The Pt. Sur Lighthouse

Point Sur Lighthousephoto copyright Carol O’Neil

The Pt. Sur Lighthouse sits atop a dramatic volcanic rock that juts out from the coast of Big Sur. This historic aid-to-navigation has a modern aero-beacon, which still guides ships along the treacherous Central California Coast. The Pt. Sur Lightstation can be visited by guided walking tours year round.

Interesting Facts:

  • The Pt. Sur Lighthouse first shown in 1889 and has remained in continuous operation for over 120 years!
  • Pt. Sur is one of only two complete (having all of their original buildings) lightstations remaining in the United States. The other is Ponce de Leon in St. Augustine, FL.
  • The lightstation sits on a coastal bluff towering over 350 feet above the ocean. Did you know this bluff used to be even higher? The top 80 feet of the rock were blasted off when the lightstation was built because the cliffs were too steep.
  • Smart Thinking! The Pt. Sur lighthouse doesn’t sit on top of the rock, instead it’s positioned at 270 feet above seawater. Why? To keep its light below the layer of persistent fog that hangs around 300 feet above sea level!
  • Point Sur is home to peregrine falcons, the fastest animal on earth. Peregrine Falcons have been clocked diving in the sky at over 200 mph, 3 times faster than the cheetah can run!
  • Check out this video to learn all about the Pt. Sur Lightstation and its ghostly history!
  • Three-hour guided walks are led by volunteers and are required to visit the historic lightstation. To find out more please visit

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