San Diego may dead-end at Point Loma, but the views from Cabrillo National Monument at the tip of this peninsula go on forever. Along the monument's east side, you get a sweeping view of the city and San Diego Bay, where Navy jets surge into the sky and cruisers churn toward port.
But along the other side, it is untamed: Pelicans and red-tailed hawks glide over sandstone cliffs and topsoil eroded into formations reminiscent of organ pipes. Surfers work a break just offshore, kicking out from waves that foam and spray onto ledges of tidepools.
For all this land's-end grandeur, you are just a few minutes from the La Playa district, a harborside hub for Point Loma residents and boaters, and Liberty Station, an emerging city (and formerly a Naval Training Center) within a city.
Point Loma is south of I-8 and west of I-5 northwest of downtown San Diego. Rosecrans St. (which exits off I-8 westbound and I-5 southbound) is the main commercial street in the area. For more information on Point Loma, contact the San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau (619/236-1212).
Cabrillo National Monument Check out its historic lighthouse, then hike down toward the bay on the east side or walk along the cliffs and tidepools of its wild western shore. INFO: $5 per vehicle; at end of Catalina Blvd. (at Cabrillo Memorial Dr. and State 209); 619/557-5450.
Point Loma Nazarene University baseball Take in a Sea Lions game and the ocean panorama at what has been dubbed "America's most scenic ballpark." INFO: 3900 Lomaland Dr.; 619/849-2265.
Point Loma Seafoods Fish tacos and bayside breezes are an unbeatable combination at the fish-market restaurant. INFO: $$; 2805 Emerson St.; 619/223-1109.
Con Pane Rustic Breads & Cafe Stop in for pastries (try the chocolate brioche twists) or pick up sandwiches on artisanal breads for a picnic at the monument. INFO: $; closed Wed; 1110 Rosecrans St.; 619/224-4344.
Point Loma Books A well-organized collection, including a large selection of titles on Hawaii and the West, makes this one of the last of San Diego's classic used bookstores. INFO: Closed Sun-Mon; 1026 Rosecrans; 619/226-2601.
On your way to Cabrillo National Monument, explore Liberty Station (along Rosecrans St. between Lytton St. and Laning Rd.). The decommissioned station is being transformed into a residential community, an arts destination, a retail center, and more. One of San Diego's top wine merchants, Wine Steals ( $$; 2970 Truxtun Rd.; 619/221-1959) is now open at Liberty Station, and a glass of Syrah in its rustic main room is an ideal close to your Point Loma day.