Pigeon Point: Staying at the tallest lighthouse on West Coast

By Kevin Smith, Staff Writer

There’s something mystical about lighthouses — something otherworldly in the way they rise up from the ground and cast off their surroundings.

That’s the feeling I got when I stayed at Pigeon Point Lighthouse, the tallest lighthouse on the West Coast. Perched on a cliff 50 miles south of San Francisco, the 115-foot-tall structure has been guiding mariners since 1872.

Now I need to clarify something up front. I didn’t actually stay in the lighthouse. But my wife and daughter and I did stay in the hostel that’s part of Pigeon Point.

And before you run screaming from the room, I want to add yet another clarification: Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel bears no resemblance whatsoever to the bleak and blood-soaked torture chamber depicted in the horror movie “Hostel.”

I saw nary a torture session during our stay at Pigeon Point. But abuse of a different kind was underway a little farther south where travelers were forking over nearly $6 a gallon for gas in Big Sur. Ouch!

Pigeon Point has four cheery dorm rooms, four family rooms and four private rooms, with a total of 60 beds.

We had stayed at a couple of other hostels before and we’ll only do it if we can get a private room. I mean, who wants to bunk with Walt, the chatty used car salesman from Cleveland, or Felicia, the overzealous life coach who wants to sell you healing vitamin waters?

Not me, and probably not you, either.

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