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4 Things to Do at Pigeon Point Lighthouse

September 8, 2015 by Mill Rose Inn

Pigeon Point LighthouseThe Pigeon Point Lighthouse is located just down the coast from Half Moon Bay in Pescadero, California, which is a mere 50 miles south of San Francisco. Though its original Fresnel lense is no longer in operation, the structure itself is quite beautiful to visit, and the surrounding grounds are a truly stunning example of not only the breathtaking coastline you’ll find along this stretch of California’s Pacific rim, but also the vibrant life there.

Whether you’re looking for a nice place for a morning walk, a great beach to hang out on for a day, or to learn something about the area’s history, a visit the Pigeon Point Lighthouse will fulfil your desires. When visiting the light, be sure to dress in layers, as the weather can change quickly and dramatically, with afternoons typically being quite windy. There are restrooms onsite as well.

4 Things to Do at Pigeon Point Lighthouse

  1. Learn About the Pigeon Point Lighthouse
    The Pigeon Point Day Use Area is open 7 days a week from 8am to sunset, with tours of the grounds hosted Thursday through Monday from 10am to 4pm. These tours are the best way to learn about the Pigeon Point Lighthouse and its fascinating history. Though the light has not been open to the public since 2001, it’s surrounding grounds are just as beautiful and rich a way to learn about it. No longer using its original Fresnel lense, it is still a U.S. Coast Guard aid to navigation.
  2. Enjoy the Beach
    At the northern tip of the Pigeon Point Road you’ll find Pistachio Beach where you can enjoy a quiet patch of sand on the Pacific. While the water is typically quite cold, you may be lucky enough to see some whales out at sea, or even some seals sunning on the beach!
  3. Bird Watching at Pigeon Point
    Pigeon Point Lighthouse is one of the ideal places in the area for bird watching. Whether you’re a seasoned birder or someone who just enjoys taking in a new-to-you area’s wildlife, you’ll be sure to see a diverse selection of stunning sea birds at the Point. The combination of its accessibility alongside deep ocean waters make it the perfect place to see birds, though the weather and season will vary your experience. The best times of year to catch the birds out at Pigeon Point Lighthouse will be during migratory seasons in early spring and again in the fall.
  4. Take a picnic to Pigeon Point Lighthouse
    There are a few picnic tables out by the lighthouse that are a beautiful spot for a bite to eat, whether you’ve picked something up at a local restaurant, or brought along some snacky treats to enjoy. You can also take your picnic straight to the beach and watch the waves crash in. Be sure to anticipate some of that famous Pacific wind either way.

There are so many wonderful places to explore along the Half Moon Bay coastline like Pigeon Point Lighthouse, and you truly won’t find one that isn’t absolutely amazing. If you have yet to discover this part of Northern California, make sure to get to planning your trip! For some ideas of things to do in Half Moon Bay during your visit, download a copy of our free vacation guide!


The Pescadero Arts and Fun Festival is Fun for All

May 8, 2015 by Mill Rose Inn

pescadero arts and fun festival

Photo Credit: Bob n’ Renee / Flickr

In mid-August as the summer is winding down and the kids are gearing up to get back to school, a small North California town on the coast throws its biggest bash of the year to celebrate creativity. The Pescadero Arts and Fun Festival, taking place August 15th and 16th from 10 am to 6 pm, began as an outlet for local artists to gather the community around locally made arts and crafts – something the town has in abundance. Nearly 25 years later, the Pescadero Arts and Fun Festival is a staple community event that, while completely free, has been a central fundraising source for the town’s youth and creative programs.

Just north of Half Moon Bay, Pescadero has the perfect downtown to enjoy the festival’s many vendors, performers, and chefs. This is truly a town full of talent, whom locals and longtime visitors alike come out to support each year for this fun event.

pescadero arts and fun festival

Photo Credit: Bon n’ Renee / Flickr

Vendors at the Pescadero Arts and Fun Festival

With new applicants and vendors applying for a spot each year, they are always diligently judged before being allowed to display and sell their art at the festival. The application process ensures that all vendors have tasteful, and high-quality products – a reputation the festival is known to uphold. You are sure to see jewelry and home decor makers, painters, photographers and many mixed media artists who get their inspiration from the very ground on which the festival stands.

