Point Sur Lighthouse and Top-Secret Naval base Historic Park


What? : Large dominate volcanic bluff with a lighthouse and research center. Near the road you can find the decommission top-secret Naval base used for submarine defense system at the cold war.


Where? : located 24 miles south of Monterey.

Google Map Link


Due note: Usually both locations are not open to the public except for guided tours. Additional information on tours including schedules is available at:


or by calling 831-625-4419.



My thoughts: For most tourist this is not a must attraction on their highway 1 exploration. I visited only the Naval base tour (not so much recommended unless you are specifically interested in this kind of history), maybe some time will go to the lighthouse tours.


The visit:

Point Sur Light station:

The Point Sur Light station sits 361 feet above the Pacific Ocean on a large volcanic rock which juts into the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Point Sur is the only complete, turn-of-the century Light station open to the public in California. First lit on August 1, 1889, the lighthouse has remained in continuous operation. Lighthouse keepers and their families lived at the site from 1889 to 1974 when the lighthouse was automated.

The Light station is open to the public only through docent-led tours.

Three-hour walking tours of the Light station are generally offered on weekends year-round, and seasonally on Wednesdays. 

I did not visit the lighthouse so I cannot provide additional information.


Point Sur Naval Facility:

Opened in 1958, the former Point Sur Naval Facility (NAVFAC) was once part of a worldwide network of defensive listening stations that tracked the movement of Soviet submarines during the cold war era. The Point Sur NAVFAC is one of only a handful of remaining Sound Surveillance System (SOSUS) facilities and is the only one on the West Coast open to public interpretation.

Tours of the former Point Sur NAVFAC are being offered at 10 a.m. each Saturday and Sunday.  NAVFAC tours are about 90 minutes and cost 10$ per adult.



When driving from the north look for the wood sign with the words "Point Sur Naval Facility" on the west shoulder 1/4 mile south of the Point Sur Light station gate.


My view about the base tour:

I must admit that this visit is not mandatory or highly recommended attraction.

On the other hand, it was interesting to learn about its activity and about naval base aspects. The base itself is deserted without any exceptional buildings so nothing much to see. Interesting to learn about the history but not a lot more than that.

If it was shorter visit (30 min) I will recommend it more, but this is more like 1.5 hours.