Just north of the smallest city in California, Point Arena, is one of the tallest lighthouses in California. Originally built in 1870, the lighthouse was destroyed in the Great Quake of 1906 and was the first lighthouse in the country to be made of reinforced concrete when it was rebuilt in 1908. The lighthouse is the tallest on the west coast that allows visitors to climb to the top.
Climb to the top of one of the tallest lighthouses in California for stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and explore its fascinating history
It takes 145 steps to reach the top of the tower, but it’s worth it! You will be amazed by the 360 degree views of the ocean from the viewing gallery. A tour guide is available to discuss the history of the lighthouse, the marine life around you, and the land and sea around the lighthouse. Evening tours of the lighthouse are available throughout the year on or near the full moon, allowing a breathtaking view of moonlight over the ocean as you sip champagne or sparkling cider from the souvenir flute you can take home to remind you of a magical evening.
The lighthouse featured a fine Fresnel lens when it first opened in 1908, rotated by a clockwork mechanism which had to be cranked by hand every 75 minutes by the lighthouse keepers, and lit by an oil lamp which also had to be maintained by the hard-working keepers. Over the years, technology improved, and the Fresnel lens and the oil lamp were replaced by newer and more convenient methods of keeping the light shining for all the ships at sea.
The magnificent Fresnel lens can now be seen in the museum, just steps away from the lighthouse. The museum is housed in the former Fog Signal Building, originally built in 1890 and renovated in 2010. The collection includes historical artifacts, displays about shipwrecks on the rocky Mendocino Coast, and information about the lighthouse keepers and their families. There is also a Whale Watch room, which is filled with fascinating displays about marine mammals and other sea creatures, as well as offering a warm spot to watch the passing whales during migration times.
The Lighthouse hosts an informative and entertaining lecture series on a wide range of subjects, ranging from local history to the history of lighthouse keeping to the wildlife around the lighthouse. Check here for upcoming lectures.
The Point Arena Lighthouse is located at 45500 Lighthouse Road in Point Arena. Call 877-725-4448, ext. 1 or 707-882-2809, ext. 1 or email email@example.com for more information. The tower is not wheelchair accessible, but the museum and gift shop are.
The Museum is open every day except Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. Summer hours are 10:00 am to 4:30 pm from Memorial Day through Labor Day and winter hours are 10:00 am to 3:30 pm from the day after Labor Day to Memorial Day weekend.
Admission to the Museum only is $5 for adults, $1 for children aged 5 – 12 years.
Admission to the Museum and a tour of the lighthouse tower is $7.50 for adults, $1 for children aged 5 – 12 years.