An hour away—but worlds apart—from the bustle of San Francisco, a former stagecoach stop provides big coastal views and simple pleasures.
Set on a scenic stretch of the San Mateo coast, the New England–style village of Pescadero has attracted travelers since six-horse coaches rattled into town in the mid-1800s. Those carriages are long gone, but the seaside splendor and throwback charm remain.
Warm, fragrant loaves of garlic bread studded with artichoke hearts have made the 1929 Arcangeli Grocery Company a day-tripper institution. Its assortment of Italian deli staples and the picnic area alongside Pescadero Creek are just two more reasons to linger.
Even Pescadero's most up-to-date coffee shop delights in yesteryear. Downtown Local serves nostalgia along with San Francisco–worthy cappuccinos using beans from Sightglass Coffee. See classic flicks screened in a nine-seat theater and peruse bins of vintage comic books while you sip.
What's new at 124-year-old Duarte's Tavern? Not much, thankfully. A convivial fixture since the town's stagecoach-stop days, Duarte's continues to satisfy cravings for its venerated cioppino and house-made pies. Visit between Thanksgiving and New Year's for a frothy, potent eggnog that locals wait for all year.
A reminder of the many dairies that thrived around Pescadero in the early 20th century, Harley Farms offers a taste of a bygone era. Tour the grounds populated by adorable Alpine goats, and step in to a converted stable to sample just-made chèvre adorned with colorful herbs.
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The 115-foot tower at Pigeon Point Light Station State Historic Park beckons motorists to a stunning promontory with sandy coves, vibrant tide pools, and dramatic views of the churning Pacific. The Fog Signal Building now houses the original Fresnel lens. Plan ahead to spend a night in the former light keeper's residence.
This article was first published in Fall 2018. Some facts my have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.