Cabrillo National Monument
1800 Cabrillo Memorial Dr, San Diego, CA 92106, USA
Photo by Michael Runkel/age fotostock
Cabrillo National MonumentOne of California’s most significant historical landmarks, this statue marks the spot where Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo became the first European to set foot on the west coast of the United States. Every year at the end of September, actors re-create this historic moment as part of the Cabrillo Festival. If you don’t happen to be in San Diego then, there’s still plenty to explore here, including the two-mile Bayside Trail through tide pools and coastal sage habitat. Cabrillo died in the Channel Islands not long after coming ashore, but he lives forever in the large limestone statue here—near which you can also enjoy stunning 360-degree views of San Diego, the Pacific Ocean, Mexico, and the surrounding mountains.