Looking for things to do near San Francisco? Take a trip down Highway 1 along the California coast to the seaside town of Pescadero! Literally meaning “fishing place” in Spanish, Pescadero is a small yet wonderful community known for its vast coastline and rich farmland. Here you will find plenty of things to do, from outdoor activities and beaches to hidden gems and unique attractions like Pigeon Point Lighthouse.
VIEW ONE OF THE TALLEST LIGHTHOUSES ON THE WEST COAST
Built-in 1872, Pigeon Point Lighthouse is one of our favorite historical places in our destination! From the shore, you can spot whales, seals, and coastal birds as they pass beyond the surf. The intertidal zone along this part of the coast contains numerous varieties of plant and animal life. Guided history walks around the lighthouse grounds are available.
EXPLORE THE BEACH
What’s a trip to the Pacific Coast without making your way to the beach? Popular options in Pescadero include Pomponio State Beach and Pescadero State Beach. Just east of Highway 1 from Pescadero State Beach, is the 555-acre Pescadero Marsh Natural Preserve, a popular spot for bird watching. This area has several easy trails through the scrub and salt marsh. For a dog-friendly option, we recommend Bean Hollow State Beach where dogs are allowed on the beach on leash.
TRY THE FAMOUS ARTICHOKE BREAD
Arcangeli Grocery Co. is a Pescadero staple that sells the best garlic-herb and artichoke bread! They also have a unique selection of gourmet food, pasta sauces, salsas, cheese, local wine, and more. We recommend stocking up for a picnic and then heading to the stop next on the list, Harley Farms.
MEET GOATS AT HARLEY FARMS
This is a fun stop for animal and cheese lovers. Visitors at Harley Farms can meet the goats before sampling cheese in the farm shop. Pick up some delicious selections for the road like the goat cheese ravioli and save some for your picnic, too. Dogs are welcome on leash in the pond area, but not inside the farm or near the goats. Best of all, in the spring the farm welcomes baby goats!
VISIT AÑO NUEVO STATE PARK TO SEE ELEPHANT SEALS
Año Nuevo State Park is a popular area to see migratory birds and the breeding ground for up to 10,000 elephant seals each year! You’ll find many kinds of animals around the ocean bluffs, coastal scrub, and dune fields. Ranger-led hikes give visitors the unique opportunity to walk around the park and learn first-hand about these incredible animals. The park also features the Marine Education Center boasting a natural history exhibit, bookstore, and theater. Keep in mind that the breeding season for elephant seals is in the winter, and areas of the park may be closed or restricted to ranger-led hikes.
STAY AT COSTANOA LODGE+CAMP+RESORT
This eco-adventure resort surrounded by acres of coastal hills is the perfect home base for your trip to Pescadero. Glamp in style in Costanoa’s room-like tent bungalows, equipped with electricity and a fire pit. Activities include hiking, biking, horseback riding, and stargazing. The onsite Cascade Restaurant is open every day and uses local, organic, and handcrafted ingredients. Keeping in line with their commitment to the environment, guests who use eco-friendly transportation (like a hybrid/electric vehicle or bicycle) to get to Costanoa will receive a 15% discount off the rack room rate.
Interested in more things to do on the San Francisco Peninsula? Be sure to check out our Things to Do page for inspiration, as well as our upcoming events!