Pescadero Creek Inn: A Tranquil Retreat on the San Mateo Coast
Nearly 30 years ago, during a summer bicycle ride through the small coastal town of Pescadero, Ken and Penny Donnelly stumbled upon an intriguing but dilapidated farmhouse. They made a passing comment about how the property would make for a great bed and breakfast, and a seed was planted. A year later, the couple found themselves in Oregon looking for a property to turn into an inn, and a circuitous turn of events led them back to the run down, 100-year-old farmhouse in Pescadero. A decade later, the couple welcomed their first guests to the newly-renovated Pescadero Creek Inn.
At the edge of town, in a quiet country setting mid-way between Santa Cruz and San Francisco, the Pescadero Creek Inn is exactly what you might imagine a country farmhouse on the Northern California coast to be. At the entrance, a rustic wooden arbor adorned with rooster silhouettes welcomes guests. Clad in white clapboard siding and trimmed in a light blue reminiscent of the sky, the farmhouse itself is a simple structure surrounded by a profusion of blooms. From the gardens, you can catch glimpses of the acres of flower fields, pasture, and farmland beyond.
The inn has four rooms, each outfitted with down feather beds, period antiques, and antique claw-foot tubs. The most popular is the Garden Cottage, in part due to a private deck with views of the creek, the organic vegetable and flower garden, acres of flower fields, and the inn’s resident horses, Scout and Otto.
The inn gets its name from the perennial creek that runs through the property. A unique passageway bored through coastal rock, Pescadero Creek drains into the 243-acre Pescadero Marsh, one of the largest watersheds in Northern California. The marsh is known for great hiking, as well as the more than 200 varieties of birds that can be seen nesting or migrating along the Pacific Flyway.
Pescadero has long been a farming and ranching community, and they have remained the mainstays for the town with a new generation of organic farmers and a vibrant seasonal farmers market. A popular local attraction is the award-winning Harley Farms Goat Dairy. A short walk from the inn, the dairy offers tours and a chance to pet the goats. Early in the year, there’s even a good chance of witnessing the birthing of a kid in the field.
Once just a day-long stagecoach ride away from San Francisco, Pescadero has also long been a destination for city dwellers. Semi-deserted country roads offer great cycling opportunities amid majestic redwoods, the surrounding hills are laced with diverse hikes, and the area is an embarrassment of riches when it comes to quiet beaches. The nearest to the inn is Pescadero State Beach, where two miles of white sand end in a rocky outcropping studded with tide pools. Along the shoreline, keen eyes can catch sight of elephant seals, dolphins, and otters. During the migration season, humpback and gray whales venture into local kelp beds close below the bluffs, while seabirds and birds of prey fly high above the waves.