A neighborhood of dramatic contrasts
West of downtown San Diego, you’ll find Point Loma, Harbor Island and Shelter Island, all of which offer great restaurants, activities, a variety of accommodations and stunning views of San Diego’s skyline.
Point Loma is home to the Cabrillo National Monument commemorating the landing of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, who sailed his ship the San Salvador in to San Diego Bay in 1542, to become the first European to set foot in California. Contemplate his remarkable journey as you stand next to the statue of Cabrillo and enjoy sweeping views of the bay and downtown San Diego skyline. Visit the Old Point Loma Lighthouse and discover some of the best tide pooling in San Diego, when low tide reveals flowery anemones, crabs, mollusks and a myriad of other sea creatures inhabiting the reef. Point Loma is also home to the Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, a solemn memorial for those who have served our country and a tranquil setting for reflection. Liberty Station in Point Loma is a waterfront urban village in the redeveloped Naval Training Center that includes hotels, restaurants, breweries, and the popular Liberty Public Market, offering stalls filled with prepared foods, beer, wine, pastries and crafts. More than 48 museums, galleries, artist and design studios, dance companies and other organizations showcase San Diego’s creative community in Liberty Station. The center also features the Sail Ho Golf Course, a funky nine-hole course left over from the naval training facility. If you’re looking for great surf, Point Loma offers several quality surf breaks along the western edge but most are hard to access without a boat.
For a thin strip of land directly south of the airport, Harbor Island packs a lot into its two miles of real estate. Large hotels, marinas and several view-centric restaurants, including Island Prime, Costerra and Tom Ham’s Lighthouse, call this island home. A shoreline path complete with a steady ocean breeze keeps walkers, joggers, skaters and bikers cool while they enjoy panoramic views of the San Diego skyline, Coronado Island and the Big Bay. Several grassy areas provide ample picnic spots. Harbor Island is also an ideal place to enjoy the city lights by night, firework shows on the 4th of July, the annual boat Parade of Lights in December and sailing races, such as the America’s Cup, when they are taking place.
A nautical atmosphere prevails on Shelter Island, one of San Diego’s principal boating centers, where marinas, resort hotels, restaurants and bayside parks welcome sailors and landlubbers with recreational amenities. Many short and long-range sportfishing trips depart from here, with anglers catching a host of Pacific fish like Yellowtail, Albacore, Halibut, Dorado, Calico Bass and a variety of rock fish. Shelter Island is also home to Humphreys Half Moon Inn & Suites, and their summer Concerts By The Bay, which attracts nationally known musicians and comedians. At the end of Shelter Island, you’ll find the Yokohama Friendship Bell, a large bronze bell housed in a pagoda structure, that was a gift from the city of Yokohama, Japan in 1958 to commemorate the sister city relationship between San Diego and Yokohama.