If you’re looking for sun, sights and adventure, consider a vacation rental in beautiful Point Loma for your upcoming San Diego stay. Our exclusive Point Loma vacation rentals are in Loma Portal and Point Loma Heights – two desirable, upscale neighborhoods in San Diego. When you’re in Point Loma, you’re not far from the beach and the ocean, as well as downtown attractions like the Gaslamp District, Balboa Park, Petco Park and SeaWorld.
About Point Loma
Surrounded by water on three sides, Point Loma is one of San Diego’s most distinctive neighborhoods. The hilly seaside neighborhood is bordered on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean, to the north by the San Diego River, and to the east by Old Town and San Diego Bay.
Point Loma – along with the Silver Strand/Coronado peninsula – defines San Diego Bay and separates it from the ocean. The term “Point Loma” is used for the area that includes both the neighborhood and the peninsula. The area has a population of around 48,000 including Ocean Beach and covers roughly 4,400 acres. The west side of the peninsula has sheer sandstone cliffs that line the ocean, called Sunset Cliffs. On the north side of the peninsula the cliffs and hills become lower, disappearing entirely near Ocean Beach.
The district presents wonderful views of the ocean, San Diego Bay, the downtown skyline and Coronado. Coronado is a tied island connected to the mainland by a narrow strip of land known as the Silver Strand. Even though there are no sandy beaches in Point Loma, it’s still a prime destination for lots of sun, and some of the best activities and outdoor adventures in the city.
History of Point Loma
The locals call Point Loma the place “where California began.” It was discovered in the mid-16th Century when Portuguese navigator Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo led an expedition north from Mexico along the coast of the Pacific Ocean. Although he was a native of Portugal, Cabrillo was searching the West Coast and claiming land and riches for the Spanish crown during the “Age of Discovery.”
Today, a statue of Cabrillo commemorates hist landing in San Diego Bay on Sept. 28, 1542. The statue is part of the Cabrillo National Monument at the southern tip of the Point Loma peninsula.
The Old Point Loma Lighthouse is the area’s most recognizable sights. For many years, the image of the 19th Century lighthouse was used as a symbol for the entire city of San Diego. The lighthouse was first illuminated on Nov. 15, 1855, and greeted vessels through thick fog and low clouds for more than three decades. The small, two-story lighthouse was built atop the southern point that creates the entrance to San Diego Bay with Coronado. (Spanish explorer Sebastian Vizcaino gave Coronado its name and drew its first map in 1602.)
In the 1890s, a new lighthouse was built closer to the water at the tip of the point after it was determined that the existing lighthouse was constructed at an inadequate elevation and too far from the water. The second facility came to light on March 23, 1891.
Today, the lighthouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It has been refurbished by the National Park Service and is open to the public. The interior has been restored to its original appearance as a reminder of times past. Visitors can tour the lighthouse for Ranger-led talks, fascinating photos and informative exhibits.
Attractions at Point Loma
In addition to the lighthouse and Cabrillo monument, there are three other sites in Point Loma listed on the National Register of Historic Places. For a small peninsula, there’s lots to see and do. Here are the Top 10 attractions at Point Loma:
- Cabrillo National Monument/Old Point Loma Lighthouse: As we mentioned earlier, no trip to Point Loma is complete without a journey “up the hill” to the Old Point Loma Lighthouse at the Cabrillo National Monument. The iconic lighthouse is a genuine symbol of authentic San Diego, and the views are superb.
- Sunset Cliffs: With a name like Sunset Cliffs, you better deliver spectacular scenery in the moments before twilight. Trust us – you won’t be disappointed. The sheer sandstone cliffs are the ideal spot for a perfect prism of orange, yellow and golden hues as the sun lowers below the Pacific Ocean.
- Ocean Beach: OK, so maybe “The O.B.” isn’t part of Point Loma, but it’s most certainly a neighbor you want to get to know. The laid-back beach has a cool, independent vibe and is less noisy than Mission Beach and Pacific Beach to the north.
- Liberty Station: The former location of San Diego’s Naval Training Center has been transformed into a sprawling, 46-acre planned community that incorporated many of the historic buildings and culture of the area. Today, Liberty Station is a hot spot for retail shopping, fine dining, nightlife and a diverse slate of entertainment choices.
- New Point Loma Lighthouse: Located at the southern tip of the peninsula, the new lighthouse was first lighted on March 23, 1891, replacing the old lighthouse. Like East Coast lighthouses built around the same time, the New Point Loma Lighthouse is the only pyramidal skeletal lighthouse remaining on the West Coast. It is open for tours and offers amazing, front-row photo ops.
- Point Loma Tide Pools: Some of California’s best tidepools at not far from the Cabrillo National Monument. During low tide, pools form in rocky depressions along the western shore. The tide pools are an amazing natural wonder and a fun way to introduce children to marine life and its delicate ecosystem.
- Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery: This solemn national cemetery is the final resting spot for many who fought in the Battle of San Pasqual in 1946 during the Mexican American War, and crew of the U.S.S. Bennington gunboat, whose boiler exploded in San Diego Bay in 1905.
- Point Loma Bunkers: Point Loma is a crucial military outpost because the peninsula acts as a natural protective barrier at the entrance to San Diego Bay. At Cabrillo National Monument are the remains of coastal defenses built to protect the approaches to the bay. While at the park, you’ll find base-end stations, fire control posts, searchlight bunkers and other interesting spots you can explore.
- Shelter Island: Connected by a causeway to Point Loma Village, Shelter Island is a sandbank, or isthmus, not an island. It was developed in the 1950s by using material dredged from San Diego Bay to build up dry land. Today, Shelter Island has shopping, restaurants, hotels, marinas, a fishing pier and public park spaces.
- National Landmark of Soaring: Point Loma is recognized as a National Landmark of Soaring by the National Soaring Museum because of the many record flights that took place along the peninsula. Two plaques honoring these accomplishments are near the entrance to the Cabrillo National Monument.
Properties for Rent in Point Loma
We have some impressive rentals in Point Loma and a bunch that are in the vicinity. If you’re looking to stay in a picturesque part of the city that’s convenient to downtown but is more about the beach lifestyle, then Point Loma is for you. The area is made up of mostly single-family homes, so it’s certainly favors a family neighborhood as opposed to a long line of hotels. A stay at Point Loma will have you feeling like a real San Diegan in no time.
We have a two-bedroom Port Loma Oasis in Loma Portal with a contemporary vibe and a relaxing patio with big views and a gas fire pit. The residence is ideal for a family of four to five people that want more space and amenities that a stuffy hotel room. This property is exceptionally affordable – in many instances way cheaper than renting a pair of budget hotel rooms or one mid-range hotel room. You get so much more!
For the ultimate San Diego vacay, consider our three-bedroom residence, Punto di Vista – which literally means “Point of View.” This immaculate residence has a large, heated pool with a slide, and offers lofty views from its vantage point high in the peninsula hills. The home sleeps seven guests, and the entire residence is Alexa automated.
Want something closer to downtown and SeaWorld? How about near world-class golf at Torrey Pines? Have a favorite beach in San Diego? We represent a wide array of private residences in and around the city that are available rent exclusively through San Diego Rentals. Browse our inventory or call us at (858) 531-3247 and we’ll run through our options that fit your needs and budget.