A Not-to-Miss Visiting Place are the California Lighthouses

California Lighthouses

California has nearly 50 lighthouses along the California shore. This is because the San Francisco population exploded from the Gold Rush 1849 and so there was great migration that the need for building materials increases the need for ship traffic along the coast.  The history of lighthouse begins here.

The first lighthouse was erected in 1854 on Alcatraz Island on the west coast responding to increasing number of shipwrecks. In fact, lighthouse keepers started living with their families at each lighthouse to ascertain the light stays lit at all times. During those times, each lighthouse was intensified by topping with a Fresnel lenssuch that the kerosene flame showed as an imposing light beam. In fact, the Fresnel lenses at that time were state-of-the-art and were made in France. After the production of electricity, these lenses were replaced with modern electronic beacons. Even today,there are several impressive lighthouses that can be visited and explored by docent-led or self-guided tours.  However, some California’s lighthouses offer the option to stay overnight in the cabins of the former light keeper’s. These accommodations may be in dorm-style hostels or even as detached homes.

Pigeon Point and Point Arena and have the tallest lighthouses at 115-feet tall on the west coast. Point Arena Lighthouse is the tallest lighthouse that allows climbing to the top. It was built 130 miles north of San Francisco on a narrow headland in 1870. This Lighthouse was destroyed in the 1906 Great San Francisco Earthquake and was rebuilt in 1907 on a safer portion. Point Arena Lighthouse now features motel-style accommodations in the light keeper’s cabins and there are museums.

Trinidad features a memorial lighthouse and is located to the north of Eureka overlooking Trinidad Bay. It is a replica of the Trinidad Head Lighthouse located on the Trinidad Head west side and is accessible by short hike. This Lighthouse is truly picturesque and is easily accessible. It stands as a memorial and is a great focal point for Trinidad Bay.

Two historic lighthouses in L.A. County are situated close to each other; the Point Fermin and Point Vicente Lighthouse. The Point Fermin Lighthouse is in a city park and there is tours available everydayfrom Tuesday to Sunday. The lens was housed once in a cupola perched on the top and it served as the home to the light keeper. The light was extinguished and was never relit. Away from it within a few miles in Rancho Palos Verdes is located the Point Vicente Lighthouse. It stands at 67 feet tall and features the traditional architecture of Cape Cod-style. Point Vicente Lighthouse is operational and tours are restricted per month to one Saturday. It is adjacent to the Point Vicente Interpretive Center and features a museum with local whale migrations, whale watching stations, picnic grounds, gift shop and a museum.

The Old Point Loma Lighthouse is on the San Diego Harbor north side and offers an excellent view of the San Diego skyline, the Pacific Ocean and Coronado Island.The Old Point Loma Lighthouse is the oldest and protrudes to a short distance only. Like several other lighthouses in California, it was built too high and was replaced at 300 feet lower by the New Point Loma Lighthouse.

These are a handful of the beautiful lighthouses in California. However, most lighthouses are located at scenic points along the coast. Even today it features museums, gift shops and there are volunteers to give you information and interesting facts about lighthouses.

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