Point Loma is the famous peninsula of San Diego that has forever been loved for its breathtaking cliffs, fantastic seafare, and stunning ocean views. In fact, legend says that Point Loma is where California began, as it is believed that this hilly cape is where the Europeans first landed. While this may or may not be true, the California culture is 100% real in Point Loma.
Growing up in Del Mar, I remember envying the Point Loma kids who had ventured up the coast, for their incredible boarding skills and effortlessly "cool" presence. Of course, this was a time when I was easily impressed by neon tail fins and long surfer locks. Regardless, as the years have passed (and my envy subsided) I've come to realize that "Point Loma kids" were more than just the best boarders in town, they were bonafide Californians, untainted by any gentrified comforts and austere private schools. Point Loma retains it's origins to the California lifestyle of leisure and style while it has evolved with growing talent in the area, and to this day, Point Lomans are still the coolest kids on the block.
When visiting this Southern gem, make sure to eat like a champion, play like a local, and stay like a celebrity. After chatting with some of my Point Loma friends, here are all the places you want to know about. Enjoy.
Where to Eat --
Humphreys By The Bay | 2241 Shelter Island Drive, San Diego, CA
This is always a sure bet and one of the most well-regarded restaurants in San Diego County. The main dining room of Humphreys is nothing short of captivating as its large glass windows provide stunning ocean views to diners seated in a pale grey and ice blue environment. Opulent and sophisticated, this is a great place to go for a nice brunch or even celebratory dinner. Surrounded by yachts and a high-level waiting staff, you will feel pampered from the moment you step foot in the impressive establishment.
Island Prime | 880 Harbor Island Drive, San Diego, CA
Best known for their quality steaks and ocean views, Island Prime is a local favorite. Floor-to-ceiling windows display a fantastic panorama of the San Diego harbor and skyline, plus the food is just as exceptional as the ambiance. Executive Chef Deborah Scott has earned her place as a frequent player of San Diego Restaurant Week because of her innovative and eclectic style. Something people don't know until they've tried Island Prime is that the restaurant is actually founded on "Southern hospitality" principles, so although you will feel chic and sophisticated dining of the coast, your experience is not without some southern charm. Simply put, you'll get quality cuisine without the snobbiness.
The Brigantine | 2725 Shelter Island Drive
"The Brig", as the locals call it, is vibrant, upscale, and affordable. They have a couple locations in San Diego County and the quality of the food is consistent throughout. Enjoy a Bloody Mary at their affordable Happy Hour, or get some satisfying food before night out. Their prices are good and the food even better. My recommendation, get their famous fish tacos, but if you're feeling something more filling, order their Mahi Sandwich accompanied with homemade chips.
To the Point | 4161 Voltaire Street, San Diego, CA
This is a must for breakfast or brunch! With their healthy, local, and season food, this eatery/ marketplace stays true to California lifestyle. They earn extra point for promoting local businesses and providing a lovely outdoor patio and garden for its guests to enjoy the precious sunshine. If you're looking to indulge try out their waffles, which are unexpectedly guiltless because of their whole ingredients.
What to Do --
Watch the Waves Crash at Sunset Cliffs
The bad news about Point Loma is that you will not find perfect waves and sandy beaches here; however, whatever it lacks in beaches it makes up for with its cliffs. Its famous Sunset Cliffs are where locals go to meditate while watching the waves crash against the rocks and even take a daring plunge from one of its overhangs . Take your kids here to explore the creatures hiding in the tide pools during the day then enjoy the sunset at night with your loved one.
Visit the Cabrillo National Monument
If you think visiting a national monument in San Diego seems boring, think again. You'll be pleasantly surprised by the Cabrillo National Monument in Point Loma, which offers tremendous views of the San Diego coastline and great opportunities to explore the cultural history of the area. Take a short walk to the Old Point Loma Lighthouse after visiting the "Age of Exploration" exhibit. The Old Point Loma Lighthouse maintains its 1880s facade and aims to preserve the way light keepers and their families lived when it was active. You can also check out the military history exhibit nearby, which explains the role Point Loma played in WWI and WWII.
Spend the day at Liberty Station
What Williamsburg is to New York City, Liberty Station is to San Diego. This military base transformed into a new urban mixed use community offers 125 acres of stunning parks, tons of shopping villages and restaurants, and of course, the famous nine-hole Sail Ho Golf Club. As a pedestrian-friendly community, this is a great place to spend the afternoon strolling through its parks, taking in ocean views, perusing through cute boutiques, or even playing a game of golf on the coast.
Where to Stay --
Instead of opting for a cramped hotel, make the most of your visit to Point Loma and stay in the luxurious Bayview Mansion. Make this a family vacation or even throw a ladies getaway or wedding weekend! The property speaks for itself, but some of the greatest amenities you will enjoy at the estate are its private beach, onsite tennis courts, in-house chef, stunning views, private dock, and immaculate 5 bedrooms and 7 full baths.
Its interior provides a luxe backdrop for large dinners, bachelorette celebrations, baby showers, and of course, weddings. You are sure to impress with this estate.
What are some of your favorite Point Loma finds? If you're a Point Loma virgin, for what types of places do you want recommendations?