Cabrillo National Monument is a tourist hotspot. It is better if you visit the site on a weekday as weekends can be extremely busy and crowded. Should you be unable to avoid the weekend, be sure to arrive early so you can have some time and space before you have to jostle to get a few good pictures. The national monument is at 1800, Cabrillo Memorial Drive in San Diego. It honors the first ever European expedition to land on the west coast. The exploration was Spanish to be precise, led by Juan Rodriquez Cabrillo, hence the name. Cabrillo had already set foot on Mexico, and thereon he sailed and eventually landed at San Diego Bay. This was circa 1542, predating the English, Dutch and Portuguese explorations in this part of the new world.
The national monument remains open throughout the year. Admission is only $10 for every passenger car, $5 for cycles and $7 for bikes. Commercial vehicles, such as buses, are usually charged a minimum of $30. The admission fee could be up to $100 if it is a large bus with plenty of people. Some parts of the park will remain open till 5 p.m. but many close at around 4 p.m.
The most noteworthy attractions at the national monument are the lighthouses at Point Loma, the tide pools, and the intertidal zone. The tide pools at Cabrillo are more interesting than the ones you may have explored in San Francisco or elsewhere. The tide pools are rich in biodiversity, mainly plants, and fishes. You won’t find so many marine creatures in the tide pools almost anywhere on the west coast.
There are various proactive steps you should take before you visit the National Monument. Sign up for alerts from National Park Service. You don’t have to be familiar with the federal and state laws pertaining to closure and access to various parts of the park. Paying attention to the notifications issued will be sufficient. These will also include weather updates. You need to be particularly conscious of tidal information. You don’t want to venture down to the tide pools when there is a high tide coming or has already arrived.
Stay at Pacific Inn Hotel and Suites
The national monument is eight and a half miles southwest of Pacific Inn Hotel and Suites in San Diego. The scenic drive will take you around twenty minutes. Reserve your stay online at the hotel to get the best deal.