Day tripping: Pescadero, CA
Destination: The coastal farming town of Pescadero, just an hour south of San Francisco.
Why we love it: Natural beauty, amazing food, historic charm, and goats! When I arrive in Pescadero, I feel like I’ve stepped back in time. Small but mighty, there is a lot to see and do in this small town. Plus, better weather and fewer tourists makes October the perfect time for a drive down Highway 1. Pack a picnic lunch and get an early start!
Año Nuevo State Park: Fall isn’t breeding season, but you can still hike through beautiful marshes and sand dunes to see the elephant seals. You’ll need to pick up a permit at the entrance, then leave yourself at least two hours for a self guided hike. While this is mostly a relatively flat hike, I’d recommend hiking boots due to the varied terrain.
Pie Ranch: Stop at their farm stand for delicious seasonal pies. They also offer cool volunteer opportunities- a half day of volunteering followed by a potluck dinner and barn dance with live music.
Harley Farms: Visit the goats and garden. Better yet, book a tour to learn about the farm’s history and operations. Tours generally start at 11 am and last for 90 min. Afterwards, be sure to pick up some delicious goat cheese and sweets from their shop and enjoy a picnic lunch on the property.
“Downtown” Pescadero: Refuel with a coffee from Downtown Local, then spend some time wandering up and down Stage Road and checking out the little shops. I always try to stop at Slow Coast to peruse their selection of vintage washed flannel shirts. They have local honey and other cute giftables too.
The Pescadero Flowery: Just a few doors past Slow Coast, you’ll see a field of dahlias in bloom. The Flowery grows a dizzying 90 varieties of these mesmerizing flowers, and have a U-Pick program through mid-October. Sadly, the owners are moving later this month and closing shop, so be sure to go in the next couple weeks!
Arcangeli Grocery: This small grocery is famous for their Garlic Herb & Artichoke bread…definitely worth a stop, especially if you can get a warm loaf!
If you prefer a sit down meal, Duarte’s Tavern is your best (well, actually, your only) bet. Enjoy simple dishes prepared with super fresh, local ingredients in a historical location. You can expect a long wait on weekends, so I usually try to put my name on the list then spend some time shopping on Stage Road.
There are many beautiful beaches along the route as well…if you have extra time, enjoy the sunset at Bean Hollow State Beach or Pescadero State Beach. Another excuse to break out your goat cheese and artichoke bread ; )
On your way home, stop in Half Moon Bay for pumpkins. Numerous farm stands along Highway 1 and 92 offer all sizes and colors, and you’ll find varieties for jack-o-lanterns and others for your soups and pies.