West of downtown San Diego, you'll find Point Loma, Harbor Island and Shelter Island, all of which offer great restaurants and a variety of accommodations. These areas feature picturesque marinas from which sportfishing excusions, whale watching tours and harbor cruises depart. A peninsula jutting into the sea, it's easy to think of Point Loma as a dead end - "land's end" in fact. But, as the site where San Diego was discovered in the first place, it seems more appropriate to consider Point Loma as a starting point - the start of a new land, a new dream, a new way of looking at things. And that's just the place to start your own exploration of San Diego, with a voyage around Point Loma, Harbor Island and Shelter Island.
Point Loma encompasses at least five distinct districts. Up on The Point are beautiful, multi-million dollar mansions. Down by The Midway you'll find seedy strip shows and Kobey's Swap Meet, the city's largest weekend swap meet. On the Ocean Beach side, surf pounds the rugged coastline, while The Harbor side is a safe haven for yachts. Point Loma's fifth district is Liberty Station, the waterfront urban village in the redeveloped Naval Training Center that includes hotels, restaurants, shops, a waterfront park, the historic Sail Ho Golf Course and the NTC Promenade, home to over 48 museums, galleries, artist and design studios, dance companies and other organizations that showcase San Diego's creative community.
Point Loma is known locally as an excellent spot for tide pooling, where low tide brings a magnificent reveal of the underwater reef, exposing flowery anemones, crabs and a myriad of other sea creatures to the delight of visitors and locals who frequent these pools. And don't miss a trip to the Cabrillo National Monument home of the Point Loma Lighthouse for a look back at San Diego's nautical history and stunning views of the bay and downtown skyline. If you're looking for great surf, locals frequent a number of quality surf breaks along the western edge of Point Loma.
For a thin strip of land directly south of the airport, Harbor Island packs a lot into its two miles of real estate. Large hotels, marinas and several restaurants, including Island Prime and Tom Ham's Lighthouse, call this island home. A shoreline path complete with a steady ocean breeze keeps walkers, joggers, skaters and bikers cool while they enjoy panoramic views of the San Diego skyline, Coronado Island and the Big Bay. Several grassy areas provide ample picnic opportunities. Harbor Island is also an ideal place to enjoy the city lights by night, firework shows on the 4th of July, the annual boat Parade of Lights in December and sailing races, such as the America's Cup, when they are taking place.
A nautical atmosphere prevails on Shelter Island, one of San Diego's principal boating centers, where marinas, resort hotels, restaurants and bayside parks welcome sailors and landlubbers with recreational amenities. Many short and long-range sportfishing trips depart from here, catching a host of Pacific fish like Yellowtail, Albacore, Halibut, Dorado, Calico Bass and a variety of rock fish. Shelter Island is also home to Humphreys Half Moon Inn & Suites, and their summer Concerts By The Bay, which attract nationally known musicians and comedians. At the end of Shelter Island, you'll find the Yokohama Friendship Bell, a large bronze bell housed in a pagoda structure, that was a gift from the city of Yokohama, Japan in 1958 to commemorate the sister city relationship between San Diego and Yokohama.
A selection of moderately priced hotels can be found on the eastern side of Point Loma, offering good proximity to downtown San Diego, beaches, Mission Bay and nearby attractions. Shelter Island and Harbor Island feature several hotels to fit a wide range of budgets, as well as some of the most amazing views of the downtown skyline. Hotels on Harbor Island have the distinction of being waterfront and less than a mile from the airport.
Browse the hotel options below to find the perfect place to stay in Point Loma, Harbor Island or Shelter Island:
The marinas and sportfishing boats on Shelter Island mean that fresh seafood is close at hand and likely to be on many of the menus in the area. From the upscale dining at Island Prime on Harbor Island and Humphreys Restaurant on Shelter Island to the family-friendly Point Loma Seafoods, you can dine with view of the harbor and San Diego skyline that rivels the fresh fish being served. If you’re looking for a seafood alternative, try Phil’s BBQ in Point Loma's Midway area. Children and adults alike will enjoy Corvette Diner. This 1950's diner famous for its Rock n' Roll vibe, burgers, shakes and sassy servers is just one of many restaurants located at historic Liberty Station on the old Naval Training Center in Point Loma.
Browse the listings and articles below to find fish fresh from the sea, among other types of cuisine in Point Loma, Harbor Island and Shelter Island.
There's something for everyone in Point Loma, Harbor Island and Shelter Island, from shops and restaurants to parks and marinas.
Harbor Island and Shelter Island offer an ideal spot to watch events taking place on San Diego Bay, such as the parade of tall ships during the Festival of Sail over Labor Day Weekend and the boat Parade of Lights each December. On the first Friday of every month, Liberty Station, the waterfront urban village in the redeveloped Naval Training Center, opens its doors for Friday Night Liberty an evening of open artist studios, galleries and events.
From the North and East:
To go to the eastern part of Point Loma, take I-8 west, exit on Rosecrans St.
To go to the western part of Point Loma, take I-8 west, which turns into Sunset Cliffs Blvd.
From the South:
Take I-5 north to Hawthorn St. exit toward the airport, turn right onto N. Harbor Dr. Continue until Rosecrans St. and turn left.
From the North:
Take I-5 north to Sassafras St. exit toward the airport. Turn right onto W. Laurel St. Turn right onto N. Harbor Dr. Continue until Harbor Island Dr. and turn left.
From the South:
Take I-5 north to Hawthorn St. exit toward the airport. Turn right onto N. Harbor Dr. Continue until Harbor Island Dr. and turn left.
From the North and East:
Take I-8 west to Rosecrans St. exit and follow Rosecrans St. for about 2.5 miles. Turn left on Shelter Island Dr.
From the South:
Take I-5 north to Hawthorn St. exit toward the airport. Turn right onto N. Harbor Dr. Continue until Rosecrans St. and turn left. Turn left on Shelter Island Dr.