Famous Coasts In The Us

From the ocean, I turn down Pescadero Creek Road, motor for about 2 miles, then land in Pescadero, a tiny town in San Mateo county, that once served as a haven (and still does) for city dwellers looking to escape it all.

The peloton passes the Pigeon Point Lighthouse during Stage 2 of the AMGEN Tour of California from Sausalito to Santa Cruz on February 16, 2009 in San Mateo County, California. 

The peloton passes the Pigeon Point Lighthouse during Stage 2 of the AMGEN Tour of California from Sausalito to Santa Cruz on February 16, 2009 in San Mateo County, California. 

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

On Pescadero’s single-road downtown, on any given weekend, there are invariably cyclists in their spandex and bikers in their leather fatigues. The two-wheeled riders likely have the same idea as the rest of us: to get away from the big city’s frantic energy for a few hours in peace. 

At the edge of the teeny downtown, which takes about five minutes to walk from one end to the other (longer if you’re perusing the town’s handful of shops), Downtown Local is the town’s bonafide gathering spot, where locals and visitors gather out front, sipping javas and catching up on the day’s news. Along with its funky collection of vintage and consignment wares and freshly brewed, third wave coffee, Downtown Local is all about the vibes. 

Just down the road, the historical soul of Pescadero is Duarte’s Tavern, established in 1894, Duarte’s retains the old-world charm implied by its long history as a stopping place for vacationers and hungry drivers. 

Close-up of illuminated neon sign for Duartes Tavern in downtown Pescadero, California, March 4, 2019. 

Close-up of illuminated neon sign for Duartes Tavern in downtown Pescadero, California, March 4, 2019. 

Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Started as a saloon and barbershop by Frank Duarte, the business soon began offering food to visitors, including its now legendary pies in the 1930s. Thirty years later, the tavern’s famous cream of artichoke soup joined the menu, where it remains to this day. The soup ($15) is smooth and creamy and vibrantly green. Our server explained that what makes the dish so memorable is the local globe artichokes, macerated to fluffy perfection, that come from Castroville, 60 miles down Highway 1. 

Another staple of the Duarte’s menu: Locally grown olallieberries — a bright red cross between a blackberry and dewberry. I started with a tart olallieberry margarita ($15), concocted with homemade olallieberry syrup and arriving in a tall glass rimmed with salt. After one cocktail, it was hard to stop, so I moved on to a strong Old Fashioned from the original tavern bar, which was preserved after a fire tore through town in the 1920s. 

Interior of Duarte's Tavern, a classic restaurant operating for more than 115 years in Pescadero, California, March 6, 2019. 

Interior of Duarte's Tavern, a classic restaurant operating for more than 115 years in Pescadero, California, March 6, 2019. 

Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

My appetite sufficiently whetted, I knew I couldn’t leave until I had one more taste of those mouth-puckering olallieberries. And let’s face it, no visit to Duarte’s is complete without a tender slice of olallieberry pie ($9), served with a heaping scoop of vanilla ice cream.

The olallieberry pie at Duarte's Tavern in Pescadero, Calif. on Nov. 20, 2021.

The olallieberry pie at Duarte's Tavern in Pescadero, Calif. on Nov. 20, 2021.

Michelle Robertson/SFGATE

Goats and artichokes

Our bellies stuffed to their breaking point, my traveling companion, Amanda, and I waddled out of the dimly lit Duarte’s and into the sunlight of Stage Road. We couldn’t stop our food tour quite yet, however, as we’d heard rumors of something magical baking in the ovens of Arcangeli Grocery Co., just a hop down the road from Duarte’s. 

You can smell it before you spy it. The homemade artichoke bread that is. Started in 1929, Arangeli’s has become famous for its lovingly baked breads, especially those of the artichoke variety. The loaf is thick and heavy, crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. It’s best enjoyed with a button of fresh goat cheese from Harley Farms Goat Dairy down the road (which we’ll get to later) and a seat at one of the picnic tables toward the start of Stage Road. 

