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Cabrillo National Monument Celebrated Birthday With Free Admission

Entrance fees to the Cabrillo National Monument were waived Monday in commemoration of the 98th birthday of the National Park Service.

Eileen Martinez is a native San Diegan and oversees the Cabrillo National Monument Foundation and park, which includes one of the first lighthouses built on the West Coast 100 years ago. Twice a year the park opens the tower's hatch for visitors to get a birds eye view of San Diego.

“This was critically important to the protection of San Diego Bay and the stories of the military that resound within our community," Martinez said.

Besides the lighthouse, the monument at the tip of the point offers stunning views of the ocean, San Diego Bay, Coronado and downtown, as well as tide pools where marine life can be viewed.

The park is named in honor of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, who in 1542 became the first European to set foot on what's now the West Coast of the United States.

The monument is San Diego's only national park. Entrance fees at more than 400 similar locations will be waived Monday, according to the park service.

Entrance fees at the park normally are $5 per vehicle or $3 per person if walking or riding a bicycle.

KPBS reporter Dwane Brown contributed to this report.

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