Summer in California is synonymous to crowded sandy beaches, beer cans in a cooler, striped beach towels and loads of sunscreen. When I lived in Southern California (LA and SD), I would usually go swimming or surfing and sometimes even for a game beach of volleyball with friends but after moving here to the Bay Area I just can’t get myself to enter the ocean. There are a couple of reasons for that but the most compelling ones are a) The water is cold for my liking (yes even during summer) and b) most places have crazy waves for swimming.
I did try to find relatively warmer beaches close by (Santa Cruz and few others) but honestly, I was intimidated by how crowded these were. Instead of bringing peace and serenity, something I expect every time I go to a beach, it felt like I was in a state of chaos (no hate intended, just personal preference).
The brighter side of this whole experience was me finding my long-lost love, reading and the discovery of Moss Beach. The perfect combination that allowed me to go back to my comfort zone. Laying down by the beach and re-reading The Fountainhead a.k.a turning into a lazy human.
It’s one of those hidden places on the California coastline that rarely appears on the ‘things to do’ lists. Hence, not so crowded apart from a few people visiting the tide pools. Imagine the peaceful sound of waves, some cool breeze and the scenic view of the ocean. It’s even great for family picnics or simply for some alone time on a bench. Unfortunately, you can’t bring your pets here ( 😦 I know, right?!)
Although, there’s one group it is well known to, the photographers. The Seal Cove Cypress Tree Tunnel and the beach are both popular locations for engagement and portrait shoots. The pictures that follow will tell you exactly why. You will most likely get lucky with some overcast or dramatic clouds diffusing the light which is great for photography.
Even though I can spend a whole a reading by the beach or on a hammock on the tree tunnel but if you want a change of scenery you have a lot of good options to choose from. There are a couple of hidden beaches with just a few benches but no other facilities (great hideouts). You can even grab some food at the Moss Beach Distillery for some great food and drinks. It’s a historical spot and It’s been voted one of the best romantic restaurant. Trust me it’s gorgeous.
If all of this still leaves you craving for more head on to the Half Moon Bay State Beach (Dunes beach) for a gorgeous sunset. It’s only a 15 mins drive, has a very picturesque view. Imagine getting to shoot two locations that are so close yet have such different landscapes (more about it in an upcoming post).
Here are some of the pictures I took on one of my visits to the Marine Reserve and the tree tunnel.
Hope you make your weekend plans to Moss Beach soon and find your favorite spot!