It’s the closest point of land to the Hawaiian Islands in the continental United States and it might well be the best view on the coast. The historic 115-foot lighthouse tower at Point Arena Lighthouse in Mendocino County sits on a spit of land jutting two miles into the ocean. It’s also one of the few lighthouses you can climb to the top of for a brilliant balcony panorama of the Pacific Coast. Daytime visitors come and go, but for a truly magical experience surrounded by the sea, spend the night here! Point Arena has six ocean-facing cottages, including a brand-new one with a gourmet chef’s kitchen (Assistant Keeper’s House 4).
All but one of the cottages are equipped with full kitchens and back patios with picnic tables. Wood-burning or gas fireplaces keep things warm and cozy. Bring your favorite people: The setting is pure Pacific Coast and a great hopping-off point to nearby Manchester State Beach and Bowling Ball Beach. The lighthouse and the surrounding Point Arena–Stornetta Public Lands, a California national monument, are a prime place for a hike along the bluffs.
BONUS: Your stay includes lighthouse tour admission. Night tours are also offered some weekends—you’ll climb the tower in the dark to reach the lantern room, the way that lighthouse keepers used to do it!
Point Arena Lighthouse is at 45500 Lighthouse Rd. in Point Arena. Assistant Keeper’s houses 2 & 3 are dog-friendly! No dogs in the other units.