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realistic expectation for Point Loma

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realistic expectation for Point Loma

I will be in San Diego for 5 nights. On one of the days, I would like to take in Cabrillo National Monument, Rosecrans Cemetery, Old Point Loma Lighthouse, and Sunset Cliffs Park. What is a realistic plan? Will it take a half a day or a whole day to see this? Can I walk to and from or should we rent bicycles or will I need to hop on the next transit bus? We are staying at the Westin and plan on getting a Regional four day pass. I believe the Transit system is able to take us to the Cabrillo National Monument. Thanks in advance!!

San Diego...
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1. Re: realistic expectation for Point Loma

Here is a review from the 18th where someone tells of how they got to Cabrillo Nat'l Monument / Lighthouse via the bus from Downtown SD.

"Wednesday we took our hike, with thanks to the Tripadvisor folks who suggested Cabrillo Monument. I was a little worried about having to take the Trolley to Old Town, then the 28 and the 84, but I realized that the 84 was timed to meet the 28. The hike was beautiful, strenuous on the way up, and we didn't see any rattlesnakes despite the warning signs. I was worried because the 84 only runs once an hour--the only bus we used that was so infrequent. But we wound up only having to wait 12 minutes or so.

I realized that Point Loma Seafoods was near the 28/84 transfer point so we had lunch overlooking the marina there. Very good of its type, wonderful setting. Then we caught the 28 back up to Old Town. We took an exploratory ride on the Trolley--Green Line out to El Cajon, Orange Line back into town."

and this answering a question:

"Riffsmom, the trip to Cabrillo had to be planned pretty carefully, since the bus there only runs once an hour, but it worked out. The buses to Ocean Beach run every 30 minutes, which still isn't great, but that worked out too. I wanted to take the direct bus from Ocean Beach to Downtown (923) but realized that if I missed it, I could take the bus to Old Town (35) and transfer there."

Edited: 20 November 2012, 04:59
San Diego...
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2. Re: realistic expectation for Point Loma

I was just at Cabrillo Nat'l Monument on Nov 10th. I was there for 2 1/2 hrs and I didn't hike the long trails. So, if you do plan on doing any of the hikes I could easily see you being there for 4 -5 hrs. The day was spectacular and crystal clear and you could see for absolutely miles. Definitely take a jacket with you.

There were no bike rentals that I saw there.

As far as the visiting Rosecrans Cemetary you drive throught it to get to Cab Nat'l Monument. So you'd have to walk from where the bus lets you off at the entrance of Cabrillo back to the cemetary. It's not very far. Just know the it's huge so you'll likely only see a small section of it. But, it's very dramatic and somber up on the hill in the cemetary.

La Jolla, California
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3. Re: realistic expectation for Point Loma

I'd say, take the bus and plan on four hours including your roundtrip transportation and walking the Bayside Trail.

I hope you have great weather. The view from the tip of Pt. Loma is beautiful.

Elizabeth Hansen

www.LaJollaTravelInformation.com

Anaheim, California
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4. Re: realistic expectation for Point Loma

Note, MTS Route 84 bus to the Cabrillo National Momument is only offered on weekdays.

www.sdmts.com/RouteFiles/routes/pdf/84.pdf

San Diego...
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5. Re: realistic expectation for Point Loma

Bicycling is a great way to explore that area if you don't mind some hills to climb. Catalina Boulevard, the main road all the way down the length of Point Loma, is relatively flat but also above the level of the ocean. So if you start at a beach level, you will have about 400 feet of elevation to bike up, but once you get to Catalina Boulevard, not much more elevation to go up or down.

Inside Cabrillo National Monument, the road down to the tide pools area is kind of steep, a breeze to ride down (and the view at the top is spectacular if it's clear), but coming back up that hill on a bike will be strenuous. Just take it slow. I would only bike down there if you want to explore the tide pools. You could also walk down there but it's a long walk, and then again the uphill climb to get back. They post the times of low tide at the entrance gate of Cabrillo.

Keep in mind that Cabrillo National Monument closes at 5 pm every day of the year. So plan your visit there earlier. It is best to go there on a clear, sunny day. If it's a cloudy or overcast day the views will be greatly diminished, and the sweeping views are the biggest attraction of that spot. Hope for a crystal-clear "Santa Ana condition" day or else the day after a rain. In the winter you will be able to see snow the local mountains.

If you use the buses to get to Cabrillo you will have to study the schedule carefully, as mentioned above. Bus #84 is only once an hour and not at all on weekends or holidays. The bus stop is in the parking lot of Cabrillo, close to the visitor center. The old lighthouse is just a short walk away, on the grounds of Cabrillo. You can go in it, but you can't go up the steps any more to the light itself. During the 100th anniversary of it they were allowing you to go up to the light, but they only allowed that for about 2 weeks. It's still worth looking at for historical interest. The new, operating lighthouse is down at the bottom of the monument in a fenced-off area and it is operated by the coast guard, you can see it from a distance if you go down to the tide pools area but you cant go right up to it or in it.

The views from Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery are the same as from Cabrillo, in fact a slightly better view of downtown San Diego since it's slightly closer. And nice views on the ocean side of the cemetery too. The roads through the cemetery are gentle and easy for biking, though I can't recall ever seeing any bicycles going through it, it would still be possible. The cemetery closes at 4:30 pm every day except certain holidays like Memorial Day and Veterans Day when it is open longer because it is packed with people on those days. My grandparents are buried there and it going there is a pleasant experience because of the beauty of the setting and the views.

Sunset Cliffs Boulevard runs along the west side of Point Loma and there are 4 parking areas, I believe, not very many places where you could tie up your bike, but I'm sure you could find a sign pole or something. Sunset Cliffs Boulevard is basically flat, no hills on it, but to go from it over to the wast side of Point Loma would involve one big hill at the start. At the south end of it is Sunset Cliffs Natural Park where you could tie up your bike and walk to the edge of the cliffs and observe the surfers in the water below.

Staying downtown, I think it would be too far to ride a bicycle over to Cabrillo NM, unless you like long bike rides. I think most buses have bike racks on the front or back, so if you rode as far as the starting point for bus #84 you could just put your bikes on the bus and then ride the bus into Cabrillo, then ride out and visit Ft. Rosecrans, then Sunset Cliffs Boulevard. At the north end of Sunset Cliffs Boulevard you would be in the Ocean Beach neighborhood of San Diego. You could eat fish tacos at the South Beach Bar & Grille at the west end of Newport Avenue (cash only!) and/or take a stroll out on the long Ocean Beach pier if that interests you. Then either ride back to downtown or try to get another bus (35) from Ocean Beach to the Old Town Transit Center, then just ride your bikes from there back to downtown. All of that would take up a full day though.

Berkeley, Ca.
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6. Re: realistic expectation for Point Loma

I'm glad that my Trip Report is being used. Bw's routing makes a lot of sense. The problem with doing your whole route by bus is that there isn't really a direct bus line that crosses over from the eastern Cabrillo side of the peninsula to the western Sunset Cliffs side. You'd wind up needing to walk up and over the ridge in the middle of the peninsula. (the only route is the 923, which mostly crosses all the way up on Voltaire St.)Walking is OK, but you'd have more speed and flexibility with the bus/bike combo.

7. Re: realistic expectation for Point Loma

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