Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo (1520 - 3 January 1543) was a Portuguese explorer noted for his exploration of the west coast for North America while sailing for Spain. He was the first European explorer to navigate the coast of present day California in the United States. He also helped found the city of Oaxaca in Mexico.
Cabrillo's voyages on behalf of Spain followed the 1539 voyage of Francisco de Ulloa, who had been by Hernán Cortés and had discovered the Gulf of California, reaching as far the 28th parallel. Like Ulloa, Cabrillo was searching for the mythical Strait of Anián that supposedly connected the Pacific Ocean to Hudson Bay, providing a route for the Northwest Passage.
On June 27, 1542, Cabrillo set out from Navidad (now Acapulco) in New Spain. On September 28, 1542, he landed on what is now San Diego Bay and gave it its name. Sailing up the coast, he also named Santa Barbara. Cabrillo eventually sailed as farth north as the present border between California and Oregon.
Although his discoveries went largely unnoticed at the time, Cabrillo is now remembered as the first European to travel the California coast, and many streets and buildings in California bear his name. In San Diego, the National Park Service operates a monument overlooking the bay commemorating his first landing in California and offering views of both San Diego and the Pacific Ocean.