I’m an aunt! My new nephew was recently born in San Diego, and my mother and I traveled down from San Francisco for his arrival. We spent most of our time at the hospital, but when we weren’t fawning over our new family member, we explored the nearby Point Loma area.

Boats in Shelter Island Marina in Point Loma

A quick hop from the San Diego International Airport, Point Loma is a pretty stretch of land that curls around San Diego Bay and Coronado Island, offering great views of the downtown area and easy access to places like SeaWorld and Ocean Beach.

Palm Tree on Shelter in Point Loma

The area itself has a lot do to and see (and eat, of course!), and between hospital visits, my mother and I had a chance to take in the highlights.

Fish Tacos in San Diego

Since I am obsessed with food, we’ll start there. The night before the baby arrived, my family drove over to Liberty Station, a former naval training center that is now a shopping and dining area.

Pizza in San Diego

My brother and his wife took us to a new restaurant and sports bar called Slater’s, where we feasted on some of the best burgers I’ve ever had.

Downtown San Diego from Point Loma

I ordered the 50/50 burger, which was made from ground beef and ground bacon. Suffice it to say that it was heaven on a plate, or a heart attack on a plate, depending on whether you see the glass as half full or half empty. And speaking of the glass, they had around 100 beers on tap, including some of San Diego’s increasingly famous microbrews.

50 50 Burger at Slater's in Point Loma

Keeping it local, we didn’t have to leave Liberty Station to have another good meal in Point Loma. A few nights later, my mother and I found ourselves at Tender Greens, a casual order-at-the-counter restaurant where I enjoyed a giant Chinese chicken salad while my mother feasted on chipotle chicken and roasted vegetables.

Chinese Chicken Salad from Tender Greens

Beyond food, we also found shelter in Point Loma. Literally. We stayed on Shelter Island, a presque-isle connected to the mainland by a thin strip of land. Our room at Humphreys overlooked the America’s Cup Harbor marina, and we awoke every morning to see thousands of sunny sails.

Boats on Shelter Island in San Diego

Out front, the island had a long, art-studded walking path by the bay. It offered great views of downtown San Diego and the naval air station on Coronado Island.

Sculpture on Shelter Island

It also had a view of the end of Point Loma, where Cabrillo National Monument lay. The monument and its adjacent park featured everything from a statue in honor of the first European explorer in San Diego Bay to walking trails and vista points.

Cabrillo National Monument Sign in Point Loma

My mother had purchased a senior pass for $20 awhile back—not bad for lifetime membership (they may need to update their actuarial tables)!—and I went along as her guest.

Cabrillo National Monument in San Diego

We explored the small museum dedicated to the history of the European exploration of the Americas, then went to the visitor center, which was full of information about the local flora and fauna, including skunks, coyotes, foxes, rattlesnakes, and lots of plants and wildflowers.

Lighthouse at Cabrillo National Monument

We admired the lighthouse from afar, then went down to the tide pools to see the waves wash up against the coastal cliffs. I couldn’t wait to take my new nephew there in a few years.

Tide Pools at Cabrillo National Monument

Speaking of my nephew, it was sad to leave Point Loma to travel home, but he has given me one more adorable excuse to return. I don’t think it will be long before I’m back in San Diego and exploring more of the area, toddler in tow.

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