Hidden Treasures of San Mateo County: The Historic Coastside
On one of my Sunday outings to the coast with my friend Martha, I came across a hidden treasure in a small unique shopping lane called The Shoppes at Harbor Village. On our last trip to the area, we noticed a little café in Princeton-by-the-Sea that served breakfast, so we decided to check it out.
We had a light brunch at Cafe Mezza Luna, where they specialize in homemade delicacies from Southern Italy. Everything is fresh and delicious, and the service was warm and friendly. But that was just the beginning!
As we left, we noticed right across the courtyard was the entrance to an indoor shopping mall. We wondered how we had missed it when we had driven by before, but the real surprise was in the 19 unique shops and eateries handpicked for the centre. We saw handcrafted clothing, luxurious bath & bodycare essentials, books, furnishings, and one shop that carried items made solely by women. The shopkeepers were friendly and fun, and truly enhanced the shopping experience.
At the end of the day, we wandered into the Wine Bar to have a bite to eat and relax. The atmosphere is elegant & casual, designed with beautiful dark wood and ample lighting that highlights artwork hung by a different artist each month. The featured artist for the month of August was Robert Buelteman. I have never seen anything like what he does with plants and electricity. Also part of the complex is Oceano Hotel & Spa. Again we asked ourselves, “How did we miss this?”
It was a day spent discovering one of the most delightful hidden treasures yet--filled with laughter, making new friends, and discovering surprises around every corner.
To get an overview of Half Moon Bay and the surrounding areas, you can do a “keyword” search of Half Moon Bay in the library catalog and find volumes of related items including Half Moon Bay: Historic Coastside Reflections by Michael N. Orange, Half Moon Bay by Kathleen Manning and Jerry Crow, and Half Moon Bay [sound recording] by James Alan Shelton.
Barbara S. is a native Californian, having grown right here in San Mateo County. Having returned in recent years from living in many beautiful places throughout the country, she is constantly and pleasantly surprised at the number of new (and old) beautiful places and unique destinations available right in San Mateo County that she hadn't discovered. Talk about “acres of diamonds”!