Point Sur State Historic Park
The Point Sur Lightstation 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 Lightstation open to the public in California, and is on the National Register of Historic Places. 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. Today the Lightstation buildings are being restored through the efforts of park staff, State Park volunteers and the non-profit Central Coast Lighthouse Keepers. The Lightstation is open to the public only through docent-led tours.
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. 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. Most other SOSUS facilities were incorporated into larger military complexes, while Point Sur was established as a stand-alone, self-sufficient base.
Except for one building retained by the U. S. Navy, the former Point Sur NAVFAC was transferred to State Parks in 2000. Park employees, volunteers and the Central Coast Lighthouse Keepers have been instrumental in recent restoration efforts which have made it possible to open the facility for tours.