Point Loma is a seaside community within the city of San Diego, California. Geographically it’s a hilly peninsula that’s bordered on the west and south by the Pacific Ocean, the east by the San Diego Bay and Old Town, and the north by the San Diego River. Together with the Silver Strand/Coronado peninsula, the Point Loma peninsula defines San Diego Bay and separates it from the Pacific Ocean. The term “Point Loma” is used to describe both the neighborhood and the peninsula.
Marine activities are mostly located on the Bay (eastern) side of the peninsula, where there are three yacht clubs, including the San Diego Yacht Club, which was home to the America’s Cup from 1988 to 1995. There are half a dozen small-boat marinas on the Bay side of Point Loma. There’s also a commercial dock that services sport fishing cruises as well as seasonal whale watching expeditions. Point Loma hosts the biggest sport fishing fleet in Southern California. The Bay side hosts numerous other businesses related to yachting and fishing, such as marine supply stores, yacht brokerages, boat repair yards, and hotels and motels catering to fishing enthusiasts. Some restaurants and hotels have docks for customers who arrive by boat.
Tourists and locals visit the cliffs on the western side of the peninsula for views of the ocean and the sunset—hence the name Sunset Cliffs. There are surfing spots below the cliffs, such as Luscomb’s Point, Garbage Beach, and New Break. The cliffs are unstable and can be dangerous—a woman died in a fall from the cliffs in December 2008, and other falls have resulted in injuries.
The Point Loma area has a number of hotels, restaurants, and local businesses. Located in the Voltaire business district—near Ocean Beach—is the Point Loma Youth Hostel, frequented by travelers from around the world. The San Diego Sports Arena and the concert venue SOMA are located in the Midway neighborhood of Point Loma.
Point Loma has an estimated population of 47,981 (including Ocean Beach), according to the 2010 Census. The Peninsula Planning Area, which includes most of Point Loma, comprises approximately 4,400 acres (1,800 ha).
Point Loma is historically important as the landing place of the first European expedition to come ashore in present-day California. The peninsula has been described as “where California began.” Today, Point Loma houses two major military bases, a national cemetery, a national monument, and a university, in addition to residential and commercial areas.