Whale, Hello There!

Whale Watching at San Gregorio State Beach on the San Mateo Coast

Blissfully quiet on early winter mornings, San Gregorio State Beach has a large cave to explore and more than a mile of nice walking—but you’ve gotta watch the winter tides! Even if you don’t stroll the beach here, head just north of the parking for a whale watching vantage. A short walk up the trail on the bluff leads to a large promontory—ideal for spying gray whales making their migration. Bring some easy-sit chairs or a blanket and spend a little time there … it’s much better than a Google hangout! Afterwards, if the tides are okay, check out the cave (north of the beach estuary).

BONUS: After scanning the sea for whales, head to the San Gregorio General Store, just off Highway 1 on the San Mateo coast. Eclectic and charming describes this former stagecoach stop, which offers everything from Levi’s to literary novels to all kinds of different tequilas, and of course, good old-fashioned company from the bar staff. On Saturday and Sunday afternoons, warm up next to the fire and enjoy live music.

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San Gregorio State Beach is located 10.5 miles south of Half Moon Bay on Hwy. 1. Parking $8. NOTE: Always keep an eye to the ocean, and talk to a ranger if in doubt, or check tide charts. No dogs on the beach. San Gregorio General Store, Hwy. 84 and Stage Rd., San Gregorio; 650-726-0565. San Gregorio is 11 miles south of Half Moon Bay, off Hwy. 84.

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