Point Montara

California features a variety of historic lighthouses up and down the coast and Point Montara features a lighthouse that is part of the state's collection. The lighthouse is located south as you approach the San Francisco Bay, about 25 miles south of the city. It was put into operation in 1875 and originally included a kerosene lantern for lighting. In 1912 the lighthouse underwent renovation and a fourth order Fresnel lens was installed. While the lighthouse has been in operation since the late 1800's, it was moved from its original location to Point Montara in 1928. The lighthouse was automated in 1970 and the Fresnel lens was given to the San Mateo Historical Society and it is on display at the College of Notre Dame in Belmont. Today, visitors can visit the lighthouse and it is home to a youth hostel, offering affordable travel accommodations sponsored by the Hostelling International USA organization. Guests are just a short distance from the Pillar Point Harbor, the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve and Half Moon Bay. Rooms at the hostel are both shared and private and the public spaces include a lounge, a secluded beach with tide pools, wireless Internet access, free parking, an espresso bar and onsite laundry. The lighthouse, already turned into the hostel, was used in the movie Bandits in 2001 and appeared in the film as a roadside inn.

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