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I am a New York-based writer, travel lover, and author of The Drive North and Destination Paranormal. I have several other books in the works, including fiction.

The Best View in San Diego

The Cabrillo National Monument Visitor Center

The Cabrillo National Monument Visitor Center

What’s the best view in San Diego? Easy. Go to Cabrillo National Monument and spin around in a circle. You’ll see the vast Pacific Ocean, south to Mexico, and out over the harbor to downtown San Diego and the mountains beyond. In my two trips to town, I’ve seen no better view. And it’s a good thing I caught it on this trip, too, because we almost skipped it.

Welcome to Cabrillo!

Welcome to Cabrillo!

After my long drive to San Diego, I was ready lay low, get some rest, and just spend some quality time with the family. My sister and I talked about some things to do while my dad and I were in town, and the idea of going out to Cabrillo was quickly discarded. Apparently there’s not much at the national monument. Apparently…

We had some time to burn New Year’s Day afternoon while my nephew played football on the beach with some friends, so we decided on a quick trip out to Cabrillo. It was close by. Only $5 to get in for the whole car. And worth about the hour or so we had available. Or so we thought.

Cabrillo's Old Point Loma Lighthouse

Cabrillo’s Old Point Loma Lighthouse

Between the small museum, the lighthouse, the tide pools down along the coast, and the amazing view, we could’ve spent a whole bunch more time there. Heck, we probably could’ve gone the whole day between exploring, a picnic, and some time enjoying the incredible views.

Looking down on the tide pools from the lighthouse

Looking down on the tide pools from the lighthouse

But are they really the best in town? They’re the best I’ve seen. Granted, I haven’t seen it all in only two trips, but they’re up against some pretty stiff competition between the sunset at La Jolla and time out on the water whale watching. Both of those offered some pretty spectacular panoramas, but I don’t think they hold up against Cabrillo. Not with all of the history, things to do there – which can include whale watching or the sunset – and the learning opportunities.

(Did you know that in 1542 Juan Rodriquez Cabrillo was the first European to set foot on what is now the West Coast of the U.S.? Neither did I.)

We tromped around the grounds high on the hill that makes the peninsula on the west side of the harbor. We walked through the museum and the lighthouse. And we drove down by the tide pools, unable to park because of the crowd. Yes, the crowd. Granted, it was New Year’s Day, but the place was packed. Overflowing, even; and so, we were obviously mistaken. There is definitely a lot to do at Cabrillo. And beyond all, it’s San Diego’s best panoramic view…

A panoramic view from Cabrillo

Click to enlarge a panoramic view from Cabrillo

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One Comment on “The Best View in San Diego”

  1. ummulbaneenmirza March 1, 2014 at 1:35 am #

    the small museum, the lighthouse, the tide pools , Lovely piece of writing

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