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San Mateo Country has some of the most beautiful beaches in a state well-known for its coastline. One of the many gems in SMC is Pescadero State Beach, where Surfrider San Mateo held its most recent cleanup.

Pescadero is about 20 miles south of the Highway 92/Highway 1 juncture in Half Moon Bay. The beach is comprised of two different areas that are divided by a creek mouth with a natural rock arch; each has its own parking lot. The wide shoreline extends about a mile with rock coves and rock outcroppings that are perfect for responsible tide-pooling. Across from the beach on Highway 1 is the Pescadero Marsh Natural Preserve which is a phenomenal place to bird watch!

If you take a trip to Pescadero State Beach, be sure to drive east to the town of Pescadero proper for something to eat or drink – or just to take a walk down historic Stage Road. Pescadero sits 1.5 miles east of the beach and was first settled in the 1850s. Many of its current inhabitants are farmers, fishers, or ranchers who love the place where they live.

Photos by Sam Folsom, SMC Resident (IG: sam_folsom,