Point Loma was the first sight, of what was to become California, that greeted Europeans when they sailed up the coast from Mexico in 1542. The peninsula juts into the Pacific Ocean and creates the shelter for San Diego Bay. Ballast Point, site of the 1542 landing by Rodriquez Cabrillo and his crew, is named for the cobblestones loaded as ballast to replace the goods later ships delivered to a growing San Diego. Many of the stones ended up lining the streets of Boston.
Today the Cabrillo Monument Park, part of the National Park Service, just above Ballast Point offers exhibits, living history lessons and tours of the Old Point Loma Lighthouse. Views from the park overlook the city, the Navy’s submarine pens and the open Pacific. The Tide Pools along the base of the cliffs below the park offer visitors a chance to see various species of marine life up close and personal.
The peninsula is home to 63,000 plus residents who enjoy its location near the heart of the city and its spectacular skyline and ocean views. Some lucky homeowners have views of both. The Navy is one of the largest land holders on the Point. Fort Rosecrans Military Reservation and National Cemetery run almost the length of the Peninsula. The National Cemetery is a dignified resting place for veterans from many wars with its dignified rows of markers and spectacular views. The cemetery is also home to a number of monuments to sunken ships and those who went down with them. In the 90s, the Navy announced plans to close the Naval Training Center that occupied prime bayside land on the peninsula. The City of San Diego took possession of the land in 2000 and immediately began creating a new urban village for San Diego called Liberty Station. Liberty Station is a mixed use project that will include homes, offices, shopping, cultural and arts facilities, a boat channel and hotels.
Point Loma is also known for its secluded coves and spectacular cliffs. Sunset Cliffs Natural Park stretches along the Pacific Ocean side of the peninsula offers spectacular ocean views and California Gray Whale watching during the annual migration from Alaska to Baja California.
Neighborhoods on the peninsula include Loma Portal, Midway District, Ocean Beach, Point Loma Heights, Centraloma, Roseville, Fleetridge, Sunset Cliffs, College Area, Woods, Wooded Acres, La Playa and Liberty Station.