Half Moon Bay – Part II

It is possible to drive in a large loop from Half Moon Bay, winding up into the mountains, circling round through little towns, and then following the coastline back to town. Truly a wonderful way to spend some time.

First, stop in the various nurseries that are right outside of town on Highway 92. Very interesting places with roses and orchids, fountains, and pottery for sale. Huge metal sculptures of dinosaurs, and other animals, real and imaginary, grace the entrances. The Christmas tree farms were doing an incredible business, many families coming out to pick the perfect tree.

At the crossroad of Highway 35 and 84, Alice’s Restaurant is a good place to stop for a pleasant breakfast or lunch, depending on when you arrive. From there take the Alpine Road, one of the twistiest roads we’ve been on. Hiking trails seem to be everywhere on the ridges of Open Range Reserves, views of the Bay Area to the east and the ocean to the west.

Watch out for bicyclists when you follow the road down. You’ll come upon Portola and Butano State Parks, nestled deep Redwood forests. Completely different environment from the wide open spaces of a few miles back. Both are available for camping, although I know we wouldn’t want to pull a RV there.

Charming little stops, like in the town of Pescadero, break up the journey. In La Honda we stopped at Applejack’s, a true backwoods type bar with creaky floors and friendly locals. San Gregorio General Store, which is half old school country store/half hippie funky, has a large bar. There’s an eclectic selection of books, toys, apparel, pottery. They have live music on Friday and Saturdays. Brad and I laughed out loud reading through the wild postcards, buttons, and bumper stickers. Some very outrageous opinions, for sure. Some I even agreed with.

Following the coastline back along Highway 1, past Pigeon Point Lighthouse, you come to Cameron’s Inn, a very authentic English Pub, complete with two double decker buses. We were surprised when Brad asked the man next to us what the football score was, and he was an authentic English man, from London, even.

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