SF Bay Area Day Trip:
EAT, hike, EAT
- from SF South Bay (45 minutes to San Juan Bautista, CA from San Jose, CA OR from Santa Cruz, CA)
- to Pinnacles Nat’l Park (45 minutes to Pinnacles from San Juan Bautista)
- to Moss Landing • Phil’s Fish Market & Eatery (about 1 hr 15 minutes from Pinnacles to Moss Landing – near Santa Cruz, CA)
I love figuring out great San Francisco Bay Area Day Trips. This makes planning for when guests are in town much easier. We also love to go out exploring, find a good spot to eat and then a beautiful place to walk it off and another unique eatery on the way home, if possible. The first time we went to Pinnacles we drove through Hollister, CA and I realized that I was going to need a locals opinion on the best place to eat lunch in the area. When I got home I talked to a friend whose parents live in Hollister and found out about Los Jardines Restaurant in San Juan Bautista. Los Jardines is a Mexican restaurant with live musicians playing mandolin at lunchtime on the weekends. This is a place you can sit outside and drink a local Hollister Apricot Margarita with chickens hopping around outdoors (we have not been there yet, sounds awesome though) which when we were there we didn’t see any chickens, but my friend claims they are usually there.
When we got to Pinnacles it was about 1:45pm and it was a nice day in January, perfect temperature for a hike because I can see that Pinnacles gets VERY HOT in the summer. We did a five mile hike to the top and back down in a loop and the place is stunningly beautiful with expansive views (we did not do the caves hike this time). Up top there are amazing rock climbing spots that hang right over the side of the mountain (intense). I’ve heard in the Spring that there are beautiful wildflowers. On our way out it was about 5pm and the sun was setting. The scenery was gorgeous as we drove past cattle in the fields with pink skies in the background (see the photographs above).
We headed to Phil’s at Moss Landing and if you haven’t been to Phill’s Fish Market and Eatery, you are missing out. It is a great restaurant with tons of local seafood. If you aren’t sure what to get, order the Award Winning Cioppino, Fish Tacos, or Dungeness Crab. Oh, you HAVE to get the Fire-roasted Artichokes for an appetizer to share, it so good.
Open 7 days a week: Sunday-Thursday: 11:30 – 9:00pm | Friday-Saturday: 11:30 – 10:00pm
Pinnacles National Monument
5000 Highway 146
Paicines, CA 95043-9762
Phil’s Fish Market & Eatery
7600 Sandholdt Rd.
Moss Landing, CA 95039