Top Things to Do in Pescadero, California

Just south of San Francisco, Pescadero offers a chance to slow down and savor local fare.

tide pools framed by iceplant in Pescadero, California, picture
Tide pools and quiet stretches of coastline reward visitors to the area around Pigeon Point Light Station and Bean Hollow State Beach.
David H. Collier

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.

mini pumpkin cheesecake from Harley Farms in Pescadero, California, picture

The Farm Shop at Harley Farms brims with seasonal confections such as this mini pumpkin cheesecake.

Garrick Ramirez

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.