- Hours: Open daily
- Reservations: Not required
- Cost: Admission fee
- Location: Near the town of Point Arena on the Mendocino Coast, directions below
- How Long: Allow an hour or so
- Best Time to Visit: Any time, but skies are clearest in spring and fall
The keeper's quarters were crowded, with the keeper, three assistants and their families sharing the two-and-a-half story residence. The arrangement was less than tranquil, and the keeper recorded a log entry in 1880: "Threatening weather and fighting children."
The original tower staunchly guided ships for 36 years, until the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco (130 miles away) rocked the entire area and destroyed multitudes of structures. A devastating fracture in the brick and mortar facility and extensive damage to the once-ornate Keepers’ residence ultimately condemned Point Arena Light and forced workers to build a series of new structures capable of withstanding future earthquake trembles.
The government sought a quake-proof structure, and the potential was soon realized when a local smokestack factory contracted to construct the new light. Today's 115-foot-tall tower was erected soon thereafter. Point Arena became the first steel-reinforced concrete lighthouse in the United States and began functioning once again in 1908.
Visiting Point Arena LighthouseThe U.S. Coast Guard automated the light in 1977, and in 1982 a private organization took over the landmark and created vacation lodging, museum and public tours. Four houses that replaced the original Keepers’ quarters after the 1906 earthquake and today serve as guest cottages to overnight visitors. Travelers can reserve a cottage by calling 707-882-2777 or 877-725-4448 or online.
Getting to the Point Arena Lighthouse
45500 Lighthouse RoadPoint Arena Lighthouse is located 135 miles north of San Francisco, one mile north of the town of Point Arena on California Highway 1. From the highway, drive two miles west on Lighthouse Road.
Point Arena, CA 95468
877-725-4448 or 707-882-2777