Did you get out to the Ardenwood Harvest Festival last week? We went on Sunday and had a blast, this is my favorite visit here during the year. We finally got to take a tour of the Patterson House where they had docents talking about life on the farm, weaving lace, or demonstrating fun kitchen gadgets from times long gone. We saw Brian Scott’s magic show, sang songs with David Maloney, churned ice cream, picked indian corn, and rode the funky little train. The farm is fun to visit year round, there is always something interesting going on - well worth the trip!
This week’s adventure is down the coast a bit. The Half Moon Bay Pumpkin festival gets a lot of press, and it’s a wonderful event, but getting there can be a nightmare. We like to head a bit further south towards Pescadero (which means the place to fish in Spanish), make a stop at Bob’s pumpkin patch for great pumpkins at affordable prices and their spectacular view, then stop in at Harley Farms to see the goats, and Duarte’s to grab a little bite to eat. Pescadero State Beach is also right here and if the weather is suitable, quite a nice spot to dip your toes in the water.
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Chief Happiness Officer at kiddiewalks.com
1-2-3 Things — A day on the Coast with Pumpkins and Chèvre
Quick inspiration for a day out with the kids around the SF Bay Area
Bob’s Pumpkin Patch
San Gregorio & Pescadero State Beaches
Bob's Vegetable Stand & Pumpkin Patch
We love Bob’s for a number of reasons.
- Simply pumpkins. No bounce houses, petting zoo’s, or other silliness. Just picturesque pumpkins of all kind and sizes.
- Affordable. I’m pretty sure we walked out with 2 pumpkins for around $10 last year.
- Staff was super nice.
- Wheelbarrows available to haul your goods.
- Epic view of the ocean.
- Favorable photo conditions, especially if it’s overcast. Get those Halloween pictures in.
- No crowds.
This had become somewhat of a tradition for us. We avoid all the craziness of getting to Half Moon Bay by taking Highway 84 over (which can be taxing if you tend to get car sick), and we get a relaxed atmosphere to go wander around in the pumpkins, take a few pictures, and walk out not feeling like I got fleeced for pumpkins. They also have a wide selection of pumpkins and other various gourds for all your Halloween decoration pleasures.
Bob’s is located on the east side of Highway 1 about half way between Highway 92 and 84. There are some giant signs on the side of the road for either Bob’s Vegetable Stand or Pumpkin Patch. Just keep your eyes open. There is abundant free parking. If you take Highway 84 over from 280, just take a right when you get to the coast and drive north for maybe 10 minutes.
Año Nuevo & Pescadero State Beaches
Either one of these beaches is highly picturesque and a nice place to stop. If you’ve ever driven down highway 1, you have probably passed both these places and thought about stopping. San Gregorio is known for its brackish lagoon as there is a creek that empties out here. I believe that parking is just on the shoulder here and you have to make due as best you can. It’s been a while since I’ve been and I couldn’t dig up any info.
Pescadero State Beach has a parking area and costs $8. It’s one of those old school pay stations, fill in the envelope with your vehicle info, put in the exact change, and drop it in the box. If the weather isn’t bad, it’s a great opportunity to go dip your toes in the cool Pacific.
As you drive south again down the coast on Highway 1, you will pass the Highway 84 turnoff and head south to look for
Driving south on Highway 1, you want to look for Pescadero Creek Road and take that east to get to the town of Pescadero, just a short drive inland. This is a wonderful little town to walk around in, lots of cute shops and some good coffee can be found. Great spot to meander away an hour or so. Parking is free, but it can get crowded on the weekends.
Hey kids, do you want to see where cheese is made? Meet some goats? Sample some chèvre? Maybe go on a tour of the cheesemaking process? This is a delightful spot to visit, a sustainable farm that makes excellent product. It’s one of the spots briefly mentioned in Michael Pollan’s book Omnivore’s Dilemma for their sustainable practices.
Go pet some goats, taste some chèvre, and if you are planning on taking some home, you might want to bring a cooler with some ice.
Established as a barbershop and saloon in 1894, Duarte’s is the go to place for locals and weekenders who have a love of food. Know for their Cream of Artichoke soup since the 1960’s, I’d suggest getting the half & half: half Artichoke soup, half Cream of Green Chile, and don’t forget to get a slice of any of their epic pies at the end. You really aren’t going to go wrong with anything on the menu. It can get pretty crowded here on the weekends, so you might want to put in a reservation given the opportunity. They have coloring menu’s for the kids and affordable tasty food especially for them too.
- If you feel like you need the carnival approach to Halloween, head out Highway 92 east on the way home, a little way’s inland you will hit Lemos Farm and Pastarino’s (you won’t miss it), and the traffic backup is much easier to deal with this direction generally.
- Pigeon Point Lighthouse is just a little south of Pescadero, pretty cool to see a lighthouse up close and personal, plus it’s a great photo op. http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=533
- We haven’t been, but this place looked promising http://www.highway1brewing.com/
- Drive a bit further south and have a look at the elephant seals at Año Nuevo State Park http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=523
- Spend the night in the Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel. There are family accommodations and a hot tub (reservations and a small fee are required) overlooking the ocean. http://www.norcalhostels.org/pigeon
- Why not spend the weekend Glamping at the Costanoa Lodge http://www.costanoa.com/tent-bungalows.html