We left Oakland for Pescadero around 8:20am and opted for the scenic route heading through San Francisco and down Highway 1.
Bean Hollow Beach — Pebble Beach
We went straight to our first stop: Bean Hollow Beach. which is on the right just past the main road of Pescadero if you’re traveling south on Highway
There are 2 entrances to Bean Hollow Beach. We chose the Pebble Beach option which is the Northern-most of the two. There’s a free parking lot with porta-potty there.
We took a steep but well-maintained staircase down to this unique, small pebble-only beach (there’s no sand…you’re walking on pebbles).
We explored the tide pools and rocky shore for more than an hour and could have stayed longer.
Pigeon Point Lighthouse
We left Bean Hollow Beach and drove a few miles south to Pigeon Point Lightstation (Lighthouse). It’s free with a porta-potty and picnic tables.
Pigeon Lighthouse is worth a quick stop. You can see the remains of an old Schooner ship that crashed on the rocks in front of the lighthouse (ironic, huh?). The lighthouse is currently (as of July 2019) not accessible, but you can view it from 50 feet away.
There’s a nice information center that shows the giant lens used in the lighthouse.
And there’s an area above the cliffs, with a bench, to look out at the ocean — and every view from anywhere on the Pacific Coast is, of course, beautiful. You might see a sea lion, seal or whale or Great White Shark!.
Pescadero (downtown — Stage Road area)
When our stomachs started to grumble, we headed to the one-street town of Pescadero. The main street (Stage Road) is book-ended by a church on either side and a handful of quaint stores and restaurants in between.
There are 2 main restaurants in downtown Pescadero:
- Duarte’s (3.5 stars on Yelp) — This Pescadero institution tavern/restaurant is known for their amazing pies (especially the Olallieberry Pie (pronounced oh-LA-leh or oh-LA-lee berry) which won “Best Pie” from Life Magazine. Ignore the 3.5 star Yelp rating. This place is worth a trip.
- Mercado and Taqueria de Amigos (4.5 stars on Yelp)
We chose the Mercado Taqueria (we’ve been to Duarte’s before). The Mercado Taqueria “restaurant” is a unique blend of gas station, grocery and taqueria . Don’t be perceived by the unconventional setup. All 4 of the tacos we ordered were delicious (above are the chicken (left) and fish (right) tacos.
We spent the next hour browsing the stores along Stage Road including:
- Made in Pescadero (Ken the owner curates local wood/furniture — beautiful crafts.
- Topia — An antique store with an eclectic mix of new and old stuff in a converted farm house. We bought a hat and 2 scarves.
- Arcangeli Grocery Co — Norm’s Market — Great spot to pick up snacks and a picnic (e.g. for the beach). We got the Artichoke Bread fresh out of the oven which was fun to chew on. We also bought a mini Olallieberry Pie (a variant of blackberry and a Pescadero specialty). This was one of the tastiest pies we ever had, rivaling the Olallieberry Pie we’ve had at Duarte’s.
Harley’s Goat Farm
We drove a short distance to Harley’s Goat Farm where we watched baby goats frolic and momma goats relax.
The highlight for us was the converted barn: the original upper hay barn was converted into a striking dining room with one long center table.
The downstairs section of the barn was converted into a cheese tasting room and retail shop.
R&R Fresh Farms
We then headed to a local farm that allows patrons to pick their own berries. The inside of the barn offers a great selection of produce, fruit, eggs and other local food. It has an airy interior.
We ended up eating up as many as we paid for (sorry, R&R!).
We headed back to Stage Road for a final goodbye to downtown Pescadero.
We stopped into the Sante Winery tasting room for a lovely flight of locally sourced wines. We got 6 pours of 1.25 ounce glasses of a combo of Rose, Chardonnay, 3 Pinots and a Zin for $15. Wine was good but we didn’t buy any bottles.
Downtown Local Coffee
We crossed the street to our final stop for a cup of coffee at Downtown Local for the drive back home.
This funky little coffee shop has an old Apple IIe (my first computer) on display, a mannequin watching a big screen in the back and other chatchkes.
The Americano and Oat Milk Mocha were solid.
- Date we visited: Saturday, July 20, 2019
- Driving time: 1 hour, 23 minutes
- Spendy or Thrifty? Thrifty
- Good Coffee: Yes
- Drinks — Nice glasses of wine.
- Workout? — Nope. But there are hikes nearby
- Kid-Friendly? — Yes
- Recommendations for Next Time: Spend more time at the beach and do hikes in the hills outside of town