Cabrillo National Monument is located at the southern tip of the Point Loma Peninsula in San Diego, California. It commemorates the landing of Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo at San Diego Bay on September 28, 1542. This event marked the first time that a European expedition had set foot on what later became the West Coast of the United States.
The heroic statue of Cabrillo, looking out over the bay, was executed by sculptor Alvaro de Bree for the Portuguese Government in 1939, who then donated it to the United States. The sandstone monument is 14 feet (4.3 m) tall and weighs 14,000 pounds (6,400 kg).
The adjacent museum screens a film about Cabrillo's voyage and has exhibits about the expedition. The area of the national monument was enlarged significantly by Presidents Eisenhower and Ford.As with all historical units of the National Park Service, Cabrillo was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1966.
In the winter, migrating gray whales can be seen off the coast. Native coastal sage scrub habitat along the Bayside Trail offers a quiet place to reflect and relax as well as a noteworthy habitat for wildlife. On the west side of the park is a small but beautiful stretch of rocky intertidal coastline, where tide pools are accessible at low tide.
The park's activities are supported by the Cabrillo National Monument Foundation,a private nonprofit organization which helps with educational activities and special projects as well as operating a bookstore at the site. The foundation has also published several books on historic and scientific topics related to the Monument.