Friday, September 20, 2013

Point Arena Light Station

It was destined. We read all about the Point Arena Lighthouse in Sunset Magazine, Coastal Living Magazine, and even in our AAA travel guide this summer; where to stay, what to do, how to get there.  How could I not resist trying to get a room at the lighthouse?

So I called on Monday. There was only one cottage left; the Keeper's Cottage - made for 2 people! Could not believe my luck for Labor Day weekend! Without hesitation, I gave the lighthouse association my credit card on the phone. Then started making a list; got out the maps, our folding chairs, and our suitcases.

We left early on Saturday morning and headed north on Hwy 101 to Santa Rosa, exiting at the River Road, and following the Russian River all the way through to the coast at Jenner on Hwy 1. From Jenner, we began our long and winding road to Point Arena.

Stop for coffee and brownie outside of Sea Ranch
Wow - I think I must have hurt my neck by turning and looking out the window while hanging on around the steep curves.  The natural beauty of the Pacific Ocean and the California coastline absolutely took my breath away around every bend.  Almost blinding in its' glory.

The fog drifted in, then drifted out again all along our route. By the time we arrived at the lighthouse in the late afternoon we were pretty socked in.  Not cold - just super foggy.

Very romantic!  We checked in, unloaded the mini and Tom started up the wood stove. (boys + fire - you know the drill....)

 A few things to note about our cottage:

1. HUGE kitchen loaded with everything that you need to stay for a few days (minus the food) including wine glasses + even a small bottle of wine and locally made sea shell shaped chocolates.

2. There are a few local restaurants for dinner, breakfast etc., in Point Arena. We opted for cooking at the cottage - kind of fun, almost like camping!  I did pack a few items as grocery stores are a little hard to come by, especially when it gets later in the evening. There is a fairly large general store/hardware/grocery store about 4 miles away in Manchester - we picked up the rest of what we needed there.

3. There is not maid service during the duration of your stay.  That was fine with us, actually made it more private and romantic.

4.  Because the cottages sit in the middle of the Point, there are views out both sides - pretty darn awesome!   Just steps away from the cliffs on either side.  We spent a lot of time in our lawn chairs in the back of the cottage overlooking the views, enjoying books, sunshine and local wine that we picked up in Mendocino.

5.  The cottages come equipped with books, board games and travel guides. There is a TV - but we didn't watch anything, way too cool to simply listen to music and look out the windows.

6.  Perfectly cozy and inviting!

Have to share a few images from our sunset walk... 

(excuse my mini-love, can't help it!)

It's so funny, but when you actually get away from white-busy noise of the city (or suburbia!) the sound of only the ocean, seabirds, and the occasional bark of a sea lion,  brings everything back into focus for me.  Let's not even get started on the "light pollution"!

Point Arena is the farthest Western Point on the California Coast - it's sort of an unreal feeling to be out there.  The first night we were there, Tom woke me up at 1:00 AM.  At first I was a little grouchy - but then we went outside... oh mi.  We spent about 30 minutes in our pj's, sitting in damp chairs just watching the stars; the big dipper, the North Star, Orion, the Milky Way - I can't even begin to describe the overwhelming beauty and how those stars, plus the gentle ocean noise simply grabbed my soul.  The only other light in the night, was the constant beacon of the lighthouse. Incredible.

We actually set our alarm to do the very same thing the next night!

Point Arena is one of the few lighthouses on the West Coast where you can actually walk all the way to the top.  (Yaquina Head in Oregon is another) It is also the tallest at 115 feet.  You don't have to stay at the cottages to take the guided tour to the top, it will just cost you $7.50. Getting the tour is part of the package price when you stay at the Point Arena Lighthouse cottages.

We made sure to go to the top - lots of winding stairs like a big spring! (Tom thinks he is so funny...he is cute!)

And then when you get to the top this is what you see... 22 miles out to the horizon.  

We'll be back.  Wish we could go again next weekend...

P.S. If you'd like to go  - check out the Point Arena Lighthouse website!


Jojo said...

That is breathtaking! You are so right, lucky you!

a quiet life said...

that was delightful! i have vertigo so refuse to go past jenner these days, glad to see the lighthouse isn't on a scary cliff... BUT, that area ALWAYS has earthquakes, 4.0 almost every month off shore, gives me the willies to think about it with my vertigo!

its great you caught sunshine at all, its been such a socked in summer, but your shots are stunning. love your sunset and lighthouse views, fabulous get away for you!

a quiet life said...
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a quiet life said...
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Barb said...

That looks like a wonderful place to spend a week-end or more! Lovely pictures!We docent out at Point-No-Point. You can stay at the keepers house out there.

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