In addition to its natural beauty, Point Lobos has an interesting cultural history and a surprisingly diverse plant and animal community. Depending on the time of year, visitors can see harbor seals, elephant seals, sea lions, sea otters, pacific gray whales and orcas, as well as foxes, coyotes, black-tailed deer, bobcats and mountain lions. Every autumn, monarch butterflies migrate south to Point Lobos and other locations along the central coast, where they cluster in the trees until spring. The reserve is also one of only two locations in the world where the Monterey Cypress tree grows natively.
Point Lobos has long been one of my favorite places, and after the many amazing sites I've been fortunate to see this year, it still tops my list. The dramatic coastline, the barking sea lions, the mysterious cypress trees, and the powerful Pacific Ocean give visitors more than enough to admire. But there's a peace and beauty to Point Lobos that runs deeper than the scenery. The photos below don't begin to give it justice; you'll just have to see for yourself.
Whaler's Cabin was built by Chinese fisherman in the 1850s; today, it's a cultural history museum. Over the years, Point Lobos has been the site of a whaling station, an abalone cannery and a granite quarry.