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Low-Cost Ocean-View Lodging

Updated on August 28, 2015

Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel

Author's own photo
Author's own photo | Source

Ocean-front lodging, less expensive than traditional hotels...

Nature is calling, and all you have to do is answer... to a refreshing ocean breeze, and the mesmerizing crashing of waves. Located on gorgeous, shore-crested Highway 1 near Pescadero, California, Pigeon Point Hostel welcomes you. Rates are easy on the wallet - especially considering that your lodging overlooks a phenomenal ocean view.

Pigeon Point Hostel, an affiliate of Hostel International, is located at the same site as the Pigeon Point Lighthouse, specifically called the Pigeon Point Light Station State Historic Park. Its tower,115 feet tall, along with Point Arena, is California’s tallest lighthouse. Four small houses, once used to house Coast Guard personnel, now accommodate guests who want to combine oceanfront lodging with a reasonable price tag. Guests may choose to stay in dorm style rooms for the lowest price, or opt for private rooms at a more moderate rate. Even the moderate rates for private rooms are not as expensive as a traditional hotel room overlooking the ocean.

The prices for dorm style rooms are per-person. The prices for private rooms include double occupancy and can accommodate families with children. Children under 12, in the dorm style rooms, are half price. Guests will need to purchase a yearly or daily HI (Hostel International) membership, which is available at the front desk for $3.00 daily, or $28.00 annual. Also, a security fee is required at check-in, where guests will also attain a code for the lodging area.


Getting to know Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel

Lighthouse named after shipwreck.

This historical lighthouse, built in 1872, derived its name from the shipwreck of a clipper vessel. On January 28, 1853, Captain Azariah Doane boarded the 175-foot clipper vessel called the Carrier Pigeon. She was to begin her maiden voyage from Boston, going by way of Cape Horn, and on to San Francisco. She managed to survive the treacherous waters of the Cape but fell to her fate on the eve of June 6, 1853, near Santa Cruz, California. That night, the fog had presented itself as a formidable foe, making navigation treacherous and nearly impossible. The Captain carefully attempted to seek the safety of land; however, sharp, rugged rocks scraped the vessel's hull, and water began to fill the vessel. Captain Doane had badly underestimated his proximity, and the sea had proven relentless, causing the Carrier Pigeon to run aground. Due to the combination of repeated rock scraping, a gaping hull, and the harsh elements, the vessel succumbed to the chambers of the sea, having only been 500 feet from shore. The Captain and his crew survived, but the vessel would never voyage again.

A little lighthouse history

At sunset, on November 15, 1872, the lighthouse was lit for the first time by Thomas J. Winship. The stunning, first-order Fresnel lens was considered the most powerful of its time, comprised of 1,008 separate lenses and prisms, six feet in diameter, eight and one-half feet high, approximately three tons, and over 500,000 candlepower. Its characterization ( flashing pattern - every lighthouse has its own) was one white flash every ten seconds, meaning the beam made a full rotation every four minutes.

Around 1929, the lighthouse switched to electricity, utilizing a powerful one thousand watt bulb that provided 680,000 candlepower. In 1972, the Coast Guard switched to a 24 inch aero beacon (used by airports), and eventually changed to an even smaller beacon. By 1974, Pigeon Point lighthouse became automated, bidding farewell to generations of hard, manual labor.


Author's own photo
Author's own photo | Source

Amenities

  • Four cottages accommodate up to fifty-two lodgers
  • Bed linens, included, or bring your own sheets - $1.00 discount from your total stay.
  • Shared Bathrooms, With Showers
  • Full Kitchens
  • Cozy Living Rooms
  • Hot Tub with cliff-side view of ocean ($8.00 per half hour, minimum two people)
  • Free Wi-Fi

First visit, Pigeon Point Lighthouse

Author's own photo
Author's own photo

Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel

Author's own photo
Author's own photo | Source

Nearby...