Paffy’s Kid Korral

Like any good small town festival, there are many special activities for the kids to keep them safe and occupied while you peruse the vendors and get ready for mealtime. Your kids will love this chance for creative play! Make sure they’re ready for face painting, craft making, and lots of bouncing around.

Live Music and Performances

Known for their killer lineups and stellar live performances, you can be sure to expect great music at the Pescadero Arts and Fun Festival. Another highlight of the weekend will be the Sunday afternoon Fashion Show, known for being a comedic rendition of high fashion and culture while also throwing in some avant-garde designs by local craftsmen.

Saturday, August 16 

11 – 11:30            Sean Kohler
11:50 – 12:40     Cryin’ Shame
1:00 – 2:00        Pel & the Pelicans
2:20 – 3:20        Pathetic Honey
3:40 – 4:40        Zanzibar
5:00-6:00         Blue

Sunday, August 17

11-11:30            Jack Mullins
11:50 – 12:20   Boss Tim and the Laylows
12:40 – 1:40     Bundy Brown and the Expresso Rhythm Section
2:00 – 2:45       Mariachi San Carlos
3:00 – 3:45       Fashion Show
4:05 – 5:05       The D.B. Walker Band
:25 – 6:25       The Gary Gates Band

If you are looking for an entertaining and inspiring weekend to visit the Half Moon Bay area, this mid-August slot is a great choice to be sure you get the full effect of these quirky Northern California towns. Located right downtown, the Mill Rose Inn makes for a convenient and elegant bed and breakfast that will give your vacation all the more comfort. August in the area is known for its temperate weather and some of the sunniest days of the year.

If you’re considering planning a trip to the area soon, definitely consider downloading our free vacation guide for more ideas on things to see and do in and around Half Moon Bay.

Explore the Pescadero Marsh Natural Preserve

December 1, 2014 by Mill Rose Inn

Pescadero Marsh Natural Preserve

Pescadero Marsh Natural Preserve / Photo By Lee Jaffe via Flickr

If you’re staying with us in downtown Half Moon Bay at the Mill Rose Inn the Pescadero Marsh Natural Preserve is a unique experience that is a quick 20 minute. On the coast of the San Francisco Bay Peninsula, just south of the city, you’ll find this well preserved wetland full of species unique to the area. If you’re looking to explore the one-of-a-kind coast, the Pescadero Marsh should be at the top of your list as it is the only marsh on the coast of the peninsula.

The Pescadero Marsh Natural Preserve is a part of the Pescadero State Beach, and is a 243 acres of tidal estuary, freshwater and brackish water marshes, dense riparian woods, and northern coastal scrub. The water bird populations increase in the winter months as the northern populations migrate south to find water a good nesting grounds. Two hundred species of birds have been recorded in the marsh, including 60 that nest there. The great Blue Heron is among the nesting birds, and is one of the most famous spectacles of this beautiful preserve. The heron’s wingspan reaches 6 feet, making it a graceful giant of the skies.

The Coastal State Parks Association was founded in 1990 and helps to maintain the Pescadero Marsh Natural Preserve. In 2011 they helped raise funding for a footbridge that extends access to the back of the marsh, adding foot trails to the area. There are hiking trails throughout the marsh with breathtaking views of this complex natural habitat. You can opt to take a quick 1 mile hike or make it a longer 5 mile loop if you’re feeling ambitious. If you’re a serious birder bring your binoculars and you’ll have the chance to do some world class bird watching.

September through October, and again in  April are great times to come witness the bird migrations as North America’s water birds come in to roost in this water fowl haven. Come for a walk at dusk to catch the sight of the skies darkened with birds all landing for the evening. The new footbridge will be the perfect place to witness this uncanny feat of nature.

The first and third Sundays of the month you can meet a docent at the park for a 2 hour nature walk through the park where you will be educated on the area’s natural history and diverse species. The Pescadero Marsh Natural Preserve is a favorite field trip for children throughout the Bay Area, and hosts 10,000 kids each year. If you’re traveling with your children this is a great opportunity to get them some fresh air and an educational experience in one great adventure.

The Pescadero Marsh Natural Preserve is an absolute necessity for any of our nature-loving guests. This is one of the most unique sites in the whole Bay Area, and is right between our cozy spot here at the Mill Rose Inn and the big city up the coast. It is right off Highway 1, making it literally right on the way to the city, and would be a great place to stop for a quick stop on the way home, as well as a great destination in itself.