Pescadero State Beach & Marsh Natural Preserve

The Peninsula

Fifteen miles south of Half Moon Bay, the beach and marshland preserve attract beachcombers and birders. Pull over and get out of the car to explore the marine-life-rich coastal tide pools on rocky outcroppings.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby The Peninsula attractions

1. Bean Hollow State Beach

1.55 MILES

Pretty sand beaches speckle the coast, though one of the most interesting places to stop is Pebble Beach, a jewel less than 2 miles south of Pescadero…

2. Harley Farms Goat Dairy


At this local-food treasure, the split-level farm shop sells creamy artisanal goat's cheeses festooned with fruit, nuts and a rainbow of edible flowers,…

3. San Gregorio State Beach

4.36 MILES

With driftwood scattered on the sands near San Gregorio Creek, this mile-long beach where Spanish explorer Gaspar de Portolà camped in 1769 makes a pretty…

5. Butano State Park

5.77 MILES

Five miles south of Pescadero, bobcats and coyotes reside discreetly in this pretty park's 4600 acres of dense redwood canyon and uplands laced with…

6. Sam McDonald County Park

8.54 MILES

Stretch your legs in the redwoods in this park, 2 miles south of La Honda. It has several forested hiking trails and a secluded hike-to cabin available…

7. Pie Ranch

10.43 MILES

Hit the brakes for this roadside farm stand in a wooden barn to pick up fresh produce, eggs and coffee, plus amazing fruit pies (which sell out fast). The…

8. Big Basin Redwoods State Park

10.85 MILES

A 45-minute drive north of Santa Cruz into the mountains via Hwys 9 and 236, this state park protects over 18,000 acres of redwood forest and 80 miles of…