The Point Pinos Lighthouse
The Point Pinos Lighthouse in Pacific Grove has a gentle, refined feeling about it.
This lighthouse is located on a point that is flat and is surrounded by the Monterey pines for which it is named.
It is the oldest, continuously operating lighthouse on the west coast, having been completed in 1855.
It is nicely restored and furnished with period pieces and has an interesting exhibit of maritime artifacts.
Point Pinos Lighthouse Quick Facts:
Year built: 1855
GPS coordinates: 36.6338/ -121.9337
Height: 89 ft.
Light signature: Occulting – white – 4sec
Range: 17 miles
Fresnel lens: Third Order – still located at the lighthouse
Open to the public?: Yes – see details below
Contact: Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History
Phone: (831) 648-3176
An interesting part of the light’s history is that it had two female lightkeepers.
The first was Charlotte Layton, who succeeded her husband in 1856 after he was killed and served as head keeper until 1860.
The second was Mrs. Emily Fish, who was head keeper for 21 years, from 1893 to 1914. She was widely known as the “Socialite Keeper” for her fondness for entertaining. She was the keeper at the time of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, which did severe damage to the light tower.
Point Pinos Lightstation Tour Information
If you are visiting Carmel or Monterey, a visit to the Point Pinos Light house is an easy and short drive. The lighthouse is part of the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History and complete tour information can be found here.
If you are here during the winter, the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History also has docents at the Monarch Butterfly Grove just a couple of blocks away from the lighthouse.
The butterflies overwinter here and in Pismo Beach from November through March and can be seen in the thousands.
All the attractions of Monterey, especially the Aquarium and Cannery Row are close, and Carmel-by-the-Sea just to the south is considered the northern beginning of the Big Sur coast.