Point Loma Neighborhood Guide

Point Loma is a hilly peninsula that plays a big part in defining the San Diego Bay and ultimately separates the bay from the Pacific Ocean. The history of Point Loma is tremendously special. It is where the first European expedition that reached modern day CA landed back in 1542. Many consider to be “where California began”. It houses two major military bases, a nationally renowned cemetery, several landmarks and is home to Point Loma Nazarene University.



Point Loma was discovered by Europeans on September 28, 1542 when Portuguese navigator Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo led an expedition to explore the west coast of what is now the United States. Cabrillo referred to the San Diego Bay as “a very good enclosed port”. Historians believe he docked his flagship on Point Loma’s east waterfront.



The southern section of the Point Loma peninsula was reserved for military purposes way back in 1852. Over many decades the Army developed a collection of coastal artillery batteries and named the area Fort Rosecrans. After World War II, the southern portion of point loma already had multiple Naval command centers, including a submarine base and a Naval Electronics Laboratory; they were later fortified by becoming considered the Naval Base Point Loma. With time other parts of Fort Rosecrans came into place, such as Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery and Cabrillo National Monument.



There are various neighborhoods in Point Loma. From waterfront areas like shelter island and Sunset Cliffs, commercial dominated areas like midway, or hill-top suburbs in the wooded area, Point Loma has it all.



The best known landmark in Point Loma is the historical and beautiful Point Loma lighthouse, an icon of Point Loma’s beginning. It stands on top of the hill of the southern point that creates the entrance of the bay with Coronado. The compact two story lighthouse was completed back in 1854 and first lit on November 15, 1855. It is located within the Cabrillo National Monument, named after the first European explorer to encounter the San Diego Bay, Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo.The lighthouse is legally on the National Register of Historic Places.




Point Loma has various convenient and well maintained shopping centers and supermarkets. It is home to Liberty Station shopping center, which is a fairly new development that has come to serve as Point Loma’s Town Square. It has everything from sought after Restaurants, top- notch Yoga studios, Cafe’s even a Trader Joe’s, a Vons, and plenty of beautiful grass areas. Point Loma also features many commercial options in the Sports Arena shopping area. This portion of Point Loma has Target, Ross, Home Depot, Sport Chalet, TJMaxx, Ralphs, Forever 21, and so much more. You’ll never have to go far from home to get something with all the options in Point Loma.


Point Loma is home to the very beautiful Point Loma Nazarene University. The University sits on the southern tip of the peninsula of Point Loma, right on the water. It is a private university with high academic statistics.