Last year, I advised that you tell your boss you were going to be out ill on August 25th, a work day. This year the calendar has been kind and the National Park Service’s birthday falls on a Saturday! So, chicanery won’t be needed for a chance to see and photograph San Diego’s best panoramas!
Just twice a year, on August 25 and November 15, civilians are allowed to climb all the way to the top of the Old Point Loma Lighthouse tower at the Cabrillo National Monument. The tower was not designed by Disneyland, so getting to the catwalk and back down is difficult but well worth the effort. If the weather cooperates, you can see from Tijuana to Orange County and east to the mountains!
The Park opens at 0900 and I suggest you immediately queue-up for the tower which opens at 1000. There will be a long queue all day as groups of 10 visitors work their way up and down the slender stairs and ladder.
Bring only your camera and one lens (wide angle, zoom, fisheye?) into the tower as you’ll only be allowed a few minutes on the catwalk and you don’t want to waste time fumbling with your gear. However, bring all your gear because there is much more than the tower and panoramas to shoot at Cabrillo. Birds, plants and furry, little creatures compete for lens time, but most ‘togs seem to favor taking photos of the volunteers in period dress.
Admission is a bargain at only $5 a carload, so toss your photo gear, your picnic basket, and the family into the car and come-on out! And, if you pass me as I herd touristas up and down the stairs, be sure and say, “Yo!”