“Lighthouses are not just stone, brick, metal, and glass. There’s a human story at every lighthouse…”
Is it just me or is there something inexplicably charming about old lighthouses? Living in Newport, RI for a brief time cultivated an irrevocable craving in me to know and explore the stories behind the beautiful old archicture in the cities we live, so I was a little giddy when we decided to spend a bright Saturday morning exploring the old lighthouse on the bluffs of Point Loma.
The lighthouse is just a short drive from downtown, but driving on the winding path to the park entrance had us feeling like we had been transported somewhere else completely.
The entrance fee to visit the lighthouse and the adjacent Cabrillo monument is $10, but if you are military you can get an annual pass to visit for free. Just show the gate guard some ID and you’re good to go!
The lighthouse is located on a high cliff with gorgeous fews of the ocean, downtown, and Coronado. Inside the lighthouse you can see what the rooms would have looked like when the original lighthouse keeper and his family lived there.
The adjacent building is full of mini museum-like displays chock-full of the lighthouse’s history (both mechanical and personal). Even our three year old had fun examining all the old pieces they had showcased inside.
If brushing up on old history isn’t your thing, the lighthouse is surrounded by lush natural beauty to take in. I would have been perfectly happy just walking around outside if we hadn’t had time to see the inside.
Behind the lighthouse is a dreamy seaside garden that mimics what the original owners might have grown. The lighthouse was so isolated at the time that it was important for them to have their own provisions on site.
A short path’s walk south of the lighthouse leads to this lookout spot where you can see the modern Point Loma lighthouse on the shore. The fog around the Point Loma cliffs often kept the original lighthouse from being much help to the incoming ships, and they were forced to build a new lighthouse in a more useful location.
The view from the Point Loma cliffs
Model of the Point Loma Lighthouse
The wildly beautiful natural landscape of the Point Loma Cliffs
Adjacent to the old lighthouse is the Cabrillo monument which boasts even better views of downtown and Coronado then the lighthouse.
LTJG Husband and little man checking out the view of Coronado
Unfortunately, with both the boys in tow we didn’t have time to visit the Cabrillo visitor center on our way out, so I didn’t get a chance to learn the story behind the Cabrillo monument this time around. However, these views alone were worth the trip…
All in all, I’d guess that a solid two hours would be enough time to leisurely explore everything at the lighthouse and the Cabrillo monument, although we were only there for a little over an hour and had a great time (especially our three year old).
Since we haven’t made it over to Point Loma too often since we moved here, we decided to grab some lunch in the harbor before heading home. We tried out the tacos (mahi mahi and calamari) at Mitch’s Seafood and they did not disappoint.
The harbor was the perfect place to end our morning excursion. I wish we had a little more time to explore, but that will just have to wait for next time ;)