National Lighthouse Day is Monday — and San Luis Obispo County residents have two chances to celebrate at our historic sites. With beautiful views, scenic hikes and decades of history, Point San Luis and Piedras Blancas lighthouses are both worth a visit. Here’s what you need to know.
Point San Luis
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The Point San Luis Lighthouse near Avila Beach was first lit June 30, 1890, and it’s been shining ever since. It’s maintained by the nonprofit group Point San Luis Lighthouse Keepers, which has restored the National Historic Landmark and keeps it open for tours, events and educational programs.
Trolley tours are offered Wednesdays and Sundays year-round. Tours last an hour and a half and cost $20 for adults and $15 for children 12 and under. Children younger than 3 are free. You can buy tickets online.
For more information or to book a private tour, call the lighthouse’s main office at 805-540-5771.
More outdoorsy folk can take a docent-led hike up the Pecho Coast Trail, which stretches from Avila Harbor to the lighthouse.
Go to www.pointsanluislighthouse.org for more details.
The Piedras Blancas Light Station is about 14 miles north of Cambria up Highway 1. The circa-1875 lighthouse is situated on a historic park near a wildlife sanctuary — so you can stop and see the elephant seals while you’re in the area.
Tours are offered Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings all year. From June 15 to September 1, 2017, you can tour every day of the week except for Sundays and Wednesdays and federal holidays. They last about two and a half hours, and the website recommends bringing binoculars to watch wildlife.
Tickets cost $10 for adults and $5 for children 6 to 17 years old. Children younger than 5 are free. You can buy them online.
And if you can’t make it up the coast, tune into the live stream from the light station.
For more information, visit www.piedrasblancas.org.