top of page
  • solarastills

A Serene Retreat : Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel

Updated: Jun 21, 2023

Nestled along the stunning coastline of Pescadero, California, just south of Half Moon Bay, lies a hidden gem that offers a unique and enchanting experience for travelers seeking a blend of history, natural beauty, and cozy accommodations. This charming seaside retreat is Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel, a historic landmark off Highway 1. Join me as we delve into the captivating world of Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel and discover why it is the perfect weekend getaway for those seeking tranquility, breathtaking views, and a touch of maritime history.

Pigeon Point Lighthouse


>> Got a question about Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel that you need answered quickly? DM me on Instagram @SolaraStills and I’ll be happy to help! I only accept DMs from followers, so hit the follow button before sending.


Historical Charm and Coastal Beauty

Constructed in 1871, the lighthouse was named after the ship Carrier Pigeon that tragically wrecked nearby. Its towering height of 115 feet made it one of the tallest lighthouses on the West Coast. For decades, Pigeon Point Lighthouse played a vital role in guiding ships safely through the treacherous waters of the Pacific Ocean. Its powerful Fresnel lens emitted a brilliant light visible for over 20 miles.

The well preserved original Fresnel lens

The lighthouse has witnessed numerous maritime incidents and weathered the test of time. Today, it stands as a beloved landmark and is a popular destination for visitors seeking a glimpse into California's maritime history. The hostel itself is housed within the renovated historic buildings surrounding the lighthouse, exuding a unique charm that blends seamlessly with the coastal surroundings. The scent of salty ocean air and the sound of crashing waves create a soothing backdrop, setting the stage for a memorable stay.


As is the case for most coastal accommodations, reservations for the Pigeon Point Lighthouse are hard to come by, if booking the hostel for a large group. We booked our hostel 6 months in advance, through the HI USA link. This location gets extremely popular during summer, and finding accommodations at the hostel may be easier if booking for a couple or a small family.

Comfortable Accommodations

We loved the Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel for the variety of cozy and well-appointed accommodations it offered, from private rooms to shared dormitory-style setting, which we opted for. The rooms are thoughtfully designed, maintaining the historical character while providing modern amenities such as comfortable beds, fresh linens, and en-suite or shared bathrooms. We were a group of 12 and decided to opt for the 15-person shared dorm, which included comfortable bunk beds to accommodate all 15, 2 full bathrooms, a comfortable living room with a functioning piano, and a fully equipped kitchen and dining area.

Outside view of our group hostel

Breathtaking Coastal Views

One of the highlights of our stay at Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel was the unparalleled coastal views it offered. A peek from any window gave us views of the historic lighthouse on one side and the dramatic Pacific Ocean on the other.

View from the living room

Stepping outside our hostel, we were greeted by sweeping vistas of the Pacific Ocean stretching as far as the eye could see. The hostel features numerous vantage points, including scenic outdoor areas, where we could sit back, relax, and let the beauty of the surrounding landscape wash over us. It's the perfect spot to witness dramatic sunsets, spot passing whales, or simply enjoy a leisurely morning coffee while listening to the soothing sounds of the waves. Hidden below the lighthouse, is Whalers Cove, a small, secluded beach with panoramic views of the ocean and the rugged cliffs. We enjoyed spending an afternoon there, chasing waves and seagulls, and watch the tide slowly rise and threaten to wash us away.

Whalers cove

Exploring Pescadero And Highway 1

Beyond the captivating allure of Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel, the surrounding area of Pescadero offers plenty of attractions and activities to enhance your stay. Take a leisurely stroll along the sandy beaches, visit the charming downtown area with its local shops and cafes, or embark on a scenic hike in nearby state parks, such as Pescadero Creek Park or Butano State Park. Don't miss the chance to taste the local culinary delights, including fresh seafood, artisanal cheeses, and farm-fresh produce, which Pescadero is known for.

About a mile from the lighthouse is Wilburs Watch trailhead. This 2 mile out-and-back hike is suitable for folks of all ages and has an elevation gain of 260 ft. The trail leads uphill through grassland and native coastal scrub to a breathtaking lookout over Highway 1, Pigeon Point lighthouse, and beyond. The trail is open year round, but is best done during spring, with wildflowers blooming all along the trail.

Views along Wiburs Watch Trail

A short distance on Highway 1, south of the light house, lies Pillar Point Beach. Being a lesser-known beach compared to its other Pacific coast counterparts, it is less crowded and a great place to chill, away from the crowd, or rent a kayak and explore the numerous small coves in the area.

Kayaking at Pillar Point Beach

Another picturesque coastal destination a short drive from the lighthouse is Shark Fin Beach. This secluded beach derives its name from the prominent rock formation that resembles a shark's dorsal fin rising from the ocean.

Shark Fin Cove

There are a number of hiking trails in this area. We hiked the Bonny Dune Beach and Shark Fin Cove Loop, which was an easy and almost flat trail. In early May, the trail was teeming with wildflowers all along our captivating journey over ruggad cliffs, stunning rock formations and spectacular coastal landscapes.

Views along Bonny Dune Beach trail


>> Got a question about Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel that you need answered quickly? DM me on Instagram @SolaraStills and I’ll be happy to help! I only accept DMs from followers, so hit the follow button before sending.


In conclusion, staying at Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel in Pescadero is a truly captivating experience that combines historical charm, breathtaking coastal beauty, and a serene atmosphere. Whether you're seeking a peaceful retreat, a base for exploring the wonders of Pescadero, or a chance to immerse yourself in maritime history, this hostel offers it all. As the lighthouse beacon illuminates the night sky, casting its enchanting glow, you'll find yourself immersed in a world of tranquility and natural splendor.

A fun weekend with friends captured in 11 seconds


bottom of page