This Small but Mighty Town Is a Coastal Gem
Nestled between the quintessential California surf town of Mission Beach and the vast Pacific lies the small-but-mighty community of Point Loma. Teeming with history and natural beauty, Point Loma contains a blend of California’s Spanish heritage and idyllic scenery. This much-loved jewel is the ultimate getaway for a family vacation, a solo trip or a couple’s date. While the peninsula is located in proximity to the bustling downtown city life, residents of Point Loma enjoy a laid-back neighborhood right on the water, a diverse mix of authentic cuisines and the renowned Sunset Cliffs as their backyard. For those wanting to experience the captivating scenery and a thriving, small-town community to its fullest, this guide provides the perfect roadmap for a day in Point Loma.
Book a Luxury Room at The Monsaraz
Located just steps from the harbor in Point Loma, it’s hard to find a place that tops The Monsaraz when it comes to elegance, luxury and aesthetics. Boasting warm, neutral tones throughout the property, the Portuguese-inspired architecture and fine dining with ocean views make it easy to immerse yourself in the classic California lifestyle. Multiple outdoor patios (including a rooftop) provide the perfect atmosphere to enjoy handcrafted cocktails while admiring the harbor views. Foodies will be happy to learn The Monsaraz is home to a new on-site restaurant called Crafted Culture, which serves up—you guessed it—craft cocktails, craft beer, craft wine and a menu of reimagined American favorites. The hotel will also welcome Leap Coffee, a small-batch roastery, in the near future!
10 a.m. Brunch It Out at Cocina De Barrio
With flavors native to Oaxaca, Cocina De Barrio brings a warm taste of Mexico to Point Loma, with its dynamic fusion of ingredients. This trendy brunch spot puts a spin on traditional Mexican cuisine by adding a flair of California coastal-inspired fare to its eclectic menu. Cocina De Barrio is unrivaled when it comes to its unique, Insta-worthy brunch items like the Pineapple Upside-Down Pancakes or a more savory option, the crispy chilaquiles verde. If you’re feeling extra bougie, order their Popsicle Cocktail that not only brings back childhood memories of those frozen treats but will make your followers uber-envious.
11 a.m. Shop Around at Sea Hive Station
Located just a short 10-minute drive from Cocina De Barrio, Sea Hive Station is your one-stop shop for authentic artisan pieces, handcrafted by the community’s talented makers. This small-business market features designs from over 150 brands based in the San Diego area. Tucked within Liberty Station, an arts district filled with stylish shops and eateries, guests can find a hodge-podge of designs from vinyls and plants to accessories and stationery. Follow their Instagram page for the scoop on their outdoor farmers markets, where you can meet the gifted creators behind the shop’s vintage-inspired products.
Noon Head to Lunch at Crafted Culture
After a little retail therapy, recharge and refuel at The Monsaraz’s new waterfront kitchen, Crafted Culture. This eatery is projected to open on July 17, 2023—the perfect time to celebrate the restaurant’s debut along with its summery, picture-perfect table spreads and tropical cocktails. Made entirely from scratch, their menu features both land- and sea-sourced options to complement those sunny beach days. Fish tacos, chicken katsu and Brie Peach Flatbread are just a few of their featured lunch specials that will leave you craving more of their indulgent kitchen masterpieces. As hinted in their name, the eatery is especially known for its handcrafted beverages—from their signature cocktails to espresso-based coffee drinks.
1 p.m. Rent a Boat at Eco Boat Rentals
What’s a trip to Point Loma if you aren’t leaving with fresh, sun-soaked skin? Eco Boat Rentals offers innovative ways to set sail while taking in the breathtaking landmarks of the California coast. Whether you’re with friends, family or looking for a fun date idea, their pedal boats are the perfect eco-friendly way to get in some healthy exercise while viewing the city from a new perspective. For a more luxurious experience, charter one of their pink party boats complete with a Bluetooth stereo, karaoke and decorative pillows. Let’s be honest—who doesn’t want to celebrate with a little glitz and glam on the ocean?
4 p.m. Explore the Cabrillo National Monument + Tidepools
No visit to Point Loma would be complete without stopping by the iconic Point Loma Lighthouse. The panoramic views of the rugged coastline and winding hiking trails are home to the Cabrillo National Monument. This historic monument dates back to the 1850s as one of the first eight lighthouses built on the West Coast. The lighthouse now functions as a museum and popular tourist destination and remains a treasured landmark. Afterward, head down the cliffs to explore the Point Loma Tidepools. While the most optimal conditions for visitors occur in the fall and winter months, the protected rocky pools can be enjoyed year-round.
6 p.m. Grab Dinner at Cesarina
It’s no secret that San Diego is a thriving metropolis of authentic Italian cuisine. The Point Loma neighborhood is dotted with trattorias serving authentic European dishes owned by Italian natives with a passion for sharing their culture. Cesarina Ristorante is no exception. What started out as a vending booth among local farmers markets is now an Italian sensation that strives to bring a taste of Italy to the San Diego community. With fresh, homemade pasta crafted daily, a cheerful color scheme and a seasonally rotating menu, the ristorante cultivates a sense of fine dining with the comfort of enjoying your meal in a home-like setting.
8 p.m. Catch the Sunset at Sunset Cliffs
Sunsets: proof that no matter what, any day can end beautifully. And what better place to watch the last rays of the day sink into the Pacific than Point Loma’s world-famous Sunset Cliffs? Stretching along Sunset Cliffs Blvd, gather atop the cliffs at golden hour with a camera and a picnic blanket for one of the best sunset viewpoints in San Diego. To tap into your adventurous side, follow the stairs at Sunset Cliffs Park that lead to Sunset Cliffs Cave. The cavern’s open-ceiling roof is a captivating sight that provides a sunset experience you won’t find anywhere else.
9 p.m. Treat Yourself to a Scoop at The Craft Creamery
After a day spent in the sunshine, follow the sweet aroma of coffee and ice cream to The Craft Creamery. The cozy parlor is stocked with a decadent collection of the most well-known brands and creameries from around the country, including Graeter’s and Tillamook. For a fancy twist, order their affogato: a match made in heaven with your choice of ice cream topped with bold espresso. If the sights and sounds of Point Loma haven’t already tempted you to move to this beach town, these mouthwatering treats will undeniably have you booking another trip back to San Diego’s local gem.