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How Accessible Is Accessible: Cabrillo National Monument

Updated: Apr 23


#Photography by Denise Vasquez ©2021


When I first moved to San Diego #California back in 2017, I had no idea we had a #National #Monument here. I learned about Cabrillo National Monument while doing #research on the internet, seeking #parks nearby. The National Park Service now has an #app that lists the parks, what to see, things to do, amenities, park news, #wheelchair #accessible #locations and more! I noticed that some areas are listed on the app as being wheelchair accessible, but be aware that some of these locations are not #ADA Compliant. For example, Joshua Tree National #Park has the Cholla Cactus Garden listed as Wheelchair Accessible. Like I discuss in my How Accessible Is Accessible: Joshua Tree National Park blog & video, the terrain there is very sandy, rocky & uneven, so be aware of that! To read the #blog and watch the #Youtube #video, click HERE.


This is one of the many reasons I started the “How Accessible Is Accessible” #vlog #series on Youtube! Many places that say they are accessible, are not fully accessible. Having some #accessibility does not mean it is #ADA Compliant & ADA is the law. My mission is to show what is fully accessible and what isn’t, in hopes of bringing #awareness to the #changes that need to be made so parks can be ADA Compliant, equally accessible, and safe for everyone!

Photography by Denise Vasquez ©2021


Let’s get back to beautiful Cabrillo National Monument. Cabrillo National Monument is open for day use only, and I highly recommend getting there as early as possible because the park has a lot of accessible areas to #explore and enjoy!


When you first arrive at the gate, show your ACCESS PASS if you have one to get FREE entry into the park, and be sure to ask the ranger at the gate for a #parking pass next to the #Lighthouse. If you are permanently #disabled and don’t know about the ACCESS PASS, read my blog to learn how you can obtain one by clicking HERE.


If you love #history, I highly recommend visiting The Lighthouse. It’s located up a steep hill from the visitor center, there are three accessible parking spots located behind the Lighthouse, but you need a pass from the ranger at the gate to park there. Once you park at this location, you can also visit the Kelp Forest and #Whale #Overlook which is a beautiful location to sit, take in the ocean views & whale watch during certain months.

Photography by Denise Vasquez ©2021


Be sure to stop at the #Visitor #Center first, because not only do they have park #information, but they have #foreign #language and #tactile #Braille #brochures (see the video below where Elizabeth Skinner talks more about it & shows me how a talking pen works). Around the Visitor Center you’ll find accessible paved #walkways, #restrooms, water #fountains, #seating areas and even some #binoculars to take in the beautiful #ocean #views of San Diego.


From the Visitor Center, look to see if the #museum is open, and then take a short walk over to the Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo Statue. Once you've seen the statue, take a short #drive up to the Old Point Loma Lighthouse. If you love taking in ocean views, hearing the sounds of the #waves crashing upon the #shore and watching the #Pelicans gliding in the wind like I do, there are two locations I love. You can either drive to the #Tidepools (keep in mind this location closes at 4:30pm) where you’ll find a short paved #trail to an area where there is seating to take in the ocean view, or you can drive to past the Tidepools and head up to a quieter location at the #Sea #Cove parking lot, where you can sit on the bench to take in the ocean views from the #cliffs, or stay in your vehicle.

Photography by Denise Vasquez ©2021


Beware of #wildlife! Do not put your hands where you can not see them because there are #rattlesnakes and biting #animals #outdoors. Remember, #wild #life is wild! They recommend leaving your #pets at home, and if you do bring your pets, they are allowed only in the tide pool areas as long as they’re on a six-foot leash at all times. If you have a service animal, always check with the parks about their rules and reguations.


There is nowhere to get food, so I highly recommend bringing your lunch, sitting on one of the benches and enjoying the views!


As far accessibility goes, I rate Cabrillo National Monument a 10 out of 10. Thank you Elizabeth Skinner for taking the time to talk to us, and thank you Cabrillo National Monument for making your park accessible for everyone!

Photography by Denise Vasquez ©2021


*If you'd like to make a #contribution to The Disabled Photographer Project, you can help support the project by clicking on the #Donate button below to make a #donation:

The project is also currently seeking partnerships, sponsors, grants, and ambassadorships. For inquiries contact Denise Vasquez denisevasquezphotography@gmail.com


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