Fodor's Expert Review Pescadero State Beach
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; 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 243-acre Pescadero Marsh Natural Preserve has hiking trails and is the site of a large and active blue-heron rookery. Early spring and fall mornings are the best times to come, when there are lots of migrating birds and other wildlife to see. No pets on the beach or in the preserve. Amenities: parking (fee); toilets. Best for: solitude; sunset; walking.