Point Loma is a rugged peninsula, known for Cabrillo National Monument, a park with trails, tide pools and exhibits on California history. Sunset Cliffs Natural Park is a popular spot to watch the sun go down while Liberty Station, a former Naval Training Center, has buzzy restaurants and shops. Seafood eateries dot the nearby Shelter and Harbor islands, and Humphreys Concerts by the Bay hosts live music. Point Loma is historically important as the landing place of the first European expedition to come ashore in present-day California. Point Loma houses two major military bases, a national cemetery, a national monument, and a university, in addition to residential and commercial areas. The best known landmark in Point Loma is the Old Point Loma lighthouse, an icon occasionally used to represent the entire city of San Diego. (It is sometimes incorrectly referred to as the "Old Spanish Lighthouse"; in fact it was built after California was admitted to the United States.) Perched atop the southern point that creates the entrance of the bay with Coronado, the small, two-story lighthouse was completed in 1854 and first lit on November 15, 1855. At 422 feet (129 m) above sea level at the entrance of the bay, the seemingly good location for a lighthouse soon proved to be a poor choice, as fog and cloud within the marine layer often obscured the beam for ocean-going vessels. On March 23, 1891, the lighthouse ceased to be used for its original purpose, as a new lighthouse was built nearer sea level on the same southern point. The Old Point Loma Lighthouse is now partially open to the public and has been refurbished to its historic 1880s interior. It is located within the Cabrillo National Monument, named after Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo, the first European explorer to see San Diego Bay. The lighthouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
In addition to the lighthouse, there are five other sites in Point Loma listed on the National Register of Historic Places: Cabrillo National Monument, Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, the Marine Corps Recruit Depot Historic District, Naval Training Center San Diego, and Rosecroft.
Point Loma is recognized as a National Landmark of Soaring of the National Soaring Museum because of the many record flights that took place along the promontory. Two plaques honoring these accomplishments are near the entrance to the Cabrillo National Monument.