California Lighthouses


Point Sur Lighthouse, California

Point Sur Lighthouse, open to public. Call: (831) 625-4419 or

This 19th century lighthouse has all the original buildings intact. It was transferred to California State Parks in 2004 when GPS was fully launched. The light station was deeded to California under the auspices of the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act. It is one of four lighthouses operated by California State Parks.

Point Sur Light Station in Point Sur State Historic Park is 19 miles south of Monterey, exit Highway 1. It is the only complete turn-of-the-century light station open to the public in California and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The unique stone light house still guides ships with its light, though now it is completely automated. In the winter and spring, visitors can see whale migrations from the lighthouse and park. Walking tours are conducted year-round on a first come, first served basis. There are also moonlight tours when visitors can hear about the "ghosts" of light house keepers past.

Located near the city of Big Sur in Monterey County, the lighthouse was established and lit in 1889 and is still operational today. Automation of the facility began in 1972.

When built, foundation materials included natural stone and rock, and the construction materials included sandstone. The fog signal building is square shaped and the lighthouse is integral. The tower height in feet measures 48.

The original optic was a First Order, Fresnel lens installed in 1889, and the present optic is a DCB-224. The original lens is on display at Stanton Center Maritime Museum and History Center in Monterey. The present lens was installed in 1975. The height of the focal plane is 273.

The lighthouse does not include a modern tower, and there is an existing sound signal building. The original fog signal building was of the Rich Romanesque architectural style and the steam fog signal whistle was removed in 1971.

There are Keepers Quarters constructed in 1902 at this lighthouse were converted from the 1889 engine house. The lighthouse keepers quarters has two stories and is designed in Craftsman / Colonial Revival style, made from sandstone.

Other structures include a blacksmith, carpenter shop, pumphouse, barracks, radio beacon, barn, cistern, oil house and garage.

Point Sur is used as an active aid to navigation in the California State Parks. The lighthouse is open to the public.

It's listed on the National Register as Reference #91001097
Name of Listing: Point Sur Light Station (Light Stations of California MPS)

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