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9 incredible U.S. lighthouses to visit

By: Josh Lew on May 23, 2013, 5 p.m.
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Pigeon Point Light Station, California

A point near California's beautiful Half Moon Bay, about 50 miles from San Francisco, is home to one of the West Coast's most well-known beacons, the Pigeon Point Light Station. First built in 1872, this lighthouse originally used an oil lamp with five separate wicks.

Unfortunately, as of this writing, the structure of the building itself is unsafe, so visitors aren't allowed to climb inside. However, one of the old light-keeper residences has been turned into an inn, so you can actually stay near the lighthouse and experience both the sunrise and sunset over the Pacific.

Docent-led tours around the grounds of Pigeon Poiont are offered on weekends. The lighthouse is certainly the main attraction here, but not the only sight to see. Whales, seals and other marine creatures can be seen from the lighthouse's grounds.