The artichoke bread from Arcangeli's in Pescadero, Calif. on Nov. 20, 2021.

The artichoke bread from Arcangeli's in Pescadero, Calif. on Nov. 20, 2021.

Michelle Robertson/SFGATE

Though our stomachs sloshed with Duarte’s treats, we made room for ripped-off handfuls of the artichoke garlic herb bread smothered with luscious monet chevre and extra garlicky dip. 

We decided to walk off our noshes with a stroll into Pescadero’s smattering of shops. There’s Made in Pescadero, with its gorgeous handmade wooden furniture. There’s Topia Antiques, which displays its vintage goods in an old white house and a little dirt side street, off the main drag, where local artists and vendors sell pottery, clothing and potted plants. 

Along the way, there are often musicians playing for passersby. On our visit, a fiddler and banjo player strummed lively tunes as children danced and tossed dollars in their cases with glee. 

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When it was time to meander away from downtown, we drove about four minutes east where Harley Farms Goat Dairy sits just off the road. Goats meander in their pens and bleat at the many visitors dropping by to see the freshly born babies and pick up some fresh cheese and soap. 

PESCADERO, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 26: Alpine goats sit in a holding pen before being milked at Harley Farms on April 26, 2019 in Pescadero, California.

PESCADERO, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 26: Alpine goats sit in a holding pen before being milked at Harley Farms on April 26, 2019 in Pescadero, California.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

I pulled myself away from the goats and their kids to climb to the second story of the farm’s shop to see the handcrafted wood furniture created by a man by the name of Three Fingers Bill. It was a masterpiece of woodworking and worth the visit to the farm in itself. 

A selection of fresh cheeses at Harley Farms Goat Dairy in Pescadero, Calif. on Nov. 20, 2021.

A selection of fresh cheeses at Harley Farms Goat Dairy in Pescadero, Calif. on Nov. 20, 2021.

Michelle Robertson/SFGATE

A lighthouse with a tragic history

Craving more ocean time, Amanda and I hopped back in the car and drove about 15 minutes down the coast. The fog seemed to dissipate as we pulled into the parking lot at Pigeon Point Lighthouse. 

About 115 feet tall and nearly 150-years-old, the lighthouse stands like a glittering white jewel along the fiercely churning waters of the Pacific Ocean. Whales and seals play in the surf below as guests at the lighthouse’s hostel meander the grounds and jump in the hostel’s cliffside hot tub. 

The major draw at the lighthouse, now closed for renovations, is the visitor’s center, where you can view the shimmering Fresnel lens that guided sailors for generations to safety. Here, the story of the lighthouse keepers and sailors comes into view, including the origins of its whimsical name, Pigeon Point.

View from a car traveling towards Pigeon Point Light Station on the California coast near Pescadero, California, 1978. (Photo via Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images).

View from a car traveling towards Pigeon Point Light Station on the California coast near Pescadero, California, 1978. (Photo via Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images).

Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

There’s a dark side to the whimsy. The waters around the lighthouse are strewn with rocks and highly treacherous for sailing. Its name comes from the wreck of the Carrier Pigeon in 1853 after the vessel, confused by the fog, hit the rocky bottom of the water. All of its crew was able to escape, but the cargo — mostly general merchandise bound for San Francisco — was lost. 

Not every sailor or passenger who came into close contact with the lighthouse survived. The worst wreck occurred in August of 1929, when the tanker S.C.T. Dodd collided with the passenger-filled San Juan. Seventy-five people died and only one child, Hollis Lee Pifer, age 6, survived. 

As the sun waned over the shuttered lighthouse, Highway 1 called us back to our homes in the city. But on the winding drive back north, our bellies still full and our coffers weighed down with cheeses and olallieberries, we couldn’t stop talking about the charm of Pescadero. Even as the Bay Area changes, its population and demographics shift, it’s heartening to know a historic place like this coastal town exists. Here, even just for the day, you can truly escape from it all. 

Source : https://www.sfgate.com/travel/article/pescadero-san-mateo-duartes-harley-goat-guide-16660133.php

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