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Point Arena Lighthouse & Museum
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: The Point Arena Lighthouse stands as an iconic figure on the landscape of the American Pacific Coast. No other lighthouse offers such a fully interactive experience in the exchange between history, science and natural beauty. Sometimes brilliantly sunny, other times fog-shrouded and mysterious, always ruggedly beautiful, the lighthouse is a place to find something different, a place where the romance is real and the experience is profound. Surrounded by water on three sides, and shouldered adjacent to the Point Arena/Stornetta Public Lands, the Point Arena Lighthouse is the premiere visitor destination in Mendocino County. It is also one of the best whale watching spots on the North Coast, with the annual Gray Whale migration from late November through May, Humpbacks throughout the year, the occasional pod of transient Killer Whales and even Blue Whales. Watch for the spouts, tails and breaches from the top of the Tower and from the trails and gazebo. With nightly lodging and tours of the lighthouse offered daily, what will you discover on your next visit?
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Activities for older children, Activities for young children
Murphys, California
Level Contributor
25 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 25, 2013

If you have kids they will love the Lighthouse...It is a lighthouse so lot's of steps to the top. Great view and they give you a little history on the area ...very nice and worth the trip. They also have rentals that seems nice and clean with great views...

Visited April 2013
Thank Lilybyrd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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301 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
67 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Classic Lighthouse”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 21, 2013

We stayed one evening at the Point Arena Lighthouse on the California coast.

A classic lighthouse that is located on the farthest western point on the contiguous 48 states.

There are several lodgings at the lighthouse, and it appears that the rooms are more recent additions to the grounds. No heat, but there was a wood burning stove and a fresh stack of wood in the Apartment we stayed in. Simple enough and warm enough. The beds were fantastic. Tempurpedic or similar style mattresses, you can't get a better nights sleep. Very comfortable. The room was clean and quite suitable.

As for an attraction, getting to the lighthouse is restricted by a fence and locked gate. The grounds have a gift shop, but none of this is accessible before 10 AM. We arrived late in the day and the hostel staff was long gone, but they keys and instructions were left for us and entry was no problem following their instructions. One thing I didn't like was the additional $50 fee for room cleaning. A one night stay doesn't require $50 for cleaning the room, and this smells of price deception and gouging. They should just simply add that as part of the room charge and make it plain when you book online. It's just feels deceptive and unnecessary. For the price, the rooms aren't really worth the cost after you factor in the lack of access and an aloof staff.

We were a bit disappointed with short business hours, which didn't allow us to experience the tour of the lighthouse and restricted our access upon arrival after hours. What few interactions we had with staff were unimpressive, as everyone seems detached from the business. Nothing opened on time, nobody seemed interested in our presence in the gift shop and the whole atmosphere was one of detachment. The hostel office doesn't do business, so checking out required a visit to the gift shop. Strange setup, it doesn't appear anyone here has training in the lodging business. But, this wasn't a problem, just strange.

I wouldn't go here with a lot of expectations from the staff, but if you're a lighthouse fan, this is a great place to visit.

Visited April 2013
Thank Colorado53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oceanside, California
Level Contributor
22 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Beautiful Landmark”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 5, 2013

While visiting Mendocino County in California we visited the lighthouse in Point Arena, Ca. It was a wonderful experience. The docent, Thayer was very helpful, knowledgeable and friendly. The gift shoft had a variety of local handmade and other gifts. We had a a great time and learn a lot about this Beautiful Historical Landmark.

Visited April 2013
Thank Marga W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
san francisco
Level Contributor
42 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“A bit of history”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 28, 2013

If you are a fan of lighthouses and history, this is a great stop on your coastal journey. The museum is very interesting and contains the original lens which is really impressive.
Glorious views from the top of the lighthouse, too.

Visited March 2013
Thank Cecilia B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
182 reviews
74 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 137 helpful votes
“Delightful Tour- worth the time!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 26, 2013

We were here on a cold windy day, and it made the drama of the light house even more spectacular! The photos in the gift shop and gallery set the stage, and the tour guide takes it from there! The spiral staircase is amazing, and once at the top you have an intimate view of the light it self. The guide has lots of stories which our children were delighted to hear! The guide was also great with answering questions, and both our 8 year old and teens gave this experience a thumbs up. Later we walked our dog out on the bluff to the gazebo, then sat on some benches eating our lunch and watching the waves crash and swirl around the point. I highly recommend this stop! Was my review helpful? Please let me know!

Visited March 2013
Thank Jodie D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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