Staycations: Destination San Mateo Co. coast


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This staycation is for those of you who like to get your hands dirty and be one with nature. We take you to the San Mateo County coast.

You can spend some time on a farm in the town of Pescadero, just 18 miles south of Half Moon Bay.

"I like meeting the goats," says Olivia Bloom of Menlo Park.

Visitors to Harley Farms are encouraged to get up close and personal with the goats -- real close. Milking is done by machine these days, but visitors get to experience milking the goats the old fashioned way.

"Normally we milk 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. and we milk all the goats, all 200 of them, and the process of cheese making goes on 24 hours a day here," says Ryan Andrus of Harley Farms.

The milk is cooled to 40 degrees, pasteurized and turned into cheese. Visitors are treated to a tasting before going home.

Admission is $20 for adults, $10 for teenagers.

Just minutes away from Harley Farms is Phipps Country Farm. Berry picking is the highlight there. Visitors get to take home what they pick for three dollars a pound.

"It's great," says Frank Nichols of Campbell. "Got strawberries and boysenberries. "

"It's been really enlightening," says Pat Nichols of Campbell. "I had no idea they were pulling the weeds by hand. That's really hard work."

Just a few more weeks remain in the strawberry picking season.

"October, November, December, you can pick pears and quince and some apples," says Teresa Phipps of Phipps Farm.

What you don't pick for yourself you can buy at Phipps Country Store where there are also 58 varieties of dried beans.

You can also visit a wide variety of animals and birds, including peacocks and canaries.

Just 25 miles north of Pescadero in the town of Montara is an old favorite worth visiting again -- a lighthouse transplanted from the New England coast in the 1920s. It is lit 24/7 to guide ships through the jagged rocks of the Pacific.

"It replaced an older lighthouse that had been here since about 1912," says Christopher Bauman of Point Montara International Hostel. "Originally the site was just a fog signal station, which was opened in 1875."

The lighthouse is part of the Point Montara International Hostel. Room rates start at $23. Private rooms for two go for $70.

Naomi Cullers of Phoenix has stayed at hostels both in the states and in Europe.

"This one's great, a lighthouse. It's not like they have hotels that are lighthouses. So it's just a really good experience and really easy on the pocketbook," says Cullers.

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And for more local getaway ideas, visit

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