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“Great experience”

Point Cabrillo Light Station State Historic Park
Ranked #3 of 23 things to do in Mendocino
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: OPEN 365 DAYS a YEAR -- THERE IS NO FEE -- Built between 1908 and 1909, and extensively restored, it is one of the most complete Lightstations in the U.S. and hosts visitors, vacation rentals, receptions and weddings, plus education programs for classes of local students. There is a parking area inside the gate off Point Cabrillo Drive, adjacent to the restored Kearn farmhouse with its public restroom. Enjoy the half mile downhill walk to the Light Station buildings. There is parking for vehicles with Disabled placards at the bottom of the hill. There are two paths to the Station. The dirt path begins at the north end of the parking lot and takes you through the introduced grassland and coastal prairie. The paved access road to the south is an easier walk. The Light Station includes the Lighthouse, which is an active duty Aid to Navigation, containing the original Chance Brothers classic 3rd order Fresnel lens. -- Three restored Lightkeeper homes; the first is a period museum of a lightkeeper's house in the 1930s; the other two houses are comfortable vacation rental homes, -- The restored Blacksmith & Carpentry Shop houses the Marine Science Exhibit with its 240 gallon saltwater aquarium, -- Two lovely vacation rental cottages, and public restrooms, one by the lightkeepers houses and another in the Kearn farmhouse. THERE IS NO FEE to tour the Lighthouse museum/giftshop or the period museum lightkeeper's house, although your donations are welcome. The Lighthouse, 1st Assistant Lightkeeper's House and Marine Science Exhibit are open to the public from 11am to 4pm year-round, including holidays. The State Historic Park grounds are open from sunrise to sunset daily.
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
195 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 150 helpful votes
“Great experience”
Reviewed January 10, 2014

We love the hike of 800m to the lighthouse. On reaching the lighthouse, the views were magnificent and one can contemplate the rock formation just below the cliffs. Just beautiful on a clear day.

Visited January 2014
Thank Sweetiemine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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527 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
El Paso, Texas
Level Contributor
109 reviews
38 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“Good light house but 0.5 mile wall”
Reviewed December 30, 2013 via mobile

This is a well maintained light house. I give 4 stars bcoz it is 0.5 mile one way walk from the parking area. We saw 3 deers along the way. Spent total of 1 hr including hiking time.

Thank KC7100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Menlo Park, California
Level Contributor
48 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“interesting history, great views”
Reviewed December 29, 2013

Make sure you ask the volunteers onsite to tell you the history of the lighthouse, fascinating. There was a sunken ship, forgotten history that was resurrected, the lighthouse itself was kind of brought back to life from dilapidation, and the story of starting the lumber mills to help SF build back up after the earthquake of 1906... lots of good stories here.

Visited December 2013
Thank mcjhawar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Bragg, California
Level Contributor
40 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
“A proud sentinel”
Reviewed December 25, 2013

Midway between Fort Bragg and Mendocino is the Point Cabrillo Light House Nature Preserve: a wonderful place for a hike, whale watching, a picnic, and a tour of the light house. Parking is up at the visitor center, though there is handicap parking at the light house. I recommend hiking down through the field at the north end of the parking lot and coming back up the paved road. Mid way down the broad trail is a trail to the north leading to the cove where the ship the Frolic went down with cargo from the Orient leading in a round about way to the extensive logging of the coastal redwoods. From this cove take the shoreline trail to the light house. There you'll enjoy an aquarium exhibit, the lighthouse itself, and incredible coastal vistas. This is also one of the best places for whale watching as they come in quite close here- especially northward bound in March-April. There are several picnic tables to linger over. Walking up the paved road there
are very clean restroom facilities. Overnight accommodations are available on site in the former light house keepers' home. The wind can be quite blustery so dress in layers!

Visited December 2013
1 Thank Daniel K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California City, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Working Lighthouse”
Reviewed December 19, 2013

This was about a 20-25 minute, easy hike from our vacation rental in Caspar. With unexpectedly warm weather for mid-December - we enjoyed the spectacular view of the ocean, tide pools and wild life without any chilly gusts. The lighthouse was well maintained and had an interesting mix of gift items and history. There's a telescope aimed at the ocean to monitor the migration of whales and the staff provides good information on when this starts. Overall good outing if you are in the neighborhood and have an hour or two.

Visited December 2013
Thank yaatr1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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