Tips for Visiting Cabrillo National Monument with Toddlers



Hi everyone.  It’s Tyler again from  You might not have known, but we went to Southern California a few months ago to visit my aunt, grandma, and grandpa.

We took in many attractions in Los Angeles and San Diego, including various national parks and monuments.

Today, I’m going to tell you about Cabrillo National Monument (, one of the highlights of our visit to San Diego.



Cabrillo National Monument celebrates the landing of explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, the first European explorer to land on the West Coast.

The area was designated a national monument in 1932 and is well known for sweeping views of San Diego, Mexico, and the Pacific Ocean.


Tyler and Mom enjoying the scenery from the Visitor’s Center


Cabrillo is located at the southern tip of the Point Loma peninsula in San Diego. 

Having an automobile is recommended as cell phone service is spotty for ride-sharing and public transportation does not go to the monument.



The entrance fee for a passenger vehicle is $20.  You can re-enter for up to one week on the same receipt.


Tyler learning from one of the exhibits at Cabrillo



Visitor’s Center

You’ll start your visit here.  There are some exhibits and a movie about Cabrillo National Monument.

In addition to the scenic views, many of the other attractions are within walking distance of the Visitor’s Center.

Cabrillo Statue

One of the most famous icons of this park is the Cabrillo statue.

Old Point Loma Lighthouse

One of the famous attractions of Cabrillo, the lighthouse has been restored to the 1880s appearance and presents a snapshot of life for a lighthouse keeper during that time period.

There are additional exhibits about lighthouses, and you can climb a winding staircase and look out the top of the lighthouse.


Tyler and Daddy going up the walkway to the Old Point Loma Lighthouse


Coast Defense Exhibit

A small building which presents the military history of Fort Rosecrans.


One of the best protected and most assessable tide pools in Southern California exists at Cabrillo National Monument.  The tide pool is a great way to experience the variety of marine life that exists in an “intertidal” system.

Keep in mind that it is a bit rocky and unbalanced, and the ocean is mere feet away, so keep a close eye on your toddlers.



There is one standard national park stamp for Cabrillo National Monument and a few non-standard stamps.



Most of the attractions in the main parking area are toddler friendly.  This includes the Visitor Center, Coast Defense Exhibit, Cabrillo Statue, and Old Point Loma Lighthouse.

The area is paved and it is easy to maneuver strollers.  Probably the only area amongst the above listed attractions that would be difficult for a toddler is the winding staircase leading up to the top of the lighthouse.

The other attractions at Cabrillo, such as the tide pools and the trails, are less accessible to toddlers and strollers.


If you’re in San Diego and have access to an automobile and stroller, Cabrillo National Monument is worth spending a morning or afternoon.

It’s unlikely that you’ll spend more than a few hours here with a toddler, but it’s a great mix of history, nature, and breath taking scenery.

Please visit my National Parks page to learn more about the National Parks I’ve visited, and I also have some great tips for collecting National Park Passport Stamps.

Thanks for reading.

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Do you have any thoughts about the Cabrillo National Monument?  What are your favorite attractions?  Leave your comments below.