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.