My husband and I just returned from a long weekend in California! We spent a few days in San Francisco to check out Alcatraz, Haight-Ashbury, and Fisherman’s Wharf. After we filled up on all the delicious food, drinks, and history the city has to offer, we headed south for Pescadero, making a few stops along the way when something peeked our interest prior to attending a wedding for our close friends. The small town of Pescadero, primarily a farming and ranching community, has a quaint Main Street and a population of less than 700. We spent 2 days in Pescadero and took advantage of (almost) everything it has to offer. It’s the perfect weekend getaway, so I’m sharing a few things to do while you’re there!
Go horseback riding on the beach We arrived to Pescadero on Friday morning after driving down the coast from San Francisco. The day prior, we booked a horseback riding tour after our recommended by our friends getting married. This was an adventure for us, as both my husband and myself have not been horseback riding for 10+ years! However, we took the 1.5 hour trail and beach ride with Seahorse Ranch, a guided ride down the Coastal Equestrian Trail, onto the bluffs above the ocean, and onto Poplar Beach. The employees and guides at Seahorse were friendly, knowledgeable, and very much safety oriented throughout our tour. Cell phones, open toed and heeled shoes (besides riding boots), and any loose bags or items were not permitted on the ride. I was happy to put my phone aside for the hour and a half because it allowed me to truly enjoy the ride, the wildlife, and the spectacular scenery of the Coast. I would highly recommend the 1.5 hour ride, as the hour ride does not include the ride along the beach, and the 2 hour ride includes another half hour along the beach (which I do not think is necessary), and when I hit the hour mark, my legs and started to get sore! They encouraged us to keep our heels up and our legs almost straight, but I think I was tensing up, which resulted in getting sore an hour into the tour. My husband was not sore til the next day. ; )
Have a beer on the patio at Highway 1 Brewing After our horseback ride, we hurried back to our accommodations at Costanoa to grab a quick shower and hop over (I mean literally hop as it is 1.8 miles down the road) to Highway 1 Brewing. What a quirky and delightful surprise! Highway 1 doesn’t look like much from the highway as it is located next to a gas pump. But, as soon as you walk inside, you feel like you are in your neighborhood bar! Everyone is friendly and welcoming, and the view of the ocean is spectacular. But don’t stay inside, or you’ll miss the adorable patio outback adorned with charming string lights and gas heaters to keep you warm on chilly California nights! The beer isn’t too shabby either. ; ) I downed a few 1PA’s, full of citrus flavor, while hubby happily sipped on the Slow Coast Session IPA.
Search for Seals While Hiking Along the Coast We woke up Saturday morning and went for a hike with a few wedding guests we made friends with at the brewery. Costanoa provided us a with map of the hikes in the area, most of which can be started at the lodge. We chose the coastal hike, which took us directly from the lodge, across the highway, and along the coast. We were not disappointed as it took us through fields of wildflowers, down through the bluffs and to the rocky shoreline. Hubby and I turned around at this point because we were not going to miss our tour of the Goat Farm, but not before spotted a group of seals playing in the water along the shore! This was the best part of the hike for me because I’d hoped we’d see seals in San Francisco or Alcatraz, but unfortunately did not. The seals played for a few minutes, then stopped and appeared to be staring directly at us, as if they were curious what we were doing. They put on a fun display of tricks that we enjoyed all to ourselves; it made my day! The only point during the leisurely hike we spotted anyone else was during the last leg when we were crossing back over the highway to Costanoa. It was well worth it!
Take a tour at Harley Farms Goat Dairy This was by far my husband’s favorite thing we did while in Pescadero! He could not contain his excitement in the days leading up to the tour, and he did not stop celebrating it after we left! I very much enjoyed it as well, but I’d say we are biased as we envision a future with a few acres of property, goats, pigs, and chickens roaming the fields, and our kids growing up on a picturesque farm (in a perfect world)! Tours run Friday through Sunday starting at 11am and 2pm and lasting for 1.5 hours. It consists of learning about the history of Pescadero and the farm, the owners, the goats and other animals, the process of obtaining goat milk, and the various items made from the goats milk. Oh and we can’t forget the final (and IMO best) part of the tour, the tasting of the cheese! The tour was the last (planned) activity we did before our friends’ wedding and we needed a bite to eat to hold us over til cocktail hour. So, on to our next leg of the journey, walking down Stage Road and grabbing a loaf of bread from Arcangeli to enjoy with the cheese we picked up at Harley Farms.
Shop on Stage Road and grab a loaf of bread from Arcangeli After tasting cheese (and delicious fresh bread) during our tour at Harley Farms, we knew we had to grab some at their shop and take it back to our lodge to hold us over til cocktail hour. Harley Farms does not sell the fresh bread they serve on their tours; however, the deli they purchase it from is located less than a mile away on Stage Road. This is the Main Street of Pescadero; small, quaint, and packed with tourists and locals alike. We immediately knew where to go as we followed the mob of people walking into the small grocer, Arcangeli. Patio tables filled with families savoring every bite of their locally sourced, flavorful sandwiches, a line wrapped around the store of customers anxiously waiting for hand- cut deli meats, and each of us grabbing a loaf of their famous freshly baked bread before the basket emptied for the day (despite refilling it over and over). We took our garlic herb loaf, pepperoni slices, goat cheese, and lavender lemonade (also from Harley Farms) back to Costanoa. We relaxed on our patio chairs, admiring the gorgeous view of our surroundings, listening the wildlife, and scarfing down every last bite and sip of our locally sourced goods! It doesn’t get any better!
And last but not least, a few photos captured during one of the most beautiful, meaningful, and inspiring weddings we’ve ever been to! Congratulations to two of the most joyful people we know! Your love for each other and selflessness is one for the books!