A stroll through the overcrowded Muir Woods National Monument now requires a reservation. Good grief. Fortunately, spontaneous redwood lovers have plenty of Bay Area alternatives, including the Coastside’s Purisima Creek Redwoods Preserve. Continue reading “Redwoods Without a Reservation at the Coastside Alternative to Muir Woods”
What’s your favorite holiday tradition? There are plenty to choose from on The Coastside. The Night of Lights parade in Half Moon Bay, quiet walks on tourist-free beaches, shopping local in a community overflowing with boutiques and paddle-boarding Santas are just a few. Continue reading “10 Reasons Why Holiday Lights at Pillar Point Harbor Brighten our Christmas”
Half the fun of visiting Big Sur is the drive. And the newly opened bridge at Pfeiffer Canyon means the good times are back, at least as far as Gorda. For now, think of Highway 1 southbound from Carmel-by-the-Sea as a curvaceous 65-mile cul-de-sac with a view. It was so nice we drove it twice. Continue reading “Road Repairs Restore Big Sur Thrills South to Gorda; Where is Everybody?”
If the flapping wings of a single butterfly can alter the weather, imagine the impact of thousands of monarchs fluttering around a small eucalyptus grove. Or visit Santa Cruz and see for your yourself. Continue reading “Butterfly Effect at Monarch Preserve in Santa Cruz Whips Up Big Smiles, Stiff Necks”
We met in the Midwest, where October means crisp leaves, warm apple cider and that first cold snap. It was classic. For 20 years in suburban L.A., fall meant hot winds, choking dust and fires. It was miserable. Now here we are Coastside enjoying a whole new fall tradition. And it’s amazing!
Continue reading “A Letter to The Coastside: Thanks for a Spooktacular October! We Needed That”
Recognizable as the nimble HMS Interceptor in the 2003 Disney movie blockbuster “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl,” the replica tall ship Lady Washington sailed into Pillar Point Harbor this week for a two-week stay. We clambered aboard for a visit. Continue reading “Lady Washington Ties Up at Pillar Point Harbor; Tall Ship Sailed in ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’”
Love it. Hate it. Hide from it. Everyone living Coastside has an opinion about the annual Half Moon Bay Art and Pumpkin Festival. Our opinion? Embrace the madness. And here are a few tips for enjoying next year’s gourd gala. Continue reading “How We Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival”
“With a labyrinth, you make a choice to go in – and once you’ve chosen, around and around you go. But you always find your way to the center.”
Nice centering metaphor. That is until someone completely lacking in inner peace pitches the labyrinth’s border stones into the ocean. Bummer. Continue reading “Quest for a Coastside Labyrinth Travels from a Quarry to Lands End and Back Again”
The beer was cold and the music hot, but the best action at the 2017 Half Moon Bay Fish & Fleet Festival involved flashing filet knives, bickering gulls and sea-faring comedians cracking wise topside at the docks. And who doesn’t like a salmon raffle? Continue reading “We Party with the Fishing Fleet at Half Moon Bay; Who won the Salmon Raffle?”
Feeding frenzy? Aquatic ballet? Sea-faring mosh pit? Whatever you call it, the rhythmic but raucous performances staged by anchovy-hungry seabirds, whales and trawlers in Half Moon Bay over the past two weeks have been big fun to watch. Continue reading “Sharknado? Nope. But a Frenzied ‘Birdphoon’ Swirls and Splashes into Half Moon Bay”
You would think the Coastside Farmers’ Market would provide a guilt-free hour of virtuous, pretentious healthiness for gathering ingredients for a Tomato Pesto Crostata recipe. Oh no, not for the Slackers!
If the landowner had never blocked access to Martins Beach, we probably never would have heard of this controversial stretch of sand south of Half Moon Bay, much less visited. So, what’s so special about Martins? We decided to crash the gate and find out. Continue reading “What’s so Special About Martins Beach? We Crash the Gate and Sashay Past a Cop to Find Out”
Marine mammals stir the hearts of even the most jaded Coastsiders. Slackers, too. We’ve seen dolphins cruising, whales spouting, harbor seals lolling, and elephant seals … well, um… it was mating season. But sadly, not a single sea otter. Where the heck are the sea otters? Continue reading “Quest for California Sea Otters Ends with Shenanigans and Groupies Downstream from the Power Plant”
Sunshine and crowds go together like Sex Wax and surf boards on the California Coast. (Go ahead. Click on the link.) But sometimes the locals get lucky.
If you enjoy Coastside sand and surf but a water temperature of 55 degrees is not on your “to do” list, then consider visiting the beaches, bluffs and tide pools of the James V. Fitzgerald Marine Reserve in Moss Beach. Continue reading “Cold Day Coastside? Break out the Flannel and Chill at the Moss Beach Bluffs, Beach and Tide Pools”
What’s your “dream machine?”
For half a century, MontaraManDan has dreamed of owning a 1967 Mercury Cougar in British racing green. The one with the hideaway headlamps. So awesome! GeekSlacker, for a time, yearned to escape from the rigors of her jet-setting tech world on a Harley. She escaped by retiring instead.
We lived in an inland valley outside of Los Angeles for more than 20 years and never really embraced the beach. The thought of hugging a stretch of sand on Earth Day didn’t even cross our minds.
In fact, our most vivid sand and surf memory from those years was that time we drove to Zuma Beach with folding chairs and a thermos of coffee to watch the sun set into the waves, only to learn an important geography lesson – beaches above Santa Monica for 150 miles mostly face south. Don’t judge. We were new.
Perhaps you’ve heard we’re having an extreme rainy season Coastside. In addition to easing California’s drought, the ongoing string of winter storms has activated scores of dormant and seasonal waterfalls throughout the state. Continue reading “Winter Rains Activate 200-foot Coastside Cascade – Bring your Binoculars”
The mountainside trail between Gray Whale Cove and Montara state beaches is a middling means to two rather spectacular ends. It’s about the beaches, not the journey. Featuring a moderate descent to and ascent from the beach into McNee Ranch State Park on each end, the bulk of the winding Gray Whale Cove Trail is carved into the side of Montara Mountain and roughly parallels Highway 1, whose sights and sounds detract from some otherwise spectacular views of the ocean meeting the shore. Continue reading “Trail with a View Joins Two Spectacular Coastside Beaches”
Dawn and I slipped down the coast on a misty, windswept afternoon last week to check out breeding season and the resulting offspring at Año Nuevo State Park. The coastal park is home base to as many as 10,000 elephant seals who return twice a year to alternately breed and molt between sea voyages of up to 12,000 miles. Continue reading “Birth, Death and Debauchery on the Beach – Must be Elephant Seal Breeding Season at Año Nuevo”