Rancho Siempre Verde (Christmas Trees, Marshmallows, Swings, and more)!
Our mission to take 52 awesome Bay Area Day Trips continued today down Highway 1 to the Rancho Siempre Verde Christmas Farm(2250 Cabrillo Hwy, Pescadero, CA 94060). Rancho Siempre Verde is a super-cool family-run biz that is way more than Christmas trees. Read on!
9/25/20 Update: The CZU Lightning Complex Fire did massive damage to Racho Siempre after our 2019 visit…but they rebuilt it! We went again in December 2021 and everything looked normal!
Rancho Siempre Verde is located just past Half Moon Bay and Coastanoa Resort. The road we turned off on was fairly muddy because of recent rains and we drove cautiously. It was lined on one side with dense, old-growth eucalyptus trees and an open field with Christmas trees of varying sizes on the other.
We were one of the first cars there and were directed to park on one of the few non-muddy areas of the parking area. The first highlight was a roaring campfire, ringed with tree stumps topped with bags of marshmallows and neatly trimmed skewers.
We gravitated to the warmth and fire and speared ourselves a marshmallow each. I am always surprised at the amount of patience roasting a proper marshmallow takes. My first few attempts resulted in charred lumps that I happily ate, and my next attempt was perfection.
Tractor Ride through the Christmas Trees!
We heard there was a free tractor ride. We asked Rancho Siempre Verde family member Jake (the bigger guy in the driver’s seat below) if he’d take us for a ride…and he obliged!
You can see that they have recently-planted small Christmas Trees ready for future years!
Jake chain-sawed some trees for extra trimmings to make wreaths (more on that later):
The tractor-trailer was now loaded with trimmings so we had to snuggle tight in back:
Make Your Own Wreath!
Here’s one of the Rancho Siempre Verde workers showing us a wreath she made:
And then Jane made her own (nice pedal work!):
There are all sorts of other fun things to do at Rancho Siempre Verde, like enter a tee-pee:
…or help to renovate a tee-pee:
A Cool Slide for Kids
Lots of Swings (for adults too!)!
Rancho Siempre Verde has at least 7 tree-swings that I noticed:
Here are 2 kids swinging with a view of the parking lot — nice height!:
We had so much fun at Rancho Siempre Verde that we barely remembered to cut down a tree. The price is $90 for a tree but you can still enjoy Rancho Siempre Verde without buying a tree. There is a suggested $20 donation (per car) if you don’t buy a tree but they don’t pressure you on it (the $20 is reasonable given all the fun you can have!).
Things to Do Next Time at Rancho Siempre Verde
We didn’t do everything on our visit (we got hungry!). Next time we plan to:
- Try more of the swings
- Explore the Hay Bale Maze (in the background of pic above)
- Walk through the rear part of the property (we didn’t include photos of that area)
- Check out the Yelp Reviews Rancho Siempre Verde for more ideas of what to do there
- Note: It appears that Rancho Siempre Verde also allows little events/parties (you can see it in the background of the pic above). We’ll have to crash the party next time!
Eating on the Way Home (Driving North)
Riding North on Highway 1 is worth it even if you didn’t have a destination:
Lunch at Duarte’s
We stopped off at the famous Duarte’s in Pescadero for lunch. An Oakland biker gang of about 15 people soon joined us. I guess we shouldn’t have been surprised given that we were eating in the bar:
We took a quick poll of what the Oakland bikers were drinking and each one had a different beverage (Bloody Mary, Bellini, Beer, Irish Coffee, Tequilla).
We then met this great group of folks at the left-corner of the bar:
The woman seated at the corner was feeding the awesome jukebox that seems frozen in time from 1976 with a solid selection of Dylan, Beatles, Grateful Dead, Doors. No complaints here!
Speaking of the Dead, one of our new friends said her husband Andy had met Jerry Garcia. Here’s Andrew:
Andy (first Dead show was at Winterland in 1970) told some great stories about Jerry and the Dead.
I realized after I took Andy’s pic that he had an awesome pair of tie-dyed sneakers so I took another pic of him and his kicks here:
Andy runs BuckeyeRelief (medicinal marijuana) in Eastlake, Ohio.
Tapas in Half Moon Bay
In 2021, we ate lunch at https://www.evangelinecuisine.com/ in Half Moon Bay. The food and service were outstanding. Here are the 3 dishes we at:
This trip today to Rancho Siempre Verde/Duarte’s was another reminder that there’s always more to something that meets the eye.
The Rancho Siempre Verde was way more than a Christmas Tree farm. It would have been worth visiting even if we hadn’t picked up a tree!
And visiting Duarte’s is a reminder that it’s it’s almost always worth striking up a conversation with new folks. You learn new things, hear good stories.
Pescadero is an amazing place with tons more to do. Check out our Pescadero Day Trip article for other ideas on a fun adventure there.