Point Loma

Bring the whole family on a whale watching tour or enjoy the ocean in other electrifying ways such as fishing, kayaking, sailing, surfing or watching the sunset while lying in the sand. Don’t forget to visit the Cabrillo National Monument and try the local cuisine at a magical sidewalk café.
Point Loma
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Point Loma
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Explore the Seaside Community of Point Loma

Jennings House Cafe in the Village of Point LomaOverlooking Main Coastal Road Cabrillo National Monument

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.

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 sunset views in the world. The seaward side also provides interesting tide pools and opportunities for surfing.

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.

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.

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.

Safari Park+Zoo = Go Pass

San Diego Zoo Safari Park
San Diego Zoo Safari Park
Visit this 1,800 acre park featuring over 3,000 animals in their natural habitats as you ride the African tram! Buy an All-Inclusive Go Pass and admission to the San Diego Zoo is included!
Buy Now
Local Tips
What kind of deals does the Go Pass offer?

The Go San Diego Pass gives visitors the ability to save up to 55% on attraction admissions.

Combine our exclusive 5% discount to save even more and consider the All-Inclusive pass to maximize your savings. Plus the pass gives you the ability to skip the line when visiting select attractions.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

Shelter Island

Shelter Island is a neighborhood in the San Diego 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.

Featured Activity

Front of the USS Midway Museum in San Diego
USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum
Located in downtown San Diego, the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum provides history of aircraft built in California. The museum includes over 60 exhibits with restored aircraft and tours of the carrier.
Learn More

Places to Stay in Point Loma

Much of Point Loma is made up of residential neighborhoods. If you want to stay in the area, you could consider a vacation rental from a local homeowner.

For hotels, some of the best areas to stay are Shelter Island, Liberty Station and Ocean Beach. All three neighborhoods 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

Another option is to stay near the airport or 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
Beach function, Kona Kai Resort & Spa, A Noble House Resort
Bayfront
Bayfront
Breweries
Breweries
Families
Families
3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars
When you book a room at Kona Kai Resort & Spa, you may forget you are in San Diego and not on a South Pacific Island. It’s perfect for a truly relaxing vacation.
Prices Starting at $189
Check Availability

Know Before You Go & Tips

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

Tips for Visiting Point Loma

Looking for Good Seafood?

Point Loma Seafoods is one of the best seafood restaurants in Point Loma. 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.

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
Sidewalk Cafés
Sidewalk Cafés
Whale Watching
Whale Watching
Known For:
Fishing
Fishing
Hiking
Hiking
Kayaking
Kayaking
Sailing
Sailing
Sunsets
Sunsets
This Month's Forecast
67℉ / 79℉
Sunny in September
Oct
63℉ / 78℉
Sunny in October
Nov
56℉ / 73℉
Sunny in November
Dec
51℉ / 68℉
Sunny in December

Stay

Best Western Yacht Harbor Hotel
Family Friendly
2 Star Rating2 Star Rating
Best Western Yacht Harbor Hotel
from $121 / night
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Kona Kai Resort & Spa
Family Friendly
3 Star Rating3 Star Rating3 Star Rating
Kona Kai Resort & Spa
from $189 / night
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Bay Club Hotel & Marina
Bayfront
3 Star Rating3 Star Rating3 Star Rating
Bay Club Hotel & Marina
from $153 / night
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Humphreys Half Moon Inn & Suites
Family Friendly
3 Star Rating3 Star Rating3 Star Rating
Humphreys Half Moon Inn & Suites
from $159 / night
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Best Western Plus Island Palms Hotel & Marina
Family Friendly
3 Star Rating3 Star Rating3 Star Rating
Best Western Plus Island Palms Hotel & Marina
from $117 / night
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The Pearl Hotel
Family Friendly
3 Star Rating3 Star Rating3 Star Rating
The Pearl Hotel
from $129 / night
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