Day Trip: Pescadero

There’s always plenty to see and do in Silicon Valley. But sometimes you just need to get out of town and off the grid. A drive to Pescadero can fix that. While only about an hour away from San Jose, this “slow coast” town feels much farther away. With views of the ocean along the Pacific Coast Highway and untouched coastal landscapes along the way, even the journey to Stage Road—Pescadero’s main street—is part of the adventure.

Start the day trip with a coffee and some friendly ambiance from Downtown Local. The baristas double as DJs, playing records while making drinks to order. The quirky cafe is also a boutique, featuring a meticulously curated selection of vinyl records, vintage goods, and local wares. Be sure to check out the little theater in the back, too.

There are a few small boutiques along Stage Road, including SLOWCOAST. Although small, this little shop is hard to miss. Everything sold inside is made by local artists and supports a local cause, from coastal preservation to feeding local schoolchildren.

A visit to Pescadero is not complete without a loaf of artichoke garlic herb bread from Arcangeli Grocery Company / Norm’s Market. This little market with a very long name is full of house-made gourmet food items like salsas, baked goods, and wine. Don’t forget to bring a beach blanket from home, because these make for a great picnic—head over to Pescadero State Beach after you’ve picked out a few goodies. You might want to grab an extra loaf of artichoke bread to take home, too.

If you’re a fan of goats (or goat cheese), be sure to visit kid-friendly Harley Farms while in Pescadero. Sign up for a tour on their website in advance (they fill up quickly), or just arrive and stroll around the farm on your own. After you’ve visited with the goats and llamas, stop by their gift shop and pick up some freshly made ricotta or chevre cheese.

The pace in Pescadero moves a lot slower than in Silicon Valley, but that’s what makes a day trip here so enjoyable. The next time you feel like heading out of town for the day, check out Pescadero and savor all that this little coastal town has to offer.


Places to Visit in Pescadero


Written and photographed by Flora Moreno de Thompson

Article originally appeared in Issue 7.4 “Phase”

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