Ships traveling along the coast in the late 1800s faced incredible perils, with treacherous rocks and reefs at every turn. In 1889 a lightstation atop a volcanic plug at Point Sur began to shine a powerful beam to help those ever-grateful captains navigate. The light’s been shining ever since, although it’s been automated since 1974.
Today Point Sur Lightstation is California’s only complete turn-of-the-20th-century lighthouse open to the public. If you want to visit, you have to join a guided, three-hour walking tour at Point Sur State Historic Park. Meet in the parking lot at the base of the giant rock.
A docent will lead you on a paved road up the hill to the lighthouse, about a half-mile walk (no strollers allowed, two stairways). Besides the lighthouse, you’ll see nine other buildings like the keeperâs house and blacksmith shop.
To hear ghost stories about former lighthouse keepers come for the popular Moonlight Tours on 10 or 11 dates from April to October (see schedule on website or call). These are first-come, first-served, so get there early.
Note: No pets (even in cars), picnicking or food wrappers, large motorhomes or campers, strollers, baby carriages.
Location: tours meet at the farm gate just north of mile marker 54