I know that we are coming up on Thanksgiving and Christmas… and the “winter” season, but in sunny Southern California it is almost always warm enough to enjoy a day at the coast.
Whether you live in Los Angeles or are a tourist looking for great tourist attractions, the Point Vicente Lighthouse and the beautiful oceanside park adjacent to it called the Point Vicente Interpretive Center is worth putting on your must see list. They are located between San Pedro and Palos Verdes Estates on, you guessed it, Point Vicente.
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The park is located at 31501 Palos Verdes Drive and the Lighthouse at 31550 Palos Verdes Drive.
Point Vicente Lighthouse
Point Vicente Lighthouse was built in 1926 on the Palos Verdes Peninsula. The original third order Fresnel lens still revolves in the lantern room. In 2015, the Coast Guard announced its intention to install an LED light with a 14 nm range, replacing the current light and lens.
The Point Vicente Lighthouse is just north of the entrances to the Los Angeles/Long Beach Harbors. The lighthouse was manned until 1971 when it was automated by a remote electronic aids-to-navigation monitoring system.
The lighthouse is 67 feet tall and it is built on the edge of a 130-foot cliff. The 1.1 million candlepower-beam has a visible range of 28 miles in clear weather.
This lighthouse also incorporates a pleasant-sounding foghorn to audibly warn ships during times of low visibility which are common to the area.
Usually the Point Vicente Lighthouse is open for tours on the second Saturday of each month, 10am to 3pm, but as of this writing on November 3, 2017, the Point Vicente Lighthouse website states the lighthouse itself is closed until further notice. However, it also notes that the grounds and adjacent park and museum are open during usual hours.
The Interpretive Center
When I visited the Lighthouse, the beautiful park called The Interpretive Center is where I spent most of my time. It is located adjacent to the Point Vicente Lighthouse and is the vantage point I used to take the lighthouse photos seen in this post.
The Interpretive Center opened in 1984 with a mission to present and interpret the unique features and history of the Palos Verdes Peninsula. The almost 10,000 square foot newly expanded Interpretive Center, re-opened on July 15, 2006, features exhibits on the natural and cultural history of the Peninsula, with a special emphasis on the Pacific gray whale. This premier whale watch site provides spectacular opportunities to view the annual migration of the Pacific gray whale, from December through April.
The park is open dawn to dusk, the museum is open 10 to 5. In addition to the museum and gift shop, the grounds feature train, restrooms, picnic areas, whale watching areas and the facility can be used as a wedding venue. For more info, visit the Interpretive Center’s website.