Waves crashing constantly on the rocks, as if to keep time eternally, this is Point Arena. Just pure nature, and a man made lighthouse. The lighthouse stands at the tip of a narrow peninsula jutting about half a mile into the pacific Ocean – serene and ethereal. In the sparsely populated cost of Northern California this is an ideal getaway to commune with your soul.
“Dance with the waves,
Move with the sea,
Let the rhythm of the water
Set your soul free”
-Christy Ann Martine
The current light house building is over 100 years old, and is no longer manned as in the old days. The old keepers quarters were converted into guest accommodations. A stay here is an incredible experience, not in terms of luxury but in the old fashioned charm. Don’t worry , it does not take you too far back into the past. You will have a comfortable stay.
What : Point Arena Lighthouse
Where : Along US 1 about 130 miles north of San Francisco
Things to do : Relax, explore, take a lighthouse tour, spot a whale and chat with harbor seals.
If You Go : Do plan to arrive early, as most of the shops close by 7p.m.. Have something warm with you, the mornings are cold even in summer.
Must Do The light house tour.
We reached the light house grounds well past the closing time, but it was summer and the sun hadn’t set yet. The instructions were for us to open the gate and let ourselves in, and that is exactly what we did. It was like stepping into another time .
This was what we were treated to as we entered the “Keepers Quarters”, that was ours for the time being. Now this is definitely worth the drive ! Look out through any of the windows this is what the eyes will be feasting on – waves crashing onto the cliffs is the ambient music here.
This is the place for you to fall in love, whether it is with the light house, the ocean, or the person by your side. Now we were driving down from Oregon, so I won’t blame you if you were wondering “What was she smoking!”. Let me assure you the only thing I inhaled was the salty ocean air 🙂
There is plenty of coastal life to explore . Mendocino coast is beautiful, dotted with cliffs, sea stacks, beautiful beaches and everything else that comes with it . The town is sparsely populated, the entire population is under 500 , leaving much of the coast untouched. There are other lodgings available , but if you get a chance I highly recommend that you stay at the lighthouse.
Take a tour of the lighthouse and explore the history. During operating hours they offer guided tours to the top of the light house. Climb these winding stairs to the top and you will be treated to fantastic 360° views. The old Fresnel lens that stood at the top is moved to the museum store, This huge 6 tonne assembly is replaced by a small coast guard beacon now. The views from the top are fantastic.
The museum is a good place to learn about light signatures, and everything lighthouse. The fist order Fresel lens could catch and direct the light making it visible up to 20 miles into ocean. I am sure there were very many mariners who were glad to see it blink so far out and had a chance to escape running aground by the rocks that protrude about a mile into the ocean .
Here are a few more pictures from the lighthouse tower
There are a total of 145 steps to climb to the top of the tower. This is first one of the beautiful spiral stairway. Yes it is older than t he current light house, but still strong .
Here are a few more from the grounds