Driving to the Coast
I’ve owned about 15 BMW cars and motorcycles in my life, so you can say that I like the brand (currently 5 in the stable). My first thought was writing something regarding performance parts or BMW maintenance, since my background has been 30 years of hot-rodding BMWs working with Steve Dinan.
But then I thought about what I enjoy the most about the BMWs that I’ve owned, and that’s just driving them.
Since we spend so much of our day just trudging these cars back and forth to work or school, that’s is not what they were built for in my mind, they do an excellent job at this, but these cars want to be driven on great roads.
Having a BMW to drive makes the journey that much more enjoyable. Add a great destination with winding roads through the Redwoods and ocean views, and you will always want to return. Pescadero CA is a great destination for an afternoon drive and all the roads that lead to Pescadero offer the type of driving experience your BMW was designed for. My favorite stop in Pescadero is the Arcangeli market and bakery, located at 287 Stage Rd, Pescadero, CA 94060.
Arcangeli market has that great small town county store feel, because that’s what it is. With its fresh baked breads, local wines, honey, and deli sandwiches, it’s my first stop on my way to the coast to pick up some food to go. They have picnic tables behind the market if you want to eat there, or you can jump in your car and explore the twisty roads of the California coast between Half Moon Bay and Santa Cruz searching for your own picnic spot.
Some of the other attractions in Pescadero include Duarte’s Tavern and Taqueria de Amigos, an acclaimed taqueria in the local gas station.
Getting to Pescadero, everything centers on Skyline Boulevard Hwy 35 and descending Hwy 84 towards the coast. How you choose get there is your choice. My favorite route is Hwy 9 out of Saratoga, but Hwy 84, Page Mill Road, and Kings Mountain Road all have their strong points, so pick your poison.
Heading west on Hwy 84 going towards the coast from Alice’s Restaurant go just past the town of La Honda and make a left onto Pescadero Creek road and take it all the way into downtown Pescadero.
Pescadero history goes back to a Mexican land grant of Rancho Pescadero of 1833 and the town started to thrive in the 1860 as a local coastal lumber and farming community.
After leaving Pescadero, if you want to go north towards Half Moon Bay, I recommend staying on Stage Road, it will come into Hwy 84 in about 6 miles and if you cross Hwy 84 and keep going on Stage Road, it connects into Hwy 1 in another mile.
If you want to go south towards Santa Cruz, I recommend making a right on Pescadero Creek Road towards the coast and go about ¾ of a mile and make a left on to Bean Hollow Road. Bean Hollow Road will meet up with Hwy 1 in a few miles and is a nice tight twisty road.
When heading towards Santa Cruz, if you’re looking for a diversion off of the highway, look for Swanton Road – it will be on the left about 3 ½ miles south of Ano Nuveo State Park. Swanton Rd. will be 6-7 miles of a twisty back road that leads back to Hwy 1 near Davenport Landing.
Davenport Landing is one of my recommended stops along this route, it’s a little beach and local surf spot just north of the town of Davenport. Make the second right on to Davenport Landing road off of Hwy 1 and drive right down by the beach and find a place to park. It’s just a short walk to the beach. Davenport Landing is a great beach to picnic at and watch dogs play or the locals surf.
A few other nice stops on the way to Santa Cruz are, Pigeon Point Lighthouse, Butano State Park for a hike in the Redwoods or the Marine Discovery Center just as you’re coming into Santa Cruz at 100 Shaffer Road Santa Cruz, CA 95060. The 87-foot blue whale skeleton outside at the Marine Discovery Center is truly impressive.
Enjoy the drive.