Pt Vincente Lighthouse sits atop the cliffs just below Portuguese Bend whereMarineland of the Pacific used to call home. It was built in 1926 and sits on eight acres overlooking the rugged cliffs bordering the Pacific Ocean.
The point on which it sits was originally named in 1790 by Captain George Vancouver after his good friend Friar Vicente of the Mission Buenaventura. Pt Fermin was also named by him in a similar way.
Sixty-seven feet high and sitting 197 feet above sea level, this amazing lighthouse can be seen 20 miles at sea and has one of the biggest and brightest lights along the California Coast.
Since 1939 Pt Vincente Lighthouse has been run by the Coast Guard and is used as a base for its rescue operations.
I remember as a teenager, a group of us going there to climb down the cliffs to the rocks and water below. Seeing it now as an adult, I wondered how the heck we ever got down there in one piece and then back up again!! Amazing!! On that side of the cliffs an old ship called the "Dominator" sunk there and rusted parts of it still clung to the rocks.
There was also an old story about a woman whose ghost would come back night after night looking out towards the vast expanse of ocean. We would go there at night and wait and could have sworn that we did see her. They say that a figure can be seen, but that it is just an illusion created by the way the light of the Pt Vincente Lighthouse hits as it comes around. You could not have convinced us of that then! Stories of the ghost still go on today.
Just to the north of Pt Vincente Lighthouse is the Interpretive Center.Located there is the Marineland oceanarium museum which showcases the history of Marineland of the Pacific and the contributions it made to marine science and the enjoyment it offered as the largest oceanarium of its time.
For those who do not remember Marineland, opening its doors in 1954, it pioneered the way for Sea World and other aquariums that operate today with its daily shows of killer whales, dolphins and sea lions. In fact, it was the owners of Sea World who purchased the facility in 1986 and transferred the marine animals to San Diego.
Now that area is occupied by condos and a little further south,theTrump National Golf Club, which sits at the edge of steep, jagged cliffs that make home to the rocks and coves below. In the background lay the beautiful landscape of Portuguese Bend with its ever shifting soil. (The road there needs to be repaved almost once a month due to the shifting.)
For more information on Marineland of the Pacific and its history, visit the Marineland of the Pacific Historical Society site. Very interesting reading, especially for those of us who have fond memories of our times at Marineland and hated to see it go!
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San Pedro Attractions Hand-painted tile by Artist Linda Dixon
"Cabrillo Beach Bathhouse"
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Prints available at Artistic Expressionby Linda.imagekind.com