Cabrillo National Monument
YouTube: Adventure Tails
Cabrillo National Monument is a fun, partially dog friendly area located at the very end of Point Loma. It is an active military base with fantastic views of the ocean cliffs, Coronado military bases, downtown San Diego, San Diego bay, Pacific Ocean, and of the whales during migration season! When conditions are right, you can catch a snippet of how the beautiful cliffs were formed from centuries of monster, powerful waves pounding against the rocks. Truly a jaw dropping sight!
The only dog friendly area is along the 0.5 mile Coastal Trail near the lower tide pools. Please note that the tide pools is not dog friendly. There is absolutely no cell service here. You will need to go back up the mountain for cell service. It was cold and windy when we went in January. Bring a warm jacket!
Take a right down Cabrillo Rd almost immediate after entering Cabrillo National Monument, following the tide pools sign down the mountain. A sharp eye will spot the Top Gun filming locations (hint: it's among the restricted buildings on your left). There are 3 public parking lots along the Coastal Trail. The first parking lot is the most popular, but the second and third lots are just as fine if you don't mind the short hike.
The first parking lot is the beginning of Coastal Trail and has the best views of the cliffs with the least amount of walking. Brie loves to hop on the large rocks here and watch the monster waves from afar.
The second parking lot is my favorite. I like this cliff area the best. Don't jump down the rocks when the waves are huge though, it'll sweep you right off!! This is a great spot to watch the big waves from above. Otherwise hop down onto the rocky area and explore this small section. You can get close to the steep cliff wall here and even have access to a few small tide pools.
I would consider the third parking lot to be the overflow lot. It has some good views too and really isn't that far from the second lot. It's not a bummer if you have to park here, there's just not too much to say about it except that this is as far as you can go before hitting the military base.
It takes about 1-2 hours to fully take in this dog friendly area at Cabrillo National Monument. Pack a lunch or pick up some super yummy duck curry from one of the local Thai restaurants in Point Loma!