Cabrillo National Monument, San Diego

Cabrillo National Monument, established in 1913, commemorates Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo's voyage of discovery who led the first European expedition to explore what is now the west coast of the United States.

At the time Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo sailed into San Diego Bay in 1542, a rich diversity of life was present, ranging from desert cactus to moisture-loving algae, tarantulas to sea slugs, and gray foxes to sea lions. Approximately 3,000 Native Americans lived in the San Diego area at that time. The Kumeyaay, or Diegueños according to the Spanish accounts, lived simply in the environment but likely impacted the landscape through the use of fire. Today, largely due to the impacts of European colonization and centuries of growth and development, the habitat Cabrillo saw is now among the rarest in the world. 

During periods of low tide, pools form along this rocky intertidal area in which you may see flowery anemones, elusive octopi, spongy deadman's fingers, darting fishes and the always entertaining hermit crabs.