  • San Simeon, Hearst Castle
  • Elephant Seal Reserve
  • Butano State Park
  • Cambria
  • Miles of Beaches, Migrating Whale Watching
  • Hiking
  • Tide pools




Further inquiries

Directions: 210 Pigeon Point Road, Pescadero, Ca 94060 - 50 miles south of San Francisco and 26 miles north of Santa Cruz

Visitor Information - 650-879-0633 / Visitor Center Thursday-Monday 10am-4pm

Park Hours: 8am-4pm, weather permitting

Non-smoking facility

Visit Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel's official website for complete information on rates and amenities. http://www.norcalhostels.org/pigeon/rates

Comments

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    • Charito1962 profile image

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 2 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      Thanks for this informative piece, Ms. Essie! I've always wanted to know what it was like to be at the top of a lighthouse. (I can only imagine!)

    • EsJam profile image
      Author

      Essie 2 years ago from Southern California

      Hello Thelma,

      I am going to keep a watch for notice on your up-coming hub. Oh, you lucky lady, you, residing so close to the Blue Ridge! And, I'm glad that you are always enjoying the views! Our country is full of them, isn't it?

    • ThelmaC profile image

      Thelma Raker Coffone 2 years ago from Blue Ridge Mountains, USA

      Essie there are many wonderful hiking trails here in the Blue Ridge mountains. I am working on a hub right now about the Blue Ridge Parkway and will be publishing it in a day or so. I don't hike but I sure enjoy the mountain scenery.

    • EsJam profile image
      Author

      Essie 2 years ago from Southern California

      Hello, Thelma, fellow lighthouse enthusiast and hubber! So good to hear from you. Thank you for your comment on the photos! I am ethusiastic about your hubs! By the way, that is pretty darn cool you live in the Blue Ridge Mountain area. Do you do any hiking there?

    • ThelmaC profile image

      Thelma Raker Coffone 2 years ago from Blue Ridge Mountains, USA

      Love lighthouses ... visiting them as well as writing about them. Great job on the pictures you took for this article. I look forward to following you and reading more of your work!

    • EsJam profile image
      Author

      Essie 2 years ago from Southern California

      Hi Jodah,

      It's always good to hear from you. Hope you are well. I too have a fascination of lighthouses. I enjoy going to tours and visiting as many as I can. My dream trip is to go to Michigan. It is the state with the most lighthouses. I don't believe I've ever researched lighthouses in Australia. I need to do that.

      Thank you for your vote!

    • EsJam profile image
      Author

      Essie 2 years ago from Southern California

      Hello Akriti,

      Thank you for your comment. I hope that you will come to California, and even if you can't make it to the lighthouse, if you check out the cental coast around that area, I think you will be very pleased!

    • EsJam profile image
      Author

      Essie 2 years ago from Southern California

      Hi Akriti,

      Thank you! And I hope you do visit California....even if you can't make it to the lighthouse, if you can get to the central coast, you will find it breathtakingly beautiful. Further up, in Santa Cruz, there is a portion of the Redwoods.

    • Akriti Mattu profile image

      Akriti Mattu 2 years ago from Shimla, India

      Nice post. Looks like one of those places where i should pay a visit once i'm in California :)

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      I Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel certainly looks like a terrific and affordable place to stay Essie. I have a thing for lighthouses. The history you provided was also very interesting, and great photos. voted up.

    • EsJam profile image
      Author

      Essie 2 years ago from Southern California

      Hi Jack,

      If you happen to visit the central coast in California, I hope that you will consider staying at the hostel, if you are interested in oceanfront lodging. Considering the price of traditional hotels, it's a bargain. If you don't mind higher price tags, there are other lighthouse lodgings that are not hostels...more like bed and breakfast. However, there is one more hostel further up, in northern California. I will write an article about them as well. I think that lighthouses are a fantastic way to connect with an important part of our nation's history, and to check out some awesome architecture, not to mention the intricate designs of the Fresnel lenses - usually displayed in lighthouse visitor centers!

      Thank you for reading my article. I look forward to reading more of yours! Sincerely, Essie

    • Jack Burden profile image

      Jack Burden 2 years ago from Columbus, OH

      Looks like an interesting place to visit. I haven't stayed in a hostel since my college days. I always forget that they have private rooms as well. Thanks for point that out.