Submitted by Trip
San Francisco, CA
SF Bay Area Trip Highlights
OverviewMontara is a tiny village town right on highway 1, 20 miles south of San Francisco, 7 miles north of halfway bay. I discovered the area after randomly booked a night at Montara lighthouse hostel, thinking about a quiet weekend reading a book there. And quiet it was! and Much more! The lighthouse hostel is the largest building complex, probably the largest business in this town of a few hundred people. Amber the 24 y/o coffee house owner (see picture) is one of them, born and raised here! There is not much else to see in the town center, but there are plenty to do to pack your day. Hostel is the best place to watch un-interrupted sunset on pacific ocean. Eccentric rocky foot path behind it has some most vicious, constant breaking waves pounding the rocks beneath; Yet, a tiny white sand beach nearby is quiet and calm, I saw mom playing with her young son. After watching the waves, its time to have some outdoor activities: head to fitzgerald marine reserve where you can experiences following major activities:
How to get there and get around
Its a short and scenic drive from San Francisco on highway 1, about 20 miles. The first stop is Montara lighthouse hostel, once settle down there, you can walk to nearby Montara town center for coffee, snacks. Moss beach and distillery are 3 to 4 miles south from hostel. You can park at the historical cliff parking lots of the distillery and walk down to the beach. Or drive slowly for another 3 minutes to the trail head where you can park your car and take the stairs down to moss beach.
Best Restaurants (or places to eat) in the area
1. Morning coffee: Amber McGaw's coffee house
"Here comes the sun" at Montara
2. Lunch: Gherkin's sandwich shop at Montara
3. Dinner/Lunch: Moss beach distillery for gourmet food, ghost stories, and fun people watching. During day, you will have entire pacific ocean as view. The back yard patio is not bad either.
4. Dinner/Lunch: Authentic Peruvian restaurants with sweeping ocean view: Luka's Taproom (you need to see KQED's Check Please review).
SF Bay Area Neighborhood Characteristics
Montara lighthouse hostel. $30/night. Friendly staff.
Comfy lounge with fireplace, sound of ocean wave,
access to a tiny safe white sand beach (not moss
Local hangouts, Shopping spots
1. Moss beach, and its tide pool
2. Moss beach distillery
3. Montara lighthouse hostel
4. Here comes the sun coffee house
5. Fitzgerald marin reserve