California’s Central Coast has many lighthouses you can tour, and what I like about them is that each one is a lot different than the others. The Point San Luis Lighthouse is one of the most unique since it looks like an old Victorian house, instead of the traditional tall cylinder shape of the lighthouses you are used to seeing. You can only access it via a guided tour that happens twice a week; here is all the information.
- Cost: $25 for adults and $20 for kids (as of June 2019)
- Tours happen via hiking or van
- Location: 1 Lighthouse Rd, Avila Beach, CA 93424
- This information is from my visit in 2018
When you book a tour, they will send you information about where to meet for the trolly to take you up to the lighthouse.
The tour (as of June 2019, they use vans instead of the trolly mentioned below)
After arriving for the tour, I parked in the parking lot and got on the trolly. Right at 1 PM, we left with a full car and took the 15-minute ride to the lighthouse.
Just the ride there is impressive as it goes along a one lane road and gains elevation with great views of the coast.
Our guide told us all about the history of the area as we drove, and it was informative and interesting.
Going around the last bend, you will see the lighthouse structure below you as you continue until the trolley reaches its turn around point. From here, we were broken into three groups of seven, and each given a tour guide before setting out.
My group stayed outside first and saw the old kale plants on the side of the hill that had been grown by a past resident.
From there, we went into the house and immediately up to the lighthouse tower.
Our guide warned us not to go if anyone was claustrophobic as the tower is cramped, and it is accessed via a trap door.
It was pretty small and hot in there with all the people, but we didn’t stay long, and it was an excellent viewpoint of the coast. The light is not in there anymore, but you get to see it at the end of the tour.
It should be noted that the other guides were in different parts of the house, so this tour might not be the same as yours if you go on one.
From here, we headed to the main house and went to the old kitchen first.
Next, we went down the stairs into the basement, which was made of brick.
Heading upstairs, we then entered the dining room and the living room, taking time to stop and talk about each.
In the living room, we got to look at a stereoscope, which was fun as I had never seen one before.
The last stop in the house was the upstairs bedrooms.
These were made to look like what they would have in the early to mid-1900s, and it was fun to see the vintage tools, toys, and furniture.
After exiting the house, we went into the shed, and from there, we got to see old photos of the lighthouse before looking at the actual lens.
The lens was in a special room, kept at a specific temperature, and it was lit with a small bulb. I had not seen the old light lit up like this at any of the other lighthouses I visited.
It was fun to be able to see it up close, and after we spent time looking at it, the tour came to an end.
The trolley was waiting for us when we got back, and we started the 15 minute drive back to where we parked our car. It was about 2 hours to drive out, take the tour, and get back to the car. This was an excellent lighthouse tour and one that I recommend if you want to learn about the history of the Central Coast. Let me know what you think in the comments.