Last weekend Mike and I took a spontaneous trip south on Route 1 to Santa Cruz. We took our time and really made a day of it, so I thought I would share some great places to distract yourself if you find your tires headed in that direction.
First off, the entire California coastline is stunning. So if you find yourself pondering "Should I pull over at this conveniently located parking lot that is literally on the ocean?" then you should do it. Always pull over. No regrets. Look at this dog- do you think he had any regrets?
And then you get to see crazy cool rocks like this.
Okay down to business. I am supposed to tell you about actual places to stop. First stop on our journey was Pie Ranch located in Pescadero about 50 miles south of San Francisco.
Pie Ranch is an amazing working farm that has a deep focus on sustainable farming and food system education. They teach classes to high school students, work with educators, are huge advocates for sustainable land use and host barn dances. Oh, and they sell pie. I highly recommend swinging by and saying hello. And speaking of amazing agricultural institutions, next we cruised down the road 10 miles to Swanton Berry Farm located just north of Davenport.
Swanton Berry Farm was the first certified organic berry farm in California and they have been selling killer strawberries since the mid-80s. Their berries and jams aside, this farm is an inspiration to me because they are champions in fair labor treatment. Good berries and good people. You can swing by their farmstand for yummy treats, on the weekend there is a cute girl in an Aerostream that sells some wares and you can go and pick in the field as well. After all that produce we were getting really thirsty, so we continued on down the road to the town of Davenport
Bonny Doon makes some funky wines and stopping by this tasting room a mile down the road from Swanton Berry Farm was an equally funky experience. Since 2004 all of their grapes are grown in a biodynamic way or they work with winemakers that do the same. They poured us some really great wines and this tasty cider pictured above. Definitely worth a gander if you are in the mood.
Sante Adairius is not technically on Route 1 and is a smidge out of the way but is totally worth it. Sant Adairius is a pretty recent addition to the California beer scene. They specialize in doing saisons and are famous for their barrel-aged speciality beers, but their entire line up is pretty kick ass. The taproom is a nice hangout spot, it's dog friendly and you can purchase bottles or fill up growlers to go. They have developed a bit of a cult following and Mike is no exception (do you see that grin?!?).
There are many more amazing places to explore along the California coastline, but these are just a few for a fun day trip...