Point Loma was one of the first neighborhoods in San Diego. It’s home to Cabrillo Monument, which is the second most visited national monument only exceeded by the Statue of Liberty. Here too is picturesque Shelter Island, which is home to yacht clubs, great fishing as well as the San Diego Sports Arena. Not to be overlooked is the fabulous Liberty Station, which is fast becoming the place for dining, shopping, and cultural events in the arts district.
CABRILLO NATIONAL MONUMENT
On the windswept tip of Point Loma is the third most visited national monument in the United States. It’s called the Cabrillo National Monument, now celebrating over 105 years. this is a must-see sweeping view of greateer San Diego that you must not miss. The 365 degree view from this site enables you to put the city and its many suburbs into visual perspective. On a clear day you can see the San Bernardino Mountains over 100 miles away. From this vantage point high above the ocean, you will be able to enjoy a breathtaking panoramic view of the city of San Diego and beyond. On a clear day you can see the Mount Palomar Observatory 50 miles away. This picturesque monument is dedicated to explorer Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo, who discovered San Diego. Don’t leave San Diego without visiting this monument and its incredible view.
Cabrillo National Monument is located at 1800 Cabrillo Memorial Dr. (619-557-5450), which is at the tip of Point Loma, 422 ft. above sea level. The best and least confusing way to get there is to follow Rosecrans Street to Cañon Street, turn right; go to Catalina Boulevard and veer left (see map).
The monument is open daily, 9 a.m.–5 p.m., and there is an entrance fee of ($10) per car, ($7) per motorcycle, or ($5) for walk-ins and cyclists. The fee includes access to the 160-acre national park, including the Cabrillo Monument, the old lighthouse, hiking on the bayside trail and visiting the tide pools. Ticket is good for 7 days from day of purchase.
On your way to or from the Cabrillo National Monument, definitely, plan to discover Shelter Island (see chapter map). It’s one of two man-made peninsulas on romantic San Diego Bay. This tropical paradise is filled with tall swaying palm trees and majestic views of romantic San Diego Bay. While it’s home to classy yacht brokerage firms, boat builders, classy hotels, impressive bay view restaurants and impressive yacht clubs, it’s totally non-commercial in appearance.
Instead, it’s a great place to ride a bike, stroll along or drive up and down Shelter Island Drive and enjoy the views. You can also launch a boat for a day of boating or fish off the public pier ($6) on weekdays and on the ($8) weekends. Shelter Island typifies the best of the best about San Diego. One of Shelter Island’s biggest attractions is the live summer entertainment series called Humphreys Concerts by the Bay (14). Featured are nationally acclaimed singers and musicians such as Diana Krall, Steely Dan, Steve Miller Band, The Doobie Brothers, Chris Isaak and many more. They perform outdoors under the stars and it is a spectacular event. In fact, Humphreys has won Sign-on San Diego’s Best Entertainment Venue Reader’s Poll for 2010, 2012 and 2013. For tickets call (800-745-3000).
Their restaurant is also a crowd pleaser. It’s called Humphreys Restaurant (14) at 2241 Shelter Island Dr. (619-224-3577). While dining you can enjoy a postcard-perfect view of yachts on the bay. Humphreys is highly acclaimed for both its excellent modern global cuisine and outstanding live entertainment. A true show stopper is their Sunday Champagne Brunch, which many San Diegans describe as being the best in San Diego. See Restaurants.
As for a perfect place to stay in Point Loma, look no further than Humphreys classy hotel located next door to their restaurant. It’s called Humphreys Half Moon Inn & Suites (14) at 2303 Shelter Island Dr. (619-224-3411).
At the southern end of Shelter Island is Shelter Point Hotel and Marina. It is an excellent place to stay as are all of the hotels on Shelter Island. The great appeal for staying at one of these hotels is that they offer a seafaring vibe as they are home to yacht marinas, fine dining and incredible views.
They include The Bay Club Hotel & Marina at 2131 Shelter Island Dr. (619-224-8888) ($160) offering restaurant dining with and marina view and a swimming pool. Next door to the south is the Best Western Plus Island Palms Hotel & Marina at 2131 Shelter Island Dr. (619-222-0561). During the pandemic prices are ($111) a night.
Not to be missed is the best seafood and steak restaurant on Shelter Island, and it doesn’t even have a bay view. Fiddler’s Green (12) at 2760 Shelter Island Dr. (619-222-2216) is one of the most recommended restaurants in San Diego. This is because it’s a nautical-themed restaurant with a warm, friendly atmosphere, great steaks, delicious prime rib and fresh seafood. And owner Steve Rock is almost always on hand to greet you with a welcoming smile. This is a great restaurant with a more than 50-year tradition behind it. See Restaurants.
