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Old Point Loma Lighthouse, San Diego

4.7
Lighthouse · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
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Built in 1855, Old Point Loma Lighthouse once helped boats safely navigate San Diego Bay, but now serves as a maritime museum and a lookout point with expansive views of the Pacific Ocean. The museum details its past watch duties, as well as what life was like for the operator and the families who lived there. You can even meet "Captain Israel," the famous character who worked as lighthouse keeper for 21 years. Stroll the grounds, admire the view, or climb down to the shore below and try your hand at tide pooling. There are many great photo opportunities, so don’t forget your camera. The area is frequented by patches of heavy fog, so check the weather before visiting. Use our San Diego vacation maker to add Old Point Loma Lighthouse and other attractions to your San Diego vacation plans.
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Old Point Loma Lighthouse reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
1,432 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • You can't go to Cabrillo without visiting the Lighthouse. The lens is on display inside and is so cool to see. It's amazing how they were basically off the grid living back then. 
    You can't go to Cabrillo without visiting the Lighthouse. The lens is on display inside and is so cool to see. It's amazing how they were basically off the grid living back then.  more »
  • Ooops! Wrong lighthouse! While in Point Loma, we couldn't help but be drawn to this beauty adorning the high hillside. While it was not the lighthouse in Top Gun, it was still worthwhile. And the....  more
    Ooops! Wrong lighthouse! While in Point Loma, we couldn't help but be drawn to this beauty adorning the high hillside. While it was not the lighthouse in Top Gun, it was still worthwhile. And the....  more »
  • You can easily visit the lighthouse when you visit the Cabrillo National Monument. It's a short walk. You can go inside and look around. There are walking paths and the views are beautiful. 
    You can easily visit the lighthouse when you visit the Cabrillo National Monument. It's a short walk. You can go inside and look around. There are walking paths and the views are beautiful.  more »
Google
  • The must see especially on short time visit. My favorite of all in San Diego. History, relaxation, nature, stroll or go to the hiking trail, fresh air... Amazing views. Wait is reasonable; can be is a hit and miss... 10 minutes last time. For sure by noon to 2 pm can be longer. Closing time changes with seasons Cost is per vehicle type: $20 regular car.See pic. You can get Federal and National yearly park pass. Visited 25+ times in 17 years. I get the park yearly pass often because of my often visits. Point Loma Lighthouse, tide pools, and Cabrillo monument in the same park. Rosecrans National Cemetery short distance before park entrance.
  • Located in Cabrillo National Monument this is a beautifully restored late 19th century lighthouse. There are numerous hiking trails, a visitor center complete with restrooms, and interpretive exhibits throughout the area. Driving down toward the western shore of Point Loma you will encounter several tide pools that may have interesting sea life at low tide. I recommend visiting about 30 minutes before low tide to have the best chance at seeing things.
  • It's like a museum, it has old beds and furniture. It's like a story as you go up the staircase. There was a family living there with 2 kids, there is a really nice kitchen and living room too! Unfortunately we couldn't get to the top platform with the light on it but you can take pictures through the gate on the ladder at the top. Ya, it's pretty old.
  • The Cabrillo National Monument and Old Point Loma Lighthouse are a great choice if the family is looking for an interesting outdoor activity for a few hours, or if you want to take in an outstanding panoramic ocean view from the tip of the peninsula, or if you like to learn and explore San Diego history. The wait to get in seems unnecessarily long, but parking is adequate and you have the option to get a little exercise walking up to the Lighthouse from the visitors center, or driving up to a 2nd lot up top. There is nothing super fancy about it, and the Lighthouse is rather small, which is the only reason it's 4 stars rather than 5.
  • I visited on a weekend and it was not so crowded. There is entry charge of $20 per vehicle. You could save some bucks with National park annual visitor pass. The lighthouse stairs are a bit claustrophobic. It goes up for 2 stairs and the access is restricted further up.

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