Since I live on the East Coast, I have few opportunities to visit West Coast lighthouses. However, I have made a few trips to the San Francisco area. There are several lights within easy driving distance of the Bay area, and some of the most breathtaking lighthouse locales. Visitors to San Francisco usually visit Fisherman's Wharf, with it's view of the infamous Alcatraz Island. Few realize, however, that Alcatraz Light was the first built on the West Coast.

Just across the Golden Gate Bridge, The astoundingly beautiful Point Bonita Lighthouse commands a breathtaking view of the bridge, the bay, and the sea. Just to the north, the reclusive Pt. Reyes Lighthouse seems a thousand miles from San Francisco, and further up the coast are the lights at Pt. Arena and Pt. Cabrillo . Up near the Oregon border, at Crescent City, is Battery Point Light.

Not too far south of San Francisco are two lighthouses which serve as youth hostels: Point Montara in Pacifica, and Pigeon Point Lighthouse, which has the same design as many lighthouses built during the 1870's.

Further down the coast, near Monterey, Point Pinos Lighthouse anchors one of the most beautiful sections of the Pacific coast, stretching about 20 miles south to Point Sur Lighthouse. Just southwest of Los Angeles are two exceptional lights: Pt. Vicente and Pt. Fermin.

Finally, down near the Mexican border at San Diego, Old Point Loma Lighthouse is one of the origianal west coast lighthouses.

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