Point Loma
San Diego, 92106

History & Charm at the Edge of the World

Point Loma is a San Diego coastal community that has it all—incredible views, proximity to insanely gorgeous beaches, world class dining, and serious historical significance to boot. 

We specialize in Point Loma homes & investment properties, and we cannot complain—it's a great place to live, work and play!

We've prepared this page to share a local's perspective on one of San Diego's most sought-after neighborhoods. But first, if you're curious about Point Loma homes for sale or how much your Point Loma home could sell for, start by creating your free San Diego MLS account!

Point Loma Location & Neighborhoods

Point Loma Aerial, Ocean Beach Homes for Sale

The Point Loma Peninsula, with San Diego Bay & Coronado Island on the Right, Mission Bay to the North, and the Pacific Ocean to the West.

Point Loma is a hilly peninsula between the San Diego bay and the Pacific Ocean, the tip of which is the most southwesterly point in the continental United States. The bottom third is protected land, including a National Park, military land, and Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery.  

Point Loma has several distinct neighborhoods, each with its own features & charm. 

Wooded Area
is one of these neighborhoods, atop the hill between Sunset Cliffs and the La Playa neighborhood. Some of the nicest homes in Point Loma are located here among peaceful tree-lined streets, parks, and views in all directions.

Just east of Wooded Area is the bayside neighborhood, La Playa, which includes Shelter Island, one of the best places in San Diego for boating, restaurants, hotels & entertainment. We'll share more specific places to visit on Shelter Island in our Local's Guide to Point Loma, below.  

Just north of La Playa is the historic Roseville-Fleet Ridge neighborhood, first settled by Point Loma fishermen over 100 years ago. Roseville was actually its own town at one point, but  eventually merged into the City of San Diego. 

Downtown San Diego from La Playa Neighborhood, Point Loma Homes for Sale

Downtown San Diego from La Playa Neighborhood, Point Loma

Other Point Loma neighborhoods include Point Loma Heights, Loma Portal (with its signature vintage street lamps anchoring the roundabouts in the middle of the intersections), and the trendy new live-eat-play hub, Liberty Station.

It's easy to get lost driving around and marveling at the unique characteristics of these amazing neighborhoods. We encourage you to check out Point Loma!

Read on for Point Loma history and our Local's Guide to Point Loma, for the best spots to eat, drink & explore this wonderful community!

Point Loma History

Historians have said that Point Loma is "where California began," because it's the place where Europeans first set foot on the west coast of the United States. Spanish explorer Juan Cabrillo arrived on September 28, 1542, docking his boats in the shelter of Point Loma's eastern side after a 3-month sail from Mexico. Of course, the indigenous Kumeyaay people were living in the area long before the Europeans arrived, but Point Loma is still significant as the point where Western culture began its journey on the west coast.

Old Map of San Diego, Point Loma History

Old Map of California and Mexico from 1821

Cabrillo died during the expedition, but his crew is believed to have explored as far north as Oregon before being driven back to Mexico by winter storms. His discovery is honored with a National Park in his name encompassing most of the southern tip of Point Loma, the Cabrillo National Monument. Some of the best views in the country can be seen from the monument, from the Coronado Islands in Mexico, to the Cuyamaca Mountains to the east, and even as far north as Catalina Island on a clear day. 

Point Loma View From Cabrillo National Monument, Point Loma Homes for Sale

Downtown San Diego In the Distance from Cabrillo National Monument

About 100 years after the Revolutionary War, Point Loma started to come of age. 1850 was a big year: the City of San Diego became incorporated, California was admitted to the Union, and San Diego County became the first county in the state.  The military took over the southern tip of Point Loma starting in the 1850's. The Army built artillery batteries because of the strategic positioning of the land mass and they named the area Fort Rosecrans.

The first lighthouse was constructed in 1854, before which only a lantern hung from a tall pole at Ballast Point, warning ships from the north that the peninsula was not an island as it might appear. The first lighthouse keeper to stand out in the history books was "Old Bob" Israel, who tended to the lighthouse and lived on the rocky point with his family for almost 20 years, from 1871-1891.

