Point Loma

Point Loma is the tip of the peninsula just to the west of the San Diego International Airport. It very nearly touches Coronado Island and helps to protect San Diego Bay, which is one of the primary reasons this is such a good harbor both for large ships on ocean cruises as well as for the military and naval bases that are located here. Popular things to do in Point Loma include sailing, and the bay side of the peninsula is the site of several marinas and yacht clubs. The San Diego Yacht Club boasts international fame as the home of the America's Cup from 1988 to 1995. Some of the sleek sailing ships that have represented the United States in this regatta still ply the waters of the bay and are available for charter.

Other things to do in Point Loma include going to the ocean. A good portion of the western side of the peninsula is taken up with Sunset Cliffs Park, which as it name suggests, is a good lookout point for spectacular sunsets. Below these rugged cliffs is one of the most beautiful and secluded beaches in all of San Diego. There is a wonderful hiking and walking trail along this area that stretches for a good mile. If you have walking difficulty, the drive itself is quite scenic. One of the things to do in Point Loma here is tide pooling. Low tides reveal rocky pools teeming with starfish, sea urchins, sand dollars, and other small sea creatures. Some of the beach areas are good for surfing at high tides.

The Point Loma Lighthouse and Cabrillo National Monument are the two most prominent Point Loma attractions that help to draw millions of visitors every year. Playing an important role in the history of the state, Point Loma was where Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo became the first European to land on what is now the west coast of the United States in 1542. The Spanish mariner and conquistador had set sail from Mexico and the monument is a heroic statue of him gazing out to sea. The Point Loma Lighthouse is located not far from the monument, and first began warning ships away from the rocky coastline in 1855. It is called the Old Point Loma Lighthouse because it served only for 36 years when it was discovered that the location was prone to clouds and fog. A new one was built closer to sea level in 1891. "Loma" is the Spanish word for hill, and the point is marked by numerous hills towering over the sea. At the time, building lighthouses on high promontories like this was a common error in judgment.

Just north of Point Loma is Mission Bay—home of Seaworld. From the peninsula, there are two bridges, one from popular Ocean Beach and one from the Midway Towne Shopping Center. There are numerous Point Loma hotels, resorts, and bed and breakfast inns both on the peninsula and in the surrounding area. If you want to know when to go to San Diego for special events like these, there is a sport fishing festival called Day of the Docks held in April as well as the Festa do Espirito Santo (Feast of the Holy Spirit), a colorful May/June celebration sponsored by the area's large Portuguese-American population. Another colorful time of year to visit is the Christmas season.

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