Cabrillo National Monument
1800 Cabrillo Memorial Drive, Point Loma
If there is the sightseeing equivalent of a fast-food outletgourmet restaurant in San Diego, it's the Cabrillo National Monument. With its vistas of bay, mountains, islands, Mexico, and endless ocean, the monument dedicated to explorer Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo offers a feast for tourists and local residents. For the conventioneer or out-of-town business executive who can afford one stop, the hilltop memorial is a filling introduction to San Diego. A living map unfolds on all sides. For the leisurely traveler, the stop may serve as the appetizer of orientation at vacation's start or the dessert of summary at journey's end. For visitors who want more than a view, the monument at Point Loma's southern tip contains tidepools, coastal sage scrub, hiking trails, a historic lighthouse, World War II bunkers, and a lookout for gray whales. A museum highlights the expedition of Cabrillo, believed to be Portuguese, who sailed under Spain's flag.