History of Point Loma in San Diego

Point Loma in San Diego is a peninsula with plenty of wonderful hills to climb and currently has a population of over 48,000 people. It is a place that is steeped in history as it now marks the point where San Diego Bay starts and it is the place where the first pioneers from Europe stopped at when they came ashore. Some look at Point Loma and believe that this was the place where it all began as far as California is concerned. There is also a national monument built here but it is the unique neighborhoods, views and fantastic homes that define Point Loma today.

Loma actually stands for "hill" in the Spanish language and most of the settlers who came ashore here well over 400 years ago were from Spain, Portugal or the Iberian Peninsula. It was in fact in 1542 when Cabrillo left Mexico and to explore the long western coast of what is today Baja California and California. It was at Ballast Point where the Spanish Crown flag was raised in Port Loma. But it took the Europeans another 200 years before any sign of a permanent settlement would take place.

In 1769 a European settlement took place on a beach in Point Loma, which today is called La Playa (the Spanish word for "beach"). Ships began to dock around the bay area here in great numbers from the late 18th century onwards. Indeed from around 1830 onwards sailors would arrive here and take residence on the beach at La Playa and went hunting in the hill of Point Loma for wildlife such as rabbits and wild cattle. In 1870 the Point Loma settlers established a New Town as the area where the major port would be located.

Ballast Point and La Playa are now part of a US Naval Base. The US Navy also opened up a Navy Cooling Station in 1901 as it continued to establish a long relationship with the city of San Diego. It was in the Second World War that the US government closed many parts of Point Loma to all but services personnel.


Dutch Flats was the dirt road airstrip that was used by the military during both world wars and today several historic plaques and the Cabrillo Monument tell a story that surrounds the history of this peninsula.

It is an absolute must see if you are visiting San Diego and if you have interest in history. But many residents here see Point Loma as the best place to live in San Diego.