While Point Loma may not be known for its sandy beaches, it is still the perfect spot for your next getaway to San Diego. Whether you are on vacation or taking a staycation, Point Loma has an abundance of fun and educational things to do. Read on to find out more.
1. Cabrillo National Monument in Point Loma
Located on the southern tip of the Point Loma peninsula is the Cabrillo National Monument. History buffs will rejoice. Learn about the explorations of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo at the Visitor’s Center. He famously led the first European expedition to the West Coast in 1542. Take in an educational film like Voyages of the San Salvador or First Breath: Grey Whales in their auditorium. Self-guided tours of the Point Loma Lighthouse provide insight into the life of a lighthouse keeper in 1880. Check out military memorabilia from WW1 and WW2. Point Loma was a strategic location to spot enemy ships.
For nature enthusiasts, hike the 1-mile Coastal Trail with amazing views of the ocean. Though short, it is classified as easy to difficult due to steep slopes and stairs along the way. The path leads to tidepools where you can discover sea life including anemones, crabs, and small fish. This is the only area of the monument where leashed dogs are allowed.
The 2.5-mile Bayside Trail will satisfy both history and nature lovers. Detailed signs along the way give descriptions of fauna, animal habitats and weather. A military power plant and searchlight station from 1919 still stand and are visible from the trail.
2. Kellogg Beach and Bessemer Path
Tucked away on the San Diego Bay side of Point Loma is Kellogg Beach. This hidden gem is cherished by locals. You may find sunbathers, joggers, dog walkers, and even a fisherman or two. Watch magnificent yachts and boats sail past from Shelter Island across the way. Calm waters make it a great spot for little ones to splash around.
Leading to Kellogg Beach is Bessemer Path, a dirt-packed trail winding through the La Playa residential area of Point Loma. Beautiful homes border the trail on one side and the bay on the other. Once part of the Old La Playa Trail, Native Americans and Spanish missionaries walked the path from the San Diego Mission to Ballast Point. It is located on the eastern side of the bayfront between Talbot Street and Qualtrough Street.
3. Jennings House Eatery in Point Loma Village
For breakfast with a touch of character, try the Jennings House Eatery in the heart of the village. This historical landmark is the oldest house in all of Point Loma. Built in 1887 by Fred Jennings, who once served as sheriff of San Diego, he and his brother have a colorful story tied to Point Loma. To read more, click here.
The Jennings house has held many different businesses over the years including a sweet shop, an apartment building, a bakery, a boarding house, a clothing shop, a bookstore, legal offices, and several restaurants. Peruse the black and white photos adorning the walls that showcase the narrative of the building.
Offering classic and signature breakfast staples and fresh baked cinnamon rolls, scones, and sticky buns, their Brioche French Toast and Egg Scrambles are popular with customers.
4. Sunset Cliffs National Park
As you might guess from the name, Sunset Cliffs is the place to see breathtaking sunsets. Covering 68 acres of land, the park extends along the western shoreline of Point Loma. With grand views of the ocean, interesting rock formations, caves, and tidepools, it is a meditative spot to view the beauty of the coast. Several paths are available for walking, jogging, or biking. The Sunset Cliffs Trail is an easy 2.4-mile in-and-out trail suitable for the entire family. Spend the day exploring this natural treasure.
5. Presidio and Heritage County Parks
Sitting high on a hill in neighboring Old Town, Presidio Park is a wonderful place to enjoy magnificent views of the city and ocean. Home of the first two European settlements, the San Diego Presidio and The San Diego Mission, the land was eventually donated to the city by a wealthy department store businessman. Bring a picnic and bask in the California sunshine. Rumor is that parts of the park are haunted, so go on a walk to see for yourself. A visit to the Junipero Serra Museum at the park is a must to discover more about San Diego’s early days.
For architecture aficionados, Heritage County Park in Old Town will delight. Walk down a cobblestone street and view Victorian houses from the 1880’s and 1890’s that have been lovingly restored. The city’s first synagogue, The Temple Beth Israel, is also on show. The buildings were actually moved from their original locations to form the park. It is located on the outskirts of Old Town and includes a large grassy area.
6. Old Town Mexican Café
Old Town Mexican Cafe is the ideal spot for lunch or dinner after exploring nearby Presidio and Heritage County Parks. Serving authentic Mexican food, find Molcajete, Carnitas, and Pozole on the menu. Sip on their signature drink, the Pico Pico Margarita, made with serrano chiles and agave nectar.
Their handmade tortillas are famous. The dough is hand pressed, rolled out, and cooked on a large grill. Watch the tortilla ladies from a large window at the front of the restaurant. Don’t be surprised to see a small crowd on the sidewalk admiring their work.
7. Humphrey’s Concerts by the Bay
With a backdrop of the marina and surrounded by palm trees and tropical plants, Humphrey’s Concerts by the Bay is a fantastic arena to catch your favorite live musical acts. Intimate with only 1400 seats, this outdoor theater hosts a variety of musical and comedy performers. Upcoming shows this summer include Colbie Caillat, Jackson Browne, and Amy Schumer. Restaurant and hotel packages are available at Humphrey’s Half Moon Inn.
Of course, no trip to Point Loma is complete without an exhilarating pedal boat ride from Eco Boat Rentals. For more information, check out our FAQ page.