Make a stop at the Point Cabrillo Light Station in Mendocino for a day of nature and history. You can explore Point Cabrillo Light Station State Historic Park and walk through the wildlife areas. Or, check out the historic lighthouse, which is an active duty aid to this day! Before you climb up this piece of Mendocino history, make sure you access our complimentary Mendocino Itinerary. There, you can find a guide to the best restaurants, sunset views, and pet-friendly hikes in Northern California.
What You Need to Know About Point Cabrillo Light Station in Mendocino
A Little History
In 1873, the Point Cabrillo Lighthouse was just a thought and never actually became a reality until it was built in 1908. The light station finally guided ships to safety as they transported lumber in 1909. Make sure you check out the original Chance Brothers classic third-order Fresnel lens, which illuminates the way for about 13-15 miles! You can find it in the lantern room at the very top of the tower, but make sure you check touring options because it’s not accessible every day.
When Is Point Cabrillo Light Station Open?
You can venture around the state park all day long, from sunrise to sunset. Then, wait until 11 to explore the rest of the attractions within the park, which close at 4:00 in the afternoon.
Once You Arrive at Point Cabrillo Light Station California State Historic Park
Upon arrival, you can park in the parking lot just inside the gates. Then, take a half-mile walk to the lighthouse by one of two paths. You can take the dirt path, where you can admire the grasslands and prairie, or you can take the more accessible, paved route.
First Assistant Lightkeeper’s House
The first house you’ll pass by is the First Assistant Lightkeeper’s House. This museum is redesigned to look just like how it did in the 1930s!
Head to the Lighthouse Museum and see the guestbook that has been there since the beginning! You can see models of the parts and equipment that were used to light the way long ago, and check out the top of the tower. But, keep in mind that tours to the top of the lighthouse are only available for eight days of the year. You can see the fog signal building, which was used to communicate with a signature fog pattern.
Marine Science Exhibit
Just a short walk from the museum, you can discover the Marine Science Exhibit, which is inside the restored Blacksmith and Carpenter Shop. That’s where you can learn all about the ecosystem and its local inhabitants as you observe a 240-gallon aquarium. Don’t miss out on a unique experience that allows you to see abalone during feeding time!
Relax at Cottages at Little River Cove
After a day of absorbing the history of Point Cabrillo Light Station, and taking in gorgeous views, settle into a charming cottage by the water. Cottages at Little River Cove offers high-quality cottages for the perfect getaway on the Northern California Coast.
Stay in our Mendocino Cottage for a relaxing time in a bright cottage with fantastic amenities. Admire the grand, ocean view, or recharge in the oversized bedroom with a king bed. Don’t wait any longer to book an amazing coastal getaway.