The first assistant lighthouse keeper’s house at Point Cabrillo

Photo: Nik Schulz

Another spot we visited for a sense of Mendocino’s seafaring past was Point Cabrillo Lighthouse, which was established to ensure the safety of lumber schooners plying the coast. It seems to have arrived a little late on the scene, however, since it wasn’t built until 1909.

In 2004, the former lighthouse keepers’ residences were treated to period-sensitive renovations and repainted in the official U.S. Lighthouse Service colors. Yes, apparently there was an official U. S. Lighthouse Service color scheme, and it was a nice one too.

Not only do the residences look fantastic, you can actually stay in them. The main lighthouse keeper’s house and a couple of cottages can be rented by the night or two. The 4 bdrm/4 bath Main House currently runs about $400–$500/night. The 1 bdrm cottages (East Cottage and West Cottage) can be had for a moderate $144/night.

The first assistant keeper’s residence, also renovated, serves as a museum.

Inside the sitting room in the first assistant lighthouse keeper’s residence

The kitchen as it would have looked in 1909

The logo under the lid of an old Victrola in the parlor

Point Cabrillo Lighthouse itself

Photos: Nik Schulz

The ground floor of the lighthouse features another museum with ship models, artifacts, and history.

A model of Frolic, a ship that struck a rock off of the Mendocino coast and sank in 1850

An early page from the lighthouse’s visitors log

Photos: Nik Schulz

On the way home through the Anderson Valley we stopped at Philo Apple Farm a nice little orchard that also rents cabins and offers passers-by a self-service shop stocked with several varieties of apples and apple-derived products. We tried the Apple Cider Syrup (deliciously complex, tart, and not too sweet) at $10 a bottle but passed on the cabins ($275/night weekend, $200/night mid-week).

Another nice thing about the farm is that the grounds are open for visitors to stroll, a welcome break after a long drive.

Natalie checks out the self-service shop.

Chutney can be had for $14/pint.

Photos: Nik Schulz

While we were on our walk this initially-barky, later-friendly, dog came to say hello. I checked to see what his name was but his tag didn’t offer any clues.

Photo: Natalie Menacho

You can have the fruit, just keep your hands off of the box.

Philo Apple Farm: stylishly down-home

Photos: Nik Schulz

Happy travels,
Nik