Roadtrip to Cabrillo National Monument, Old Point Loma Lighthouse and Old Town San Diego California

We’ve started our American Latino Heritage roadtrip of the Southwest with stops in San Diego, Arizona, New Mexico & Nevada. We’re visiting historic sites protected by the National Park Service that honor the contributions of Latinos throughout American history.  As I prepared for the trip I identified a number of historical sites in my surrounding areas, especially in my home town of San Diego.   I never realized these treasures existed in my back yard.

Being raised my a single mom in Mexico and then in Calfornia didn’t give my mother many opportunities to take us on field trips, other than visiting relatives in Mexico.  As I’ve become an adult and raise children of my own, staying connected to my heritage is something that is very important.  This road trip has been a perfect opportunity to connect with my Hispanic Heritage.

On day one we encountered the beauty of historical sites in San Diego, including the Cabrillo National monument, Old Point Loma lighthouse and historic Old Town San Diego.

In 1542, Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo stepped into history as the first European to set foot on what is now the West Coast of the United States. A monument was buit on a hilltop where it is believed he landed.  We watched the story of the 16th century exploration and walked towards the grounds of the monument. The monument is also home to one of the most breathtaking views of San Diego.

We also visited the lighthouse. This was my husband’s first time at the Cabrillo Monument. It was exciting to see him explore the surroundings.  The lighthouse is very small.  The people that lived in it were very resourceful with space.  Walking around the lighthouse I couldn’t help to think whether the residents were lonely on top of the hilltop.

Cabrillo National Monument features a 16th century Spanish History museum where you can learn about the Spanish explorations. The lighthouse museum also highlights life at the Lighthouse and the history of the longest standing Lighthouse keeper family, the Israels Lighthouse keepers who lived and worked at the old Point Loma lighthouse for 18 years.





We traveled to the heart of the city of San Diego to old town and also saw the very first elementary school that was opened in San Diego and La Casa de Estudillo.  I’m looking forward to sharing more photos on the epic home on my Facebook page.

For additional information about Cabrillo National Monument visit the National Parks Services Cabrillo National monument page or Old Point Loma page.

The American Latino Fund celebrates the contributions of American Latinos throughout the national park and historic places across the country.  Check to learn more about the programs and Support the American Latino Heritage Fund.

Please join me and my colleagues as we go on an adventure of a lifetime.  For live tweets, please follow the conversation on Twitter by checking the #LatinoHeritage hashtag.  Please check back later for additional photos.

Question:  Have you ever gone on a roadtrip to a National Park or historical site?  What park did you visit? 



Eva Smith

Publisher at Tech Life Magazine
Eva is an award winning entrepreneur and Publisher of Tech Life Magazine. She has been recognized by Ford Motor Company as a Mujer Legendaria Inteligente (Smart Entrepreneur), USA Today Magazine as a Top Blogger to Watch and Latina Magazine as a Top 25 Latinas Who Shine in Technology. Her work has also been featured on Mashable,, Babble, Baby Center,, USA Today, Latina Magazine, Huffington Post, National Parks Services, Voxxi, NBC Latino, Rolling Stone Magazine & more.She is technologist, engineer, bilingual freelance writer, speaker and digital media consultant.


  1. Jasmine Forte says:

    Amazing photos!

  2. I’m glad you are having fun and learning lots of neat things on your trip but I miss you terribly and hope you come home soon!
    I took my son to Yosemite National Park in 2009 and we’re hoping to go back this Fall. When I’m gone, it’ll be your turn to miss me. 😉

  3. Such a treat to visit places we’ve only heard of- especially when they’re local!! I’m very happy your family started their summer adventure close to home- now they can look forward to traveling a little further, discovering how their two heritages American y Latino make wonderful history.

    This will be one summer I’m sure they’ll never forget. I look forward to following your adventures and learning about our heritage in that part of the country.


  4. What a wonderful opportunity! I lived in San Diego for a few years, and absolutely love Old Town. So much history! Be sure to let me know if you come through Las Vegas! 😉

  5. I went camping in Yosemite when I was a kid with my family… I would love to take that same road trip as an adult with my son when he gets a little older.

  6. We’ve taken day trips to SD and visited Old Town. Loved Mission Santa Ynez up by Santa Barbara too. There is so much history here and we love learning!

  7. Qué experiencia tan linda y encantadora!! Anotaré bien los sitios para cuando decida hacer mi roadtrip!

  8. What a neat roadtrip!!! Have a spectacular time!

    My favorite is the Redwoods National Park, but that’s because I grew up with a giant redwood tree in my front yard, so I’m partial 😉

  9. Your pictures are beautiful. I have never been to a National Park. It is on my list of things to do with our kids. Looks like you are having fun!!

  10. What fantastic photos. It looks like a great road trip so far! I have always wanted to visit that side of the country – do a cross country road trip…one day. Though my husband will have to do all of the driving since I don’t know how.

  11. How fun!!!! I think this is something I will do with the kids when they get a little older SoCal has so much history I think i’d start with the missions

  12. Awesome pictures. Can’t wait to hear more about your trip.

  13. I love going on road trips. We need to do it more often!

  14. Oh we love Old Town. SO fun! And awesome photography : )

  15. It’s such a wonderful initiative you all have done. So many preserved landmarks most of us don’t know about, myself included. I love lighthouses! That one is just too cute for words. And I deeply appreciate the 1st school there. Never been to SD. Must go.


  1. […] Eva and her family will begin their American #LatinoHeritage road trip in the Southwest with stops in San Diego, Arizona, New Mexico & Nevada. They’ll be visiting historic sites protected by the National Park Service that honor the contributions of Latinos throughout American history. Day 1 – Point Loma #latinoheritage (Courtesy of @Eva_Smith) […]

  2. […] continued the Latino Heritage Roadtrip towards Arizona as soon as we finished our trip to San Diego Old Town & Old Point Loma Light House.  It was a very long day on the road.  Not many scenic stops, routes or historical sites on our […]


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