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Welcome to Pescadero

Pescadero is surprisingly bustling census dedicated location sitting contently by itself several miles east of California\’s Pacific Coast. Pescadero doesn’t have a roaring economy or exploding commercial district like some of the larger cities in the region. However, it does serve as a seasonal hub between the sleepy coastal cities of San Mateo County Pacific Coast and the rest of the area. This has led to several businesses within the area dedicated to the tourist industry and an extremely welcoming community.

Lay of the Land

Part of San Mateo County, Pescadero is located within an hour’s drive of both San Francisco to the north and San Jose to the east. Though only several miles from the Pacific Ocean, Pescadero’s nearest neighbors along the coast are Half-Moon Bay and a cluster of other towns to the north, including Moss Beach and Montara. Aside from that, the nearest geographic attractions are the Pescadero Marsh Natural Preserve and the Pescadero State Beach. The area has a full-time population of 643, though that number does increase during the height of tourist season. Residents enjoy a respectable household income of $91,322 while average home values hover around $748,300.


The only road worth mentioning near Pescadero is State Highway 1. Several miles to the west of the town, 1 highway runs along the length of the Pacific Coast and offers the only major connection between the isolated southern end of the county and the Bay Area. Pescadero is also located at the end of SamTrans Route 17. This particular bus line serves several of the more isolated locations in the county before eventually ending in Pacifica. Luckily, the Pacifica station also serves as a stop for several other lines which provide access to other cities in the Bay Area.

Local Highlights

The main attraction in Pescadero is the local scenery. This includes the state beach and marsh preserve. It also includes Memorial Park and Butano State Park. However, Pescadero also features numerous man made attractions that seek to take advantage of the scenic beauty of the region without being overly obtrusive. These include numerous biking and hiking trails. The area is so popular with biking enthusiasts that it serves as the focal point for an annual road race (Pescadero Coastal Classic Road Race) during the summer.

Unlike many of the other smaller locations within the area Pescadero is not shy about welcoming in guests. Many visitors in the area choose to stay at the Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel. Pigeon Point is part of a series of hostels that operate in abandoned lighthouses along the Pacific Coast. A total of 8 lighthouses are currently maintained along the coast and are operated by a nonprofit organization dedicated to offering affordable lodging in a historically preserved location.

Each of the hostels is generally organized in a way as to maximize the available space while providing a reasonable level of privacy. Pigeon Point is on the slightly more luxurious side, featuring a hot tub that overlooks the Pacific Ocean and provides guests with undisturbed view of the surrounding area. However, most guests staying at the hostel are there to take advantage of the whale watching or to visit one of the local preserves or state parks.

Dining wise, the main attraction in the area is Duarte’s Tavern. In many ways, Duarte’s Tavern has a history that is just as rich and long as that of the lighthouse on Pigeon Point. Originally established in 1894 as a saloon and barbershop, it eventually evolved into a restaurant and is currently being operated by the fourth generation of the Duarte family. It is a staple within the community and offers many local favorites. However, the culinary experience at Duarte’s has evolved with the times, and they currently also offer a sophisticated menu featuring a Portuguese fusion that utilizes numerous locally grown fruits and vegetables.