With Thanksgiving behind us, it’s time to decorate for Christmas! First stop – find the perfect tree. This year we made a day of it and drove down to Rancho Siempre Verde to choose and cut our tree. Then before heading back we stopped at Pie Ranch for some festive provisions and topped the day off with a late lunch at Sam’s Chowderhouse.
If you live in or around the San Francisco Bay Area, I highly recommend this little day trip! And if you’re not in the Bay Area, have a google and find a tree farm near you. Get outdoors and smell the fresh pine!
Rancho Siempre Verde Christmas Tree Farm
2250 Cabrillo Highway, Pescadero, CA 94060 www.rsvtrees.com
Rancho Siempre Verde is about an hour drive south of San Francisco. Having researched several tree farms online (here’s a good summary of local tree farms), I chose RSV because for what it lacked in kitsch it more than made up for in beautiful surroundings, tree swings, and marshmallow roasting. And it didn’t hurt that there’s a pie shop right next door.
There are several tree swings scattered around the property that are just as much fun for adults as they are for kids. And if you don’t feel like cutting your own tