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Cabrillo National Monument
In southwestern California, in San Diego
The site commemorates Juan Rodriguez Cabrillos 1542 expedition, the first European exploration of the west coast of the United States. The park is home to the Old Point Loma Lighthouse, one of the first lighthouses built on the West Coast, and remnants of coastal defense structures from World War II. It also preserves a beautiful landscape of tide pools and coastal sage scrub (among the most endangered in the world). The view of San Diego from the site is said to be the finest harbor view in the nation. Its a great place to whale-watch, too. There are several permanent exhibits to see, including the reconstructed interior of the 1880s lighthouse, photos and film footage shot during World War II displayed in a former Army radio building, and a multimedia show on Cabrillo in the visitor center. At this writing, a new lighthouse exhibit was slated to open in spring 2004. The site was established on October 14, 1913.
WHAT TO SEE & DO
Attending ranger programs, bird-watching, hiking, visiting tide pools, watching film presentations, whale-watching. Facilities: Visitor center with outdoor interpretive signs, beach, movies, hiking trail. Bookstore. Programs & Events: Ranger-guided tours and programs and frequent costumed interpretive programs available year-round. Gray whale talks and watching (Dec.-Feb.), wildflower walks (Feb.-Apr.), tide pool walks (Nov.-May). Cabrillo Festival with traditional dances, food, costumed interpretation (Sun. closest to Sept. 28), lighthouse programs, costumed interpreters, tower and catwalk open to public (Aug. 25 and Nov. 15), Whale Watch Weekend with speakers, whale programs, children's programs (3rd weekend in Jan.). Tips & Hints: Go in winter for clearest weather, Dec.-Feb. for whale migration. Bring binoculars for whale-watching. For the best look at tide pools, go on winter afternoons during full and new moon periods for extreme low tides. Wear shoes with good traction, particularly on the tide pools. Stay on the hiking trail and beware of rattlesnakes. Keep away from the cliff edges as they are very unstable. Busiest Mar.-Aug., least crowded Oct.-Jan.
FEES, HOURS & REGULATIONS
Entrance fee: $5 per vehicle; $3 per pedestrian, motorcyclist, and bicyclist, ages 16 and under free with paying adult. Pets may be taken to tide pools only, and then only when leashed. No bikes on trails or sidewalks. No swimming, surfing, or diving. Park and visitor center open July 4-September 1, daily 9-6:15; Sept. 2-July 3, daily 9-5:15.
HOW TO GET THERE
10 mi from downtown San Diego; from 1-8 or 1-5, take the Rosecrans Ave. exit. Drive south on Rosecrans to Canon St., go west on Canon to Catalina Blvd., then go south on Catalina Blvd to the end. Closest airport: San Diego (8 mi).
Cabrillo National Monument (1800 Cabrillo Memorial Dr., San Diego, CA 92106, tel. 619/557-5450, fax 619/557-5469,). San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau (401 ? St., Suite 1400, San Diego, CA 92101-4237, tel. 619/232-3101, fax 619/696-9371,). San Diego Visitor Information Center (11 Horton PL, at 1st Ave. and F St., tel. 619/236-1212).
Cabrillo National Monument. How to get by car to the Cabrillo National Monument. How to book a room and its price in the Cabrillo National Monument