Run to the Coast
You can’t beat the San Mateo Coast
for verdant springtime splendor—and you can do it in an afternoon.
Rolling hills rise from the craggy coast,
covered with different species of grass
that create a patchwork of subtly different hues.
Chase the margin of green along the old stagecoach route,
from San Gregorio to Pescadero.
Then continue south along Cloverdale Rd,
past picturesque horse farms lined with white split-rail fences.
At Gazos Creek Rd, turn right to Hwy 1 north.
Travel time from SF: 60 minutes to San Gregorio,
via I-280 south to Hwy 1 south in Pacifica.
What to See: The Pigeon Point Lighthouse,
on your return trip north up Hwy 1.
Where to Pack a Picnic:
The San Gregorio Store, a
frozen-in-time 19th-century general store.
San Mateo Coast Beaches
The San Mateo coast beaches are some of Northern California’s most majestic. Come on a weekday and you’ll have the sand to yourself. Get there early—before 10am—to claim a grill at one of the picnic areas, or sleep late and bring your own self-contained Weber. The beaches are strung together like pearls on a strand, don’t assume all the county’s beaches are alike. Far from it. Each has its own flavor and amenities. Bean Hollow State Beach, is the only dog-friendly beach this side of Half Moon Bay. Here’s a rundown of favorites.
San Gregorio State Beach,
Pescadero State Beach,
Half Moon Bay State Beach,
Bean Hollow State Beach,
Año Nuevo State Reserve,
Pomponio State Beach,
When the beach is not in your plans, you can watch hang gliders take their lives into their own hands at Fort Funston on your start or return of your road trip.