Sunday, November 15, 2015

Pigeon Point Lighthouse on the Pacific Coast Highway [5/15]

I have said it numerous times before, but I'll gladly repeat it again here: I love lighthouses. Until now I never got to visit a traditional lighthouse with a big light tower and located in a picturesque fashion on cliffs as it overlooks the ocean. Luckily for me, such a gem was to be found on the Pacific Coast Highway. This was our last stop for the day and it was the perfect time for a visit. The lighthouse is an hour drive away for San Francisco, our first big destination of the road trip. But first let's say goodbye to a wonderful day spent driving on the Pacific Coast Highway, here on the cliffs of the Pigeon Point Lighthouse.




A sign on the side of the road will lead you to the lighthouse, but if you have a GPS with you, you should use it, since you can miss the lighthouse easily. As we drove up the sun was setting over the Pacific ocean and the most wonderful, tranquil atmosphere could be felt in the air.


Pigeon Point Lighthouse Facts

The Pigeon Point Lighthouse was built in 1871 to guide ships on the Pacific coast of California. It is the tallest lighthouse (tied with Point Arena Light) on the West Coast of the United States and is still an active Coast Guard aid to navigation. The tower is 115-foot (35 m) high, and because of its location and access from the main highway, Pigeon Point entertains a large number of public visitors. Nowadays the guard houses nearby are transformed into a hostel. During our visit we saw people who stayed in the hostel, but just from looking at it briefly I wouldn't advise staying there. This place is more suitable for a short visit.




The lighthouse and the land around have been preserved as Pigeon Point Light Station State Historic Park, a California state park. The lighthouse is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and designated as a California Historical Landmark. It's said that the lighthouse is one of the most picturesque lighthouses on the Pacific coast, and I can certainly see why. We were immediately charmed by it.





What to do at the Pigeon Point Lighthouse

First off you can explore the outside only. The inside of the lighthouse is not open to visitors, due to the fact there is damage inside. Cast iron was used rather than steel with the unfortunate result being that cast iron absorbs water rather than repelling it like steel, thus the walkways are severely rusted, as are the major binding ring bands at the base of the tower. You can explore the front and back sides of the lighthouse, and even walk down to the shoreline, which I did later on. I would suggest that you walk down the walkway towards the open sea. That's where the best views are!










Sunset over the Pacific

I can't begin to describe how amazing the sunset over the ocean was. I think we were all in awe at the beauty of the surroundings. I didn't even take so many pictures as I thought I would. Mostly, we were sitting on the benches talking, but also quietly gazing at the happenings in front of us. The sounds are a big part of it too. You can look down the cliffs and see (and hear) as the strong and wild waves of the ocean crush into them.




The views from this side were breathtaking. The setting sun helped me in getting the perfect light for these last few images. But I mostly kept starring at the beauty of nature here, the wild ocean as well as the lighthouse. You really have to take a step back here and just make sure you experience it all. But as with all the sights on this second day (and remember parts 3, 4 and 5 of this travel series were all from the second day of travel) it was all a bit overwhelming.




We kept driving further north towards San Francisco. The last miles of our drive on the Pacific Coast Highway were being driven. I felt very melancholic, even though so many new things waited for us. I think we all loved this part of our trip, but luckily for us, at the very end of the 15 day journey we would see the ocean again...

End of Part Five
To be continued...

41 comments:

  1. Great serie again Mersad! A wonderful place with the majestic lighthouse watching out over the immense see.
    Have a nice sunday!

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    1. Thank you Hilde. Glad you liked it as much as I did.

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  2. I also love Lighthouses and this one is a beauty from any angle. You arrrived there just when the lighting was at its best for these photographs. The ocean is gorgeous and I am sure you could hardly tear yourself away. Pity that the inside coul not be viewed.

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    1. I agree wholeheartedly. It was really hard to leave this place, but we only had 2 hours of daylight and needed to arrive in San Francisco in time.

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  3. I love your enthusiasm and descriptive narrative, along with all the beautiful images. That next-to-the-last photo is especially stunning.

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    1. Thanks so much Linda. That's my personal favorite as well! :)

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  4. Lovely. I too like lighthouses. As a child I used to think the keeper actually lived in his lighthouse. I know better now. I'm reading a book based on a family in Australia who have spent many years keeping the lighthouse.

