For a great day trip or even a weekend getaway from the Sacramento area and especially for Dixonites, Pescadero seems to be a rising star. Recently featured in Sacramento Magazine, this little town and the trip to get there is certainly rewarding.
The roughly two-hour long drive that takes you through the edges of San Francisco and down the South Peninsula can be an adrenaline rush in itself if it’s the wrong time to be on the road but if you time it correctly, you’ll be exiting into lush and cool greenery with postcard picture views. Now that I’ve taken the trip several times to visit family there, I’ve concluded that going through San Francisco and down Highway 1 is the most enjoyable.
After passing through Half Moon Bay, the first stop on this trip is Pescadero State Beach, which is actually impossible not to go by as the turnoff for Pescadero off 101 is right across from the entrance to the beach. The beach’s white sand and crashing breakers make a wonderful impression for the weekend traveler and the air offers a cool and refreshing scent.
Traveling into the actual town of Pescadero requires another two miles of driving inland on Pescadero Road. Pescadero Road will take you right to the edge of downtown Pescadero, where the General Store has relatively affordable, fresh, brick-oven pizzas made with local ingredients like goat cheese from Harley Farms, whose pasture is located just a few blocks away.
There are some great shops downtown (one block) like the ‘Made in Pescadero’ Store where furniture and home décor made by local artisans and crafters are sold. There is also a rennovated old home that is packed inside--and even throughout the yard--with creative metal decorations and wind chimes. There’s a busy and tidy thrift store called the South Coast Children Services Thrift Shop where you’ll find all kinds of clothes, books, and miscellaneous home items in great condition.
If you’re looking for more of an adventure, then you can take a tour of Harley Farms, the aforementioned goat farm and cheese factory, for $20 on the weekends. Harley offers all kinds of beautiful and delicious goat cheeses from their small operation.
When you’re all done trying the goat cheese and you feel like you need to work off all the delicious cheese and pizza, there is hiking just a mile and a half out of town at Butano State Park. You will drive past peaceful, low rolling hills often filled with acres of beautiful flowers this time of year from several nurseries.
Once at Butano State Park, you will find many, many trails to choose from that will make your quads sing songs. There are also lighter trails that are less strenuous--just watch out for the stinging nettle plants as they will make you itch for hours and hours if you come into contact. It is better to wear long pants if you plan to hike and to stay on the trails.
On the way back out, stop and get some tasty baked goods, vinegar, oils, or preserved goods at Norm’s Market downtown so that you’ll have something to remember Pescadero by every time you open your fridge. At least for the night, because these things probably won’t make it past the midnight munchies.