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Inscribed on the marker: "On September 28, 1542, Juan Rodriguez Cabríllo and his crew sailed into this harbor and became the first Europeans to set foot on what would later become the west coast of the United States. The exact landing area is not known, but many believe that Cabríllo came ashore on Ballast Point, the small finger of land below you."


  • What is pictured on the marker
  • Marker with Ballast Point in the background

This historical marker commemorates the estimated landing site of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo and his crew of European explorers.  It is assumed he landed in San Diego Bay in his flagship San Salvador on Point Loma’s eastern shore near where the Cabrillo National Monument currently stands.

Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo led the first European crew to explore what is now the west coast of the United States. He was commanded by the Viceroy of New Spain to build ships to explore the Pacific due to his knows skills as a leader. The ships were to be used as trade ships between Central America and Asia.

After many months at sea, Cabrillo and his men entered San Diego Bay and likely anchored at Ballast Point where he claimed the land for Spain, naming it San Miguel. A second explorer, Sebastian Vizcaino, 60 years later renamed the area San Diego.

Browne, Allen C. Landing of Cabrillo. Historical Marker Database. July 03, 2015. Accessed September 30, 2018. https://www.hmdb.org/marker.asp?marker=85068.

Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo. National Park Service. . Accessed September 30, 2018. https://www.nps.gov/cabr/learn/historyculture/juan-rodriguez-cabrillo.htm.