H&M Landing (11) at 2803 Emerson St. (619-222-1144) [hmlanding.com] is located near Shelter Island in Point Loma. H&M Landing is the oldest and most established firm with the most boats and the widest range of sport fishing trips available. This sport fishing leader offers deep-sea fishing trips from 1/2 day to 18 days in length and can provide you with all the tackle you need. They operate exciting seasonal whale watching cruises and sport fishing year-round. Present their coupons for $5 off on 1/2 and 3/4 day fishing or whale watching trips. See Sports & Recreation.
Liberty Station, which was once the nation’s largest Naval Training Center has been transformed into a shopping, dining, residential and recreational playground that is fast becoming the new place San Diegans love to explore. This 361-acre playground is a great discovery. Within Liberty Station are many must-see venues including the Arts District Liberty Station.
This cultural mecca within 361 waterfront acres of the former Naval Training Center San Diego (NTC) features historic Spanish Colonial Revival architecture, vast outdoor spaces, and plenty of parking. Arts District Liberty Station, a burgeoning hub for life and culture in San Diego, is filled with nearly 120 galleries, museums, artist studios, nonprofit offices, creative retail, and restaurants. Not to be overlooked is Liberty Public Market (13), a 7-day a week Public Market offering both sit-down dining, take-out, wines and beer, and produce to take home in an indoor farmer’s market atmosphere.
From studios to boutique shops, a historic golf course, seasonal holiday ice rink, an array of event venues, luxury cinemas, local restaurants, and a public market, the Arts District abounds with entertainment, annual festivals, and innovative cultural and culinary experiences. See a full directory of Arts District Liberty Station businesses here.
ARTS DISTRICT LIBERTY STATION
A destination where visitors and locals can stroll the 100 park-like acres, discover something new each time and make lasting memories. Host your special occasion, attend an event, experience unique dining, and enjoy beautifully restored buildings with lush landscape. Many of the 38 historic buildings are now bursting with authenticity, heritage, creativity, and innovation. Always changing and evolving, ARTS DISTRICT is a place to create, connect, learn, shop, dine, meet, explore and buy local art. Find out about upcoming Liberty Station events here and see a directory map here.
Friday Night Liberty
Experience all the ARTS DISTRICT has to offer is by attending a FREE Friday Night Liberty art walk. Taking place on the first Friday of every month from 5-9 pm, Friday Night Liberty is San Diego’s biggest FREE monthly art event! Meet working artists, enjoy dance, theatre and music performances, visit museums and galleries and explore the growing District. Start the walkthrough at the Information Desk in the Dick Laub NTC Command Center (12) at 2640 Historic Decatur Road and pick up a monthly program and District map.
Second Saturday Cinema
Enjoy the FREE outdoor film series on the second Saturday of each month starting in May and running through October. Movie lovers are encouraged to grab a picnic, blanket, or low back chair and spend an evening underneath the stars while catching a flick on the outdoor big screen with friends, family and neighbors along Liberty Station’s grassy North Promenade. Show up early and enjoy music and performances highlighting groups in residence at ARTS DISTRICT or visit the open art galleries, studios, and museums.
Summer Concert Series
The community is invited to enjoy FREE outdoor concerts on the North Promenade for a handful of summer evenings (schedule can be viewed at libertystation.com.) The live performances start at 5 p.m. and feature a wide range of San Diego musicians that are sure to appeal to music lovers of all ages. Arrive early, picnic, and enjoy the art galleries, studios, and museums of the burgeoning Arts District.
Salute The Season
During November and December of each year, “Skate, Create, and Celebrate” the holiday season by participating in a wide range of festive activities at Arts District. It’s a seasonal activity for all ages.
Partake in the Annual Holiday Block Party as the unique eateries, creative studios, and joyful community located within Liberty Station pull out all the stops with complimentary bites and sips, live entertainment, and merry activities for friends and families to enjoy. Watch as the spirit of the season lights up Liberty Station during the Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony. Marvel at the 90 ft. Norfolk Pine as it transforms into a Holiday Wishing Tree, complete with thousands of twinkling lights and colorful ornaments.
