The Point Pinos LIghthouse in Pacific Grove, California, is about five minutes (depending on traffic) away from the Monterey Bay Aquarium. If you are planning a visit, this is a great side trip and is much less crowded than Cannery Row or any of the downtown area.
I became a lighthouse nerd a few years ago when my family took a camping trip up the Oregon coast and we stopped at all of the lighthouse along the way. I have a little lighthouse “passport” and the volunteers or tour docents that work the lighthouse have stamps and stickers for the book when you present it to them. It’s a fun thing and we always buy a book or magnet from the gift shop. Lighthouse restoration and preservation seems like a pretty decent cause to donate a little cash to, right?
Point Pinos is the oldest continuously operating lighthouse on the west coast of the United States. It has been flashing a Fresnel lens nightly since February 1, 1855.
There is even a golf course just outside the lighthouse with fantastic ocean views. Oh, and the deer don’t seem to mind if you play through, either. Wow. Deer. Right in the middle of a town. (If you knew how crowded this part of California actually is, you would share my awe.)
We weren’t there during the right time of year but, apparently, Pacific Grove is also known as Butterfly Town for the Monarch butterflies that migrate through during the winter. Have you ever been there to see the butterflies? I’m certain it’s nothing short of spectacular.