229 years ago today, Congress approved an Act for the establishment and support of lighthouse, buoys, beacons, and public piers. Ever since then, lighthouses along our coasts have been serving as beacons of light leading wayward sailors back to safety, back to home. In 1989, in celebration of the 200th anniversary of the signing of the Act, Congress passed a resolution recognizing August 7th as National Lighthouse Day. With two Martin Resorts properties named after these guiding structures, Avila Lighthouse Suites and Pismo Lighthouse Suites, we want to pay tribute to our local lighthouses. Now is the perfect time to shed some light on how to celebrate National Lighthouse Day on the Central Coast, so read on below to start planning your trip!
Trolley Tour of Point San Luis Lighthouse
Point San Luis Lighthouse is located just down the road from Avila Beach in the Point San Luis Harbor. Construction began on the lighthouse in 1889 and was completed in 1890. The lighthouse operated from 1890 until 1974, when it was officially decommissioned and vacated. Now, you can visit the lighthouse during one of their weekly tours to take a step back in time and learn about an important period in California history. Point San Luis Lighthouse tours are offered on Wednesdays & Saturdays throughout the year. To take the tour, visitors must arrive at Wild Cherry Canyon parking area fifteen minutes before the tour time. The trolley will load shortly before departure, and take guests out to the lighthouse. Wild Cherry Canyon is located between Avila Beach and Port San Luis, so keep an eye out for the large Lighthouse posters. Tours are one and a half hour. So if you take the noon tour, expect to be back at Wild Cherry Canyon around 1:30 pm. Purchase your tour tickets here.
Hike to Point San Luis Lighthouse
Looking for some exercise during your #CentralCoasting vacation? Instead of taking the trolley to Point San Luis Lighthouse, hike there! Every Wednesday and Saturday morning, scenic docent-led hikes leave from Port Harford in Avila Bay using the Pecho Coast Trail to access the lighthouse. Pecho Coast Trail has been open for guided hikes since 1993 and is known for its panoramic views of Avila Beach. The hike is considered moderate and takes a little more than one hour to complete. Comfortable shoes, a water bottle, and sunscreen are encouraged. Hikers who have signed up should meet at Port Harford at 8:30 am, with the hike leaving at 9:00 am. Once at the lighthouse hikers have the opportunity to take a tour for $5. Sign up for your guided hike here.
Paddle to Point San Luis Lighthouse
If hiking and trolley rides aren’t your style, paddle out to the lighthouse instead! During the summer months only, enjoy a paddling tour of Point San Luis Lighthouse every Saturday at 10:00 a.m. Arrive shortly before 10, and leave your kayak or paddle board at Lighthouse Beach because you’ll be walking up some beach steps and up a path to the lighthouse. Bring shoes and make sure your feet are dry before touring the lighthouse. Tickets are $5, but if you don’t own a kayak or paddle board they are available for rent from local retailers at Port San Luis and from Fisherman/Port Beach. The paddle tours are limited to a group of 20, so reserve your spot here.