The Point Arena Lighthouse in Mendocino County, California, is one of the best places to go whale watching and have a weekend getaway. Located 130 miles north of San Francisco, it is quite a long drive but the journey is worth it.
It is an unexpected romantic getaway—far from the more popular and crowded beaches of California. This escape is perfect for couples and families who wish to go off the beaten track and go whale watching on the north coast of California.
A Historical Landmark
The Point Arena Lighthouse Keepers owns and operates the lighthouse. The institution has received praise for its efforts to preserve this landmark and to educate the visitors. The lighthouse has been around for over 150 years. In the past, it served as a guiding light for seafarers and ships traveling on the coast.
The lighthouse evokes romance and tranquility. Its history and natural beauty draw visitors who wish to enjoy the landmark while taking in the view of the ocean. Those who are lucky get to spot whales that are passing through.
Whale Watching At The Lighthouse
The Point Arena Lighthouse is the best place to go whale watching because it is surrounded by water on three sides. The lighthouse itself is 115 ft. tall and rests in a property that is vast and breathtaking. The lighthouse rests on a cliff, which is another location where people can look out for whales.
Visitors can see whales all year long. The migration of gray whales takes place from November to May, while humpback whales can be seen all year round. Lucky visitors might see killer whales and blue whales at any point in the year. Look out for spouts, tails, or breaching!
Here are some of the attractions within the Point Arena Lighthouse:
- Light Station Store to buy merchandise and souvenirs.
- The Point Arena Light Station is housed in the Fog Signal Building. It is where the lighthouse artifacts are located.
- The Outdoor Museum provides an interactive experience for visitors where they can engage with the environment and enjoy the natural surroundings.
Where To Stay
The Point Arena Lighthouse is open all year. There are 7 vacation cabins available for rent. Due to the limited number of accommodations, reservations are required. Guests who book a stay at the cabins can have free tours of the Light Station Store, Indoor Museum, Outdoor Museum. They can also access the nearby hiking trails and ocean views.
Most of the cottages have a functioning kitchen and fireplace. A few of the cabins are pet-friendly. A weekend at Point Arena Lighthouse makes for a romantic getaway for couples or an educational tour for the family. Book accommodations on their website.
Assistant Keeper’s House has three bedrooms, two bathrooms and can fit up to six people. It has provisions for outdoor dining, such as a picnic table and a patio. Assistant Keeper’s House 3 and 4 are pet-friendly.
- House 2 &3: $315 per night from Sunday to Thursday, $350 per night from Friday to Saturday
- House 4: $360 per night from Sunday to Thursday, $395 per night from Friday to Saturday
The Head Keeper’s Quarters has two bedrooms and one bathroom. This cabin has mid-century modern-style interiors. The reservation comes with a complimentary bottle of wine and locally made chocolates.
- Cost: $295 per night from Sunday to Thursday, $325 per night from Friday to Saturday
The Keeper’s Apartment has one bedroom and one bathroom. This apartment-style accommodation is perfect for two people. The reservation comes with a complimentary bottle of wine and locally made chocolates.
- Cost: $250 per night from Sunday to Thursday, $275 per night from Friday to Saturday
Keeper’s Room is an apartment-style accommodation that can fit two people. It has one bedroom and one bathroom. This is perfect for couples who wish to explore landmarks and nearby sites. Unlike the other cabin, this one does not have a kitchen.
- Cost: $180 per night from Sunday to Thursday, $195 per night from Friday to Sunday
The Bookkeeper’s Room is a studio apartment-style accommodation that has one bed and one bathroom. Like the Keeper’s Room, it does not have a kitchen but does have a mini-fridge, microwave, and coffee maker.
- Cost: $190 per night from Sunday to Thursday, $205 per night from Friday to Sunday
Aside from protecting and maintaining the historical structures, the county has taken measures to protect marine ecosystems. Elsewhere in the area are other sites that visitors can check out on their visit. The Point Arena State Marine Reserve and Point Arena State Marine Conservations Area are marine protected areas.
Other attractions to check out are:
- The Sea Lion Cove State Marine Conservation Area – an abalone cove and home to other species of invertebrates.
- Saunders Reef State Marine Conservation Area – also an abalone cove, where the populations of this species are protected.
- California Coast National Monument’s Point Arena-Stornetta Unit – home to wildlife and plants that are local to Mendocino County.
Supporting A Local Institution
The Point Arena Lighthouse is one of the oldest lighthouses in the country and has been around for many years because it is very well-maintained. People can expect that it will be around for a long time. This is the perfect place to escape while taking in the beauty and tranquility of the ocean. Even though it’s a popular site due to the limited number of cabins and the sprawling property, visitors will still be able to enjoy the location without feeling cramped or crowded.