Despite the frequent publicity about lantern room tours at the Point Cabrillo Lighthouse, it’s still one of Fort Bragg’s best kept secret.
Six times a year, the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, Flotilla 87, which maintains the Fresnel Lens and lantern room, offers tours. You get to climb up the narrow stairs, stopping on each landing as a docent shares a bit of history about the 1909 lighthouse, which is one of only three in the U.S. still operating as a Federal Aid to Navigation.
Finally, when you reach the top, you are just inches from the beautiful, golden-colored, 3rd order Fresnel Lens. It’s the best $5 you will ever spend and a memory you, family and/or friends will never forgot.
The Point Cabrillo Lightkeepers Association, just announced the 2014 lantern room tour schedule:
Saturday & Sunday March 1 & 2, 2014 – Whale Festival Week 1
Saturday & Sunday March 15 & 16, 2014 – Whale Festival week 2
Saturday May 3, 2014 – Spring Celebration
Saturday June 7, 2014 – Point Cabrillo Light Station 105th. Anniversary
Saturday August 9, 2014 – National Lighthouse Day
Saturday September 20, 2014 – Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo Day
The Lighthouse Lantern Room and Fresnel Lens Tours will be offered from 10.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. A modest fee, which supports the lighthouse maintenance fund, of $5.00 is appreciated. Children must be at least 42 inches tall to participate in the tours. For additional information please contact the lighthouse at 707-937-6122.
Other reasons to come: this the best spot on the Coast for whale watching, there are miles of trails through the 300-acre natural preserve, which is a California State Historic Park. There is a marine education center, museum and gift shop. Bring a camera and layer up, you can depend on it being cool (really cool if the wind is blowing). But the views are worth it.