45500 Lighthouse Road
Point Arena, CA 95468


10:00am to 3:30pm
10:00am to 4:30pm Memorial Day through Labor Day weekends


(707) 882-2809 ext 1
Point Arena Lightouse


Lodging, Picnic Facilities, Restrooms, Trails, Wheelchair Accessible

The Point Arena Light Station, 23 acres of rugged peninsula surrounded by water on three sides and shouldered adjacent to the Point Arena-Stornetta Unit of the California Coastal National Monument, is the premier visitor destination in Mendocino County.  The Lighthouse Tower stands as an iconic figure on the landscape of the American Pacific Coast, and the 1896 Fog Signal Building houses a fascinating Museum and unique Gift Store. Stay in one of our six vacation cottages for a magical experience, or join us for a Full Moon Night Tour.  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 Point Arena Light Station is a place to find something different, a place where the romance is real and the experience is profound. 


The Light Station is 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 and Fin Whales.  Watch for the spouts, tails and breaches from the top of the Tower, the bluffs, trails and gazebo.  Visit the Whale Watch Room in the Museum and watch the marine mammal and birds pass by, and enjoy the interactive touchscreen program about the sounds and species in our ocean outside.  Our Tour Guides are always on the lookout for whales, porpoises, dolphins, seals and sea lions and communicate with each other to point them out to our guests.  Our visitors love to whale watch from the top of the Lighthouse Tower, either in the all glass Lantern Room or out on the baclony than encircles the top of the Tower.  April and May sees the gray whale moms and babies hugging the coastline on their way North, sometimes so close you can hear their blows!



Grays have become year round, but December – April are the prime months. Humpbacks are more common in the summer months.


Held on various dates every Spring, in 2018 the Light Station will hold the celebration on Saturday, April 21 from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.  The Point Arena Lighthouse Wind & Whale Celebration returns on Saturday, April 21!  Come watch the charming gray whale mothers and calves swim by the point, so close you can sometimes hear them breathe.  Turn around and look up at the amazing kites that will fill the sky above the Lighthouse grounds.  We welcome back both our migrating gray whales and the always entertaining Berkeley Kite Wranglers to celebrate the Spring breezes and our favorite marine mammals.   Visit our Whale Watch Room and enjoy the interactive touchscreen kiosk showcasing the marine mammals and other residents in the ocean that surrounds the Lighthouse.  We expect to have local whale experts on hand for questions about our marine mammal visitors.   Lisa Giacomini of Baby Tomato will be offering her homemade clam chowder and clam fritters.   The Lighthouse will be selling its famous homemade Light Keeper’s Strawberry Shortcake and Lighthouse Brownies for dessert!  Other activities and attractions may be added to this great Spring celebration, visit regularly for updates.


Full Moon Night Tours 

The Lighthouse offers night time tours and “climb to the top” of the Lighthouse Tower on most every full moon, and and (almost) Full Moon Night Tour on Saturdays when a full moon falls on a Friday or Sunday.  Our docents and guides will help you experience what it was like to be a Lighthouse Keeper and climb the Tower at night.  They will guide you on your journey into the past and explain the unique history of this historic landmark, the tallest lighthouse on the West Coast. Champagne, sparkling  juice and snacks will be served as part of the tour, and you get to take home an etched Point Arena Lighthouse champagne flute as a souvenir of this unique experience!

Lighthouse Lecture Series

Held the 3rd Saturday of every month, the Lecture Series features a wide range of speakers presenting talks on a variety of topics, including lighthouses, wildlife, marine life, area history and culture, and more.

Discover Our Lands

Held in partnership with the Bureau of Land Management and Friends of Point Arena-Stornetta Lands, this full day includes talks and walking tours of the Light Station grounds and the adjacent Point Arena-Stornetta Unit of the California Coastal National Monument, led by experts in local Native American history and culture, birding, marine mammals, native plants, geology, animal rescue, wildlife and more.


The Light Station is home to many species of birds, including pelagic cormorants, great blue herons and ravens.  The bluffs are covered with native plants such as Douglas Irises, Sea Pink and California Poppies.  These are also found in our Native Plant Garden, which includes grey whale adult and calf skulls, vertebrae and rib bones. Raptors such as Red Tail, Cooper’s and Sharp Shinned Hawks, Peregrine Falcons and Bald Eagles are frequent visitors, as are Western Screech Owls and Ospreys.  Spring brings a riot of color the the Light Station grounds as the native wildflowers bloom.



The only roads leading to the Light station are very winding, 2 lane roads.  Many of the east/west roads go to single lanes at various points. 


View our guide on how to watch marine animals from shore.


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