petco Park.

Balboa Park

Balboa Park is a must see while you are visiting San Diego. This 1,200-acre park is home to over 17 museums, dozens of parks, historic theaters and even the San Diego Zoo. If you are looking to save some money consider purchasing a San Diego Go Pass. With this pass it will gain you access to over 50 attractions and activities including many museums in Balboa Park, the USS Midway and even the San Diego Zoo. You can save up to 55% off of regular admission costs, we can help you save more by using our additional discount!

Point Loma
is Famous For:
Cabrillo Nat. Monument
Cabrillo Nat. Monument
Paddle Boarding
Paddle Boarding
Sailing
Sailing
Whale Watching
Whale Watching
Known For:
Cabrillo Nat. Monument
Cabrillo Nat. Monument
Fishing
Fishing
Hiking
Hiking
Kayaking
Kayaking
Paddle Boarding
Paddle Boarding
Sailing
Sailing
Sunsets
Sunsets
Whale Watching
Whale Watching
This Month's Forecast
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Sunny in September

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The Pearl Hotel
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Kona Kai Resort & Spa
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from $189 / night
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Holiday Inn San Diego - Bayside
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Holiday Inn San Diego - Bayside
from $176 / night
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Best Western Plus Island Palms Hotel & Marina
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Humphreys Half Moon Inn & Suites
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The Monsaraz San Diego
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