The coast of California is a spectacular draw for the guests of our boutique Mendocino hotel. With craggy cliffs, sweeping vistas, and muted colors, Northern California's coastline begs to be explored during your stay in Mendocino. The Mendocino area is home to two lighthouses that offer unique vantage points into the history of the California coast. Visiting them is a great day trip for some sightseeing and education about these navigational aids. Next time you're on a lark on Mendocino, visit these two lighthouses of Mendocino to learn more about the maritime history of Northern California.
This Mendocino lighthouse is about a 30-minute drive north of downtown Mendocino, in the Point Cabrillo Light Station State Historic Park. The lighthouse is located about half a mile from the parking lot, so come prepared to do some walking around the grounds. This lighthouse of Mendocino was manned from its construction in 1909 until it was automated in 1972. Now, the lighthouse is available for tours daily from sunrise to sunset. The original British-built Fresnel lens is still in place, which once created the lighthouse's signature flash every 10 seconds. Take a self-guided tour of the lighthouse, the keepers' house, and the grounds to see how the lighthouse keepers and their families lived for decades.
Head south to Point Arena, to see this uniquely designed lighthouse, built to withstand earthquakes after the original, more traditionally shaped lighthouse was damaged in 1906. The original Fresnel lens, still in place, was discontinued in 1977 and an array of LED lights now guides ships off the coast to safety. Guided tours of the lighthouse's tower are available, and the 115-foot climb to the top means Point Arena Lighthouse is the tallest lighthouse on the West Coast open to the public. Learn about the development of the California coast while you look for sea life, including some of the best whale watching around.