A seaside neighborhood in San Diego, Point Loma is a hilly peninsula surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and the famous San Diego Bay. Along with the Coronado Peninsula across the water, the two pieces of land separate the San Diego Bay from the vast Pacific Ocean. With an estimated population exceeding 46,000 residents, Point Loma has been highly developed since its origins as a simple port and waypoint for European explorers in the mid-1500s.
The most well-known landmark in Point Loma is the historic Old Point Loma Lighthouse, often used as an icon representative of San Diego as a whole. The two story lighthouse marks the entrance to the bay and has stood tall as a guide for incoming ships since 1855. Today, the lighthouse is part of the Cabrillo National Monument which is one of Point Loma’s top visitor attractions. Point Loma’s distinctive sandstone cliffs are called the Sunset Cliffs and contain fossils from the Late cretacerous period, dating back about 75 million years. The rocks rise to a height of 400 feet and are undergoing constant erosion due to the pounding waves below.
The San Diego Unified School District serves the Point Loma community through Point Loma High School, two middle schools, and seven elementary schools. A number of other religious and private institutions are respectable alternatives to the already good public school system. Point Loma Nazarene University, a liberal arts college, is located in Point Loma and is one of the area’s largest draws and brings in a very young college crowd to the peninsula. A branch campus of the Sa Diego Community College is also located in Point Loma.
Point Loma’s rich heritage is kept alive through a number cultural and community events held annually in the area. Day at the Docks Festival is held every April and commemorates Point Loma’s sport fishing industry. Festa de Espirito Santo is a religious festival that includes the entire community and is actually San Diego’s oldest ethnic tradition, dating back to 1910. A weekend-long celebration of the landing of Jan Rodriguez Cabrillo in 1542 takes place every October, known as the Cabrillo Festival. During the summer, an outdoor concert series takes place on Shelter Island, featuring nationally-known celebrity musicians and comedians.
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