Point Loma Lighthouse and Keepers Quarters, Point Loma Real Estate

Old Point Loma Lighthouse and Keepers Quarters

Bob Israel lived a life of sacrifice on the point with his wife, three sons and a niece, along with horses, chickens, pigs and goats. There was no water, and they were a 2-hour journey by horse and buggy each way to get water for the farm. His sons would row their boat to school in Old Town because it was faster than taking the trail.

In 1891 a new lighthouse was constructed because the Old Point Loma Lighthouse had a fatal design flaw: perched atop a 400+ foot cliff, its beam was often obscured by the thick fog of the marine layer. Bob Israel and his family moved away from Point Loma after that, he died in 1908 and he was buried in the Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery. You can tour the home he and his family lived in as well as the Old Point Loma Lighthouse at the Cabrillo National Monument

Another historic set of structures started cropping up in 1897 in a complex known as Lomaland, the school and international center for the Universal Brotherhood and Theosophical Society, (the site of modern-day Point Loma Nazarene University). Situated on a gorgeous expanse of oceanview land, Lomaland was famous for the eccentric architecture of its buildings, many topped with brilliantly colored glass domes. Several of the original structures remain, including the oceanview Greek Theater, the first of its kind in the US.

Lomaland, Point Loma Homes for Sale

Lomaland

The Navy moved into Point Loma during the early 1900's, and by World War II the entire area was used exclusively for military purposes. Later, parts of Fort Rosecrans would become the National Cemetery and the Cabrillo National Monument. This preserved land remains one of the most beautiful and historic areas in the world. For suggestions on what to do, see, eat, and what the Point Loma real estate market is like, check out our Local's Guide to Point Loma, below!

 
 
 
 
 

A Local's Guide to Point Loma

Table of Contents

Point Loma Parks, Trails & Activities

The Cabrillo National Monument is an excellent recreational spot with lots of history and many activities to choose from. There is a $10 fee per vehicle to enter the park, which is good for 7 days.

Some of the best hiking in Point Loma can be found at Cabrillo National Monument. There is a beautiful 2-mile Bayside Trail that offers  breathtaking views of the San Diego Bay & the Pacific Ocean. The Coastal Tidepool Trail leads visitors to one of the best protected tide pools in Southern California, all while surrounded by the rare plants and animals who reside in this unique coastal sage scrub habitat. 

Point Loma Cabrillo National Monument Trail, Point Loma Homes for Sale

Trails at Cabrillo National Monument, Old Point Loma Lighthouse in the Background

Visitors can learn about the rich history of this land at the visitor's center, where you can talk to park rangers, view historical artifacts, watch educational films, and more. Learn about Juan Cabrillo's expedition in the 1500's, to the US military's annexation of the land in the 1900s, to the unique wildlife & characteristics of this protected land. 

For history buffs interested in touring the army bunkers on Point Loma, you have a great opportunity on the 4th Saturday of each month with the park's guided military history tours. World War II re-enactors lead you through the bunkers, demonstrating what life was like for the soldiers stationed at Fort Rosecrans and how they protected our coast during the war years. 

Cabrillo National Monument, Point Loma Real Estate

It's a Short Walk to Breathtaking Views from Cabrillo National Monument

It's just a short walk to the Cabrillo Monument, where you can take in some of the best views on the west coast. You can also tour the Old Point Loma Lighthouse and keeper's quarters, transporting yourself back in time into the shoes of Old Bob Israel, the famous lighthouse keeper.

Old Point Loma Lighthouse, Point Loma Homes for Sale

Old Point Loma Lighthouse, With the Keepers Quarters in the Background

Bonus Fact: Top Gun was shot at the Old Point Loma Lighthouse! It was used as the home of "Viper" towards the end of the film. 

The tide pools at Cabrillo National Monument are some of the last and most well preserved tide pools open to the public in Southern California.

Point Loma Tidepools, Point Loma Homes for Sale

Tidepools at Cabrillo National Monument, Point Loma

And if you're lucky you might even be able to spot the grey whales from the Whale Overlook as they make their migration each December through February.