Enjoy Fantasy on Ice’s skating rink, benefiting Rady Children’s Hospital, and take a break at the adjacent Winter Village Marketplace. After a festive skate, shoppers are encouraged to wander through 16 historic buildings and visit the over 80 artists, galleries and museums to shop for Holiday Gifts with a Creative Twist. Locally-made unique works of art, handmade jewelry, and furniture make great gifts and support our arts and culture community.
Art in Public Places
Installations at the Station: Art Encounters at Arts District Liberty Station is a new temporary art in public spaces program of the NTC Foundation. Installations at the Station will fund the commissioning and installation of significant and engaging temporary visual art by San Diego and Baja artists to attract visitors, create a sense of place and provide insight into the historical and cultural essence of the San Diego-Baja border region.
VENUES Liberty Station: One Event is All It Takes to Make History.
- Phone: (619-573-9306)
- Web: www.venueslibertystation.org
- 2640 Historic Decatur, Suite 101
San Diego, CA 92106
8 DISTINCTIVE INDOOR & OUTDOOR VENUES:
Venues Liberty Station offers 8 distinctive event spaces within 28 acres of incredible, historic surroundings at the former Naval Training Center San Diego (NTC). The unique location encompasses beautifully restored buildings and lush landscapes, ideal for public and private events. The indoor banquet hall (the historic NTC Library), stunning white chapel, scenic courtyards, and outdoor park-like settings can easily accommodate events for 25 – 3,000 guests. These picturesque venues offer versatile space for weddings, meetings/conferences, festivals, special occasions (birthdays, anniversaries, retirements, etc.), school dances, fundraising galas, and more. Their experienced event management team is dedicated to providing attentive service to ensure your event’s success and make your experience memorable. Enjoy a midnight curfew, reserved parking, and vetted vendors.
CORKY MCMILLIN COMPANIES EVENT CENTER
The original NTC Library, known for its vaulted ceilings and exposed beams, offers over 7,000 sq. ft. versatile ballroom space and an outdoor patio. Celebrate with a seated event for 350 guests or standing reception for 800 guests.
LUCE COURT & FIELDSTONE LEGACY PLAZA
The spacious, paved 20,000 sq. ft. courtyard highlighted by a stunning fountain, up-lit palm trees, and colorful gardens, can entertain up to 2,000 guests.
At the heart of Liberty Station, this 100,000-square-foot park-like setting boasts a towering American flag and accommodates up to 3,000 guests.
NORTH & SOUTH PROMENADES
A scenic, verdant 75,000 sq. ft. greenbelt surrounded by rustic pathways and NTC’s iconic archways. Comfortably welcomes any event with up to 2,000 guests.
BARRACKS 17 PLAZA
Secluded between historic barracks buildings, this 7,000 sq. ft. outdoor plaza is equipped with modern market lights. Enjoy this setting for dinner receptions, social occasions, and mixers for up to 500 guests.
THE NORTH CHAPEL
This charming non-denominational chapel, with a vaulted wood beam ceiling, showcases colorful stained glass windows and the original pipe organ. The elegant main sanctuary accommodates 325 guests while the small sanctuary suits intimate gatherings for up to 40 guests.
SYBIL STOCKDALE ROSE GARDEN
This intimate courtyard features a quaint terrace, central fountain, lawns, and vibrant landscape for up to 150 guests.
Liberty Station is also home to more than 20 restaurants, 2 hotels and the most highly attended church in San Diego County which is The Rock Church. Plus, Liberty Station is also home to an executive golf course. A big attraction here is that the newest location of Stone Brewing Co., which is the most popular medium brewery in the land has opened a tap room and restaurant in Liberty Station. This $26 million, 400-seat restaurant includes bocce courts, an outdoor space for movie screenings and a 19,000-sq. ft. beer garden as well as being a small brewery. Their Escondido location is located at 1999 Citracado Parkway (760-294-7866) [stoneworldbistro.com].
Liberty Station is home to dozens of restaurants including Solare Ristorante & Lounge (16) at 2820 Roosevelt Rd. (619-270-9670). This upbeat and fun Italian restaurant is open for lunch and dinner. Happy hour Tues.–Sat. 3 p.m.–6:30 p.m. and Sun. 4:30 till 6:30 p.m. with daily price break specials. Closed Mondays. Hamburger aficionados will tell you that Slater’s 50/50 offers the best hamburgers you’ve ever tasted, made with 50% ground corn-fed whole stein beef and 50% ground hickory smoked bacon.
