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Point Pinos Lighthouse

Experience a piece of American maritime history with a tour of one of the oldest lighthouses on the West Coast. 

Point Pinos Lighthouse, built in 1854, is the oldest lighthouse in continuous use on the West Coast of the U.S. The site is at the edge of beautiful Monterey Bay, surrounded by a picturesque and sometimes dramatic shoreline and is listed on the National Register for Historic Places.

This charming cottage-style lighthouse was one of seven built by Congress in California after it was annexed by the U.S. in 1848. The bright beacon was first fueled by burning whale oil and changed to electricity in 1919. 

Take a tour of the lighthouse grounds with one of the volunteer docents. Step inside the keeper’s living quarters, including a Victorian parlor, and climb the stairs. The lookout tower sits 89 feet (27 meters) high. An original Fresnel lens focuses light and turn it into a powerful beam that  can be seen up to 17 miles (27 kilometers) off the coast.

Just as fascinating as the building is the stories of the lighthouse keepers. For instance, the first keeper, Charles Layton, was gunned down in 1855 while serving on a sheriff’s posse in pursuit of a notorious outlaw. 

The shoreline below the lighthouse is part of the Asilomar State Marine Reserve and is laced with trails, rock formations, tide pools and small beaches perfect for watching the sunset. 

The Point Pinos Lighthouse is located on the headland at Pacific Grove, 15 minutes by car from Monterey. You can catch a bus from Monterey to close by the lighthouse. The closest option for a meal or drinks is at the Pacific Grove Golf Links, just across the road from the lighthouse. Public restrooms are located 15 minutes’ walk away at Lovers Point, a great spot for a picnic. 

The lighthouse is open Thursday through Monday, and a small donation is requested but not mandatory for admission. 


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Lodging Near Point Pinos Lighthouse

See all 346 Properties near Point Pinos Lighthouse
Sea Breeze Inn And Cottages $134
Sea Breeze Inn And Cottages

Sea Breeze Inn And Cottages

1100 Lighthouse Ave, Pacific Grove
     
    4.0
    of 5, from 1,333 reviews
    2.5 out of 5.0

    Situated near the airport, this motel is within a 10-minute walk of 17-Mile Drive and Point Pinos Lighthouse. Monterey Bay Aquarium and Fisherman's Wharf are also within 3 mi (5 km).

    Lighthouse Lodge And Cottages $161
    Lighthouse Lodge And Cottages

    Lighthouse Lodge And Cottages

    1150 Lighthouse Ave, Pacific Grove
       
      3.6
      of 5, from 1,931 reviews
      3.0 out of 5.0

      Adjacent to a golf course, this Pacific Grove hotel is less than 0.75 mile (1.2 kilometers) from Lovers Point Beach, Point Pinos Lighthouse, and Monarch Grove Sanctuary. Monterey Bay Aquarium is 2 miles (3.22 kilometers) away.

      Asilomar Conference Grounds $162
      Asilomar Conference Grounds

      Asilomar Conference Grounds

      800 Asilomar Blvd, Pacific Grove
         
        3.7
        of 5, from 865 reviews
        2.0 out of 5.0

        Nestled on the beach, this Pacific Grove hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of 17-Mile Drive and Point Pinos Lighthouse. Monterey Bay Aquarium is 2.1 mi (3.3 km) away.

        Sunset Inn
        Sunset Inn

        Sunset Inn

        133 Asilomar Blvd, Pacific Grove
           
          4.3
          of 5, from 887 reviews
          2.5 out of 5.0

          Situated near the airport, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Oceanview Boulevard and Point Pinos Lighthouse. Monterey Bay Aquarium is 2.1 mi (3.4 km) away.

          Monterey Peninsula Inn
          Monterey Peninsula Inn

          Monterey Peninsula Inn

          1101 Lighthouse Avenue, Pacific Grove
             
            4.0
            of 5, from 921 reviews
            2.5 out of 5.0

            Situated in Pacific Grove, this golf hotel is within a 10-minute walk of 17-Mile Drive and Point Pinos Lighthouse. Monterey Bay Aquarium and Fisherman's Wharf are also within 3 mi (5 km).

            Monarch Resort
            Monarch Resort

            Monarch Resort

            1111 Lighthouse Ave, Pacific Grove
               
              3.4
              of 5, from 271 reviews
              2.5 out of 5.0

              Situated near the beach, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of 17-Mile Drive and Point Pinos Lighthouse. Monterey Bay Aquarium and Fisherman's Wharf are also within 3 mi (5 km).

              Olympia Lodge
              Olympia Lodge

              Olympia Lodge

              1140 Lighthouse Ave, Pacific Grove
                 
                3.5
                of 5, from 651 reviews
                3.0 out of 5.0

                Situated near the airport, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Pacific Grove Golf Links and Point Pinos Lighthouse. Monterey Bay Aquarium and Fisherman's Wharf are also within 3 mi (5 km).

                Bide-A-Wee Inn
                Bide-A-Wee Inn

                Bide-A-Wee Inn

                221 Asilomar Ave., Pacific Grove
                   
                  4.1
                  of 5, from 417 reviews
                  2.5 out of 5.0

                  Situated by the ocean, this motel is within a 10-minute walk of Oceanview Boulevard and Point Pinos Lighthouse. Monterey Bay Aquarium is 2.1 mi (3.4 km) away.