San Mateo Coast & Santa Cruz Mountains

The area south of Half Moon Bay, referred to as “the South Coast,” is the last relatively unspoiled, uncommercialized area in San Mateo County.  It includes the towns of San Gregorio, La Honda, Loma Mar, and Pescadero.  Formerly home to the Ohlone Indians, the area was settled in the 1800’s when Mexico established eight large cattle rancheros along the coast. Following the Mexican-American War, most of the land was purchased by San Francisco investors.  The South Coast soon became a popular vacation spot.  Visitors came to enjoy the spectacular redwood forests, the wetlands, the beaches, and the ocean.  Two famous hotels, the Swanton House, and the Pescadero Hotel were booked months in advance.  The area thrived until the early 1900s  when tourism decline due to the advent of the automobile and the bankruptcy of the Ocean Shore Railway. 

Today the South Coast. Is mainly an agricultural and ecotourism area.  The towns offer a wide array of local produce including artichokes, Brussel sprouts, ollalieberries, strawberries, u-pick kiwis, as well as locally made goat cheese, unusual bread, and wonderful pies.  A number of small shops offer art, artisan-made furniture, jewelry, sculpture, antiques, and items for the home and garden.  All this, together with the natural beauty, cozy B&Bs, and historic buildings make the area of LHPUSD special.

Among the places to visit in our area are Big Basin State Park, Ano Nuevo State Reserve, Butano State Park, Bean Hollow/Pebble Beach, Pescadero, and Pomponio Beach, Pigeon Point Lighthouse, Memorial County Park, Pescadero Creek County Park, Pescadero Marsh, and various regional Open Space areas. Additionally, there are several farms and camps to visit including Harley Farms, Blue House Farm, Pie Ranch, Green Oaks Creek Farm, Potrero Nuevo Farm, the Gazos Creek Research Station, Camp Jones Gulch, Camp Loma Mar, and several other private facilities.

Events in the area include the Pescadero Art & Fun Festival, the La Honda Faire & Music Festival, the Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival, Chamarita, the South Coast Garden Show, the Stage Road Winter Faire, the Tour des Fleurs, the monthly Pie Ranch Barn Dance, and others. Pescadero High School annually hosts a Halloween Carnival and the Hoop Dreams Small School Basketball Tournament.