Yes, a real crowd pleaser in Liberty Station (see map) is Sushiya Japanese Restaurant (18) at 2558 Laning Rd. (619-224-0100). This popular sushi bar and casual Japanese restaurant is well-known for its delicious hand rolls and beautifully presented combination plates. They also serve several kinds of sake and Japanese beer in addition to three flavors of mochi. They are open daily for lunch and dinner. An added plus is their San Diego Bay view. See Restaurants. Harbor Square (see map) is conveniently located just off Harbor Drive near the airport, Harbor Island and Shelter Island.
Calling Liberty Station home is the new Harbor Square (9), a bayside shopping plaza at 2560 Laning Rd. Shops and restaurants include Oggi’s Pizza, Subway Sandwiches, Sushiya Japanese Restaurant, Los Primos Mexican Restaurant and even a Starbucks!
Liberty Station is also home to one of San Diego County’s oldest golf courses, the Loma Club Golf Course (21) (619-222-4653). It was built in the 1920s by A.G. Spalding and was used by sailors as part of their fitness programs. It is a nine-hole course featuring redesigned fairways and a clubhouse. Across the street is the new Corvette Diner (7) a throwback to the 1950s.
LIBERTY STATION PUBLIC MARKET
Liberty Public Market is a 7-day a week open from 10 a.m. –7 p.m.· The Public Market showcases the best of what the region has to offer. It presents a rustic environment with prepared foods, beer, wine, specialty cocktails, produce, fish, desserts and pastries, pastas, arts and crafts, a test kitchen, pop up dinners, and educational driven events.
WHERE TO STAY IN LIBERTY STATION
Liberty Station is home to the beautiful 200-room Courtyard by Marriott Hotel (8) and a 150-room Hilton Homewood Suites (8). A wonderful place to dine is TwentyFive/92 at the Courtyard by Marriott. Both hotels are ideally located on the waterfront affording hotel guests beautiful views of the bay and downtown San Diego. Both are excellent venues for weddings, wedding receptions and reunions.
The Sports Arena (1) is the commercial hub of Point Loma. Here you’ll find lots of big specialty stores like Home Depot (3) and Dixieline Lumber. Plus there’s a huge Ralph’s supermarket (3), a Sports Chalet, a Target, a Big Five Sporting Goods, Big Lots (4), See’s Candies (4) and a whole lot more.
Here too is Yummy Buffet (13) at 2855 Midway Dr. (619-222-3388) [yummybuffet.com]. Their all-you-can-eat Asian buffet is second to none. Their wide array of cuisine includes snow crab legs served at dinner only as well as baked salmon and a 20-foot long fresh salad bar as well as freshly made sushi.
Broken Yolk Restaurant (6) has one of nine locations of the immensely popular chain at 3577 Midway Dr. (619-358-9966). With over 20 deliciously different omelets and a wide variety of pancakes, waffles and French Toast entrées to choose from you won’t go home hungry when you dine here for breakfast or lunch. See Restaurants.
The big attraction in Point Loma though, is the Valley View Casino Center (1), formerly known as the San Diego Sports Arena at 3500 Sports Arena Blvd. (619-224-4171). In addition to being home of the San Diego Gulls AHL Hockey Club, it’s a year-round local attraction. Yes, it’s home to touring attractions like the ice follies, sports events, rodeos, family shows and rock concerts.
Yet the biggest attraction is Kobey’s Swap Meet (1) (619-226-0650). This swap meet is the largest in the county. It is held every Fri.–Sun., 7 a.m.–3 p.m. Admission ranges from ($1–$2) with children 11 and under are admitted free. Many vendors accept credit cards. See Shopping. Use their discount coupon for $1 off regular adult admission!
Also in the Sports Arena area is the world famous Phil’s BBQ (1) at 3750 Sports Arena Blvd. (619-226-6333). This local favorite serves the best tasting mesquite grilled chicken and ribs you have ever had. They now have locations in Santee, San Marcos and Rancho Bernardo
Also recommended is Garden Bistro & Bar (3) at 3711 Sports Arena Blvd. (619-224-4454). It’s open daily from 6 a.m. and serves great meals.
Close by is San Diego’s best and only German-American restaurant Kaiserhof Restaurant (2) at 2253 Sunset Cliffs Blvd. (619-224-0606). To get there travel west on Sports Arena Boulevard until it becomes West Point Loma Boulevard, and take a left at Sunset Cliffs Boulevard. This restaurant is famous for its authentic German cuisine and popular biergarten. It’s open for lunch Fri.–Sun. and dinner nightly except Monday. Also popular is their happy hour Tues.–Fri., 4 p.m.–7 p.m. See Restaurants.
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