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  5. Wunderschön! Der schöne Leuchtturm, die Aussicht und der blaue Himmel ... einfach perfekt!

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  6. Hello Mersad, I love lighthouses too. The view of the lighthouse and coastline are gorgeous. What a great trip! Thanks for sharing, awesome series of photos. Have a happy day and week ahead!

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  7. Lovely captures, Mersad.
    You were really lucky with the weather, it can be very foggy... not see your nose foggy!

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    1. I know. We really had luck on our trip. Every day was sunny!

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  8. Total schönes Lighthouse und Küste, auch sehr stimmungsvoll und ein bißchen erinnert mich an Island.
    Liebe Grüße

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  9. so beautiful, all of these. i love the one of the boardwalk fence with the 4 people on it

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  10. Lovely lighthouse and great photos of it! Yes, there's nothing like experiencing a sunset on the coast.

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  11. Superb captures of an awesome place, Mersad, as always!! Hard to choose a favorite capture as they are all so beautiful!! This are is one of my favorite places here in the US! I do love the water!! Thank you, as always, for sharing the beauty!!

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  12. What a beautiful lighthouse in a great setting. Well photographed!

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  13. A wonderful post. One of your most enjoyable.

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  14. Beautiful scenes. It looks very peaceful.

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  15. Your photos are just gorgeous. Thanks for sharing your stories!

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  16. Mersad, I share your love of lighthouses. This summer I was at the lighthouse on St. Simon's island in Georgia. You can climb to the top. Spectacular views. Your images here are just stunning with that perfect afternoon light.

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  17. Great series! I've always dreamed to live in a lighthouse...
    Greetings from Germany

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  18. I love lighthouses too :). Sitting on one of those benches looking out to sea would be another favorite thing I'd love to do. Great images.

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  19. WOW that's such a lovely post and love the lighthouse shots! Have a great week ahead!

    Shantana

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  20. Great photos of this lighthouse. The Pacific coast has great beauty all along, and your pictures show that. Thanks for another great post.

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  21. It was so sweet reading how much you all enjoyed the Pacific Coast Highway part of the trip! Oh my gosh, what beautiful photos you made of the lighthouse and beach! It's a beautiful area, and I loved learning about the lighthouse.

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  22. awesome lighthouse sharing

    have a good Tuesday

    much love...

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  23. I think lighthouses are wonderful to visit and photograph! I'm glad you got see this one up close!

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  24. There is something charming and comforting about lighthouses isn't there? Your trip looks amazing beautiful photos and descriptions Mersad!
    Wren x

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  25. There is something inherently romantic about Lighthouses

    Mollyxxx

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  26. I really love this series, being from the Bay Area. It's nice to see how you see the same spots I see and know what you feel about them.

    Worth a Thousand Words

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  27. Delightful trip for everyone! Gorgeous place and photography!

    Happy Week to you,
    artmusedog and carol

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  28. I have not driven PCH north of San Francisco. It is one of those trips long overdue.

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  29. I would so love to see this beautiful lighthouse. Your photos are stunning!

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  30. It is a beautiful place. Few years ago it used to be my favorite weekend destination. Now, I moved out of Bay Area.

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  31. I love to see lighthouses, no matter their condition. The little house for the light keeper is just too cute.

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  32. You were there at the right moment, such beautiful light is on the lighthouse! Great shots, Mersad!

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  33. I always wonder what stories the lighthouse could tell if it could talk... Lovely photos... Michelle

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  34. Hi! You have really captured the spirit of this area in your photographs and words...I have been there several times myself and also always feel in awe of the natural beauty. I do have to give a shout out to the hostel, though, and say that it a clean and safe place to stay (but not fancy)...I have stayed there several times and waking up to the sounds of the crashing surf, drinking your first cup of coffee out on the deck and watching the sunrise, gazing up at the pelicans as they fly overhead is priceless.

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    1. I'm sure it's safe and all, but to me it didn't make a great first impression. Maybe that's because I don't like hostels in the first place, but I could imagine it being lovely to wake up in a place like this. Anyway, my main point was that the Pigeon Point Lighthouse is more of a 1-hour visit, rather then a spend-the-night-there type of stay. I'd rather recommend Santa Cruz a bit south if you want to spend the night in this area.

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