If a quarantine is not in effect (watch for signs), from November through April you can look for mussels amid tidal pools and rocky outcroppings at Pescadero State Beach, then roast them in the barbecue pits; a fishing license is required. Any time of year is good for exploring the beach, the north side of which has several secluded spots along sandstone cliffs. Across U.S. 101, the Pescadero Marsh Natural Preserve has hiking trails that cover 600 acres of marshland and is the site of a large and active blue-heron rookery. Early spring and fall are the best times to come, when there are lots of migrating birds and other wildlife to see. Amenities: parking (fee); toilets. Best for: solitude; sunset; walking.
Hwy. 1, 14½ miles south of Half Moon Bay, Pescadero, California, 94060, United States