Grey Whale Migrating Off San Diego, Point Loma Homes for Sale

Grey Whale Migrating Off Point Loma (You Can't Usually Get This Close!)

Next door to Cabrillo National Monument, ​Point Loma Nazarene University offers spectacular views and tours of the historic buildings which the modern day campus is built around. There is a spectacular Greek Theater which was the first of its kind built in the U.S.

Point Loma Community Park is another great place for recreation and fun. There are basketball courts and tennis courts, and a variety of free activities hosted in the Park, including the Point Loma Summer Concert Series and Summer Movies in the Park

Point Loma has always been a village fueled by the sea, so a visit to the marinas on Shelter Island is a must, whether you join a deep-sea fishing expedition or simply enjoy the sights from the comfort of one of the locals bars or restaurants.

View of Shelter Island from Point Loma, Shelter Island Restaurants

View of Shelter Island Marinas from Point Loma, Downtown in the Background

There are great restaurants which basically pull the fish off the boat and put it on your plate, some of which are listed in the section below on eating & drinking. And if you're looking for some entertainment, from spring through fall you can catch a concert at the wonderful bayside hotel & music venue, Humphrey's By the Bay. Check out their calendar of events here. It's a delightfully intimate open air venue—one of the best places to see live music in San Diego. 

Shelter Island Marina, Point Loma Restaurants

Shelter Island Marina with Downtown in the Distance

There are plenty of sailing operators who will gladly take you on an iconic sail out the mouth of San Diego Bay, past the protection of Point Loma and into the open ocean, where you can scuba dive in the kelp patties, do some deep sea fishing, whale watching, or just cruise.

Point Loma Sailing, Point Loma Events

Sailing Where San Diego Bay Meets the Ocean, Point Loma in the Background

Another hub of food, fun, and entertainment is Liberty Station. This complex of historic buildings was the Naval Training Center from 1923-1997, now repurposed into an eclectic center of shopping, arts, dining, and even high-end homes. Enjoy a meal and then take a stroll in the 46-acre park along the boat channel or hit a few balls at the historic 9-hole golf course, the Loma Club, which has been there for over 100 years and hosted several notable golf pros throughout the years. 

The Loma Club, Liberty Station Golf Course

The Loma Club, Liberty Station Golf Course, Liberty Station in the Background

Over on the west side of Point Loma you'll find, Sunset Cliffs Natural Park, another favorite for tourists and locals alike. Stretching over one mile along the southwest side of the Point Loma peninsula, Sunset Cliffs provides breathtaking ocean views along unique cliff formations and caves. There are hiking trails and plenty of places to just sit and take it all in. It's a great place to watch the sunset, hence the name!

Sunset Cliffs Sunset, Point Loma Hikes

Sunset at Sunset Cliffs

 
 
 
 
 

Point Loma Events & Other Fun Stuff To Do

There's never a shortage of a good time in Point Loma. For the latest local events, news and Point Loma homes, follow us on social media using the icons below. And don't miss out on these classic recurring Point Loma events: 

Friday Night Liberty: The first Friday of each month Liberty Station's Arts & Cultural District hosts a free evening of open artist studios, galleries and events. Come indulge your creative side!

Kobe's Swap Meet: Each week vendors gather Friday-Sunday in the Sports Arena parking lot for one of the largest outdoor markets in the area. Come for produce, vintage items & more!

Live Music Concerts at Point Loma Nazarene University: Throughout the year there are various live music and dance concerts at the stunningly scenic Point Loma Nazarene University. 

Point Loma Garden Walk: Each spring the green-thumbed homeowners open their doors for ticket holders to tour their magnificent gardens, all proceeds going to Rady Children's Hospital.

The Fall Festival: Hosted by Point Loma Nazarene University on their picturesque campus, families enjoy  music, games & crafts for kids, a petting zoo, pony rides, free pumpkins & more!

Candy Cane Lane: On Garrison Street, near the Chatsworth Boulevard intersection, prepare to feel some serious holiday spirit.

Connect With Us on Social Media to Keep Up on All Things Point Loma Living!

Point Loma Schools

Point Loma has a strong sense of community and great public schools. In San Diego Unified School District, schools in each community are organized into "clusters," which consist of a high school, and the middle and elementary schools which feed into it. Click the link for more information on San Diego Unified School District Clusters

The group of schools serving Point Loma is part of the Point Loma Cluster, and consists of Dewey Elementary (K-4th), Loma Portal Elementary (K-4th), Cabrillo Elementary (K-4th), Dana Middle School (5th-6th), Correia Middle School (7th-8th), and the highly sought-after Point Loma High School. For a map of the schools in this cluster, click here

Kids playing in waves in San Diego, Pacific Beach Schools

Kids Playing in the Waves After School - Life is Good in Point Loma!

 
 
 
 
 

Where to Eat, Drink & Enjoy Happy Hour In Point Loma

There are a ton of great places to eat, drink, and get a little tipsy (responsibly!) in Point Loma. The big names can be found with a quick Google search, so instead of reiterating those here, we've hand-selected some the lesser known local treasures along with our favs. Listed in no particular order. Call us anytime for a locals-style tour! 858-230-8644

The Pearl: Fun, retro hotel & restaurant with an amazing happy hour (dollar oysters!), poolside dining, and fun events year round, such as weekly "dinner & a movie" parties at the pool. 

Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens: An absolute must, in Liberty Station. This place has famously good beers, excellent food & a gorgeous outdoor beer garden. Check out their events

Point Loma Seafoods: A fresh fish market & restaurant on the sport fishing docks north of Shelter Island. Great atmosphere and food. Try the crab sandwich. 

Mitch's Seafood: This is a "locals' secret" on the same sport fishing docks as Point Loma Seafoods. Serving up the best clam chowder & seafood straight off the boats. Try the shrimp tacos!

Jimmy's Famous American Tavern: Another dock-side dining experience, Jimmy's offers a more upscale atmosphere with amazing food & drinks. Try the seared ahi sandwich or French dip!

Old Venice: Cozy little hole in the wall with authentic Italian food & seafood and a charming atmosphere. Dine inside or in the outdoor courtyard! 

Tom Ham's Lighthouse: Classy joint on Shelter Island with great food, expansive views of San Diego Bay and indoor & outdoor seating. Excellent  Sunday Brunch. 

Bali Hai: Polynesian-themed restaurant with panoramic views of San Diego Bay and a world famous Mai Tai with no juice in it. You can even pull up your boat and "dock-&-dine!"

Bali Hai Shelter Island San Diego, Point Loma Homes for Sale, Point Loma Investment Property

Bali Hai, Shelter Island's Famous Polynesian Restaurant, and the Famous "Bali Hai Guy."

Bali Hai Mai Tais, Point Loma Restaurants & Happy Hour

The Bali Hai Mai Tai, a Must-Try!

 
 
 
 
 

Point Loma Real Estate

The Point Loma real estate market is unique, and heavily in demand. One of the cool things about Point Loma for buyers is that it's one of the few places left in the beach areas where you can still get a "deal," i.e., an older home or investment property that you can fix up and gain value through both sweat equity and a constantly improving market. 

If you own a home in Point Loma, you might be surprised at how much you could sell for. There is a severe shortage of properties for sale in Point Loma, and overwhelming demand. This market gives you incredible leverage during the initial contract negotiations, which you must take advantage of in order to make the escrow process as smooth and predictable as possible.  

Whether you'd like to buy a Point Loma home and hire an aggressive agent to help you get the best deal, or you'd like to know how to get the most money and least stress out of your home sale, give our broker Lauren a call today and book your free strategy session!
858-230-8644

Point Loma Real Estate By the Numbers

We update these stats each month. The numbers you see below represent last month's sales activity.

$ 849k
Avg. Sold Price
96 %
% of List Price
45
Avg. Days on Market
53
# of New Listings
22
# of Sold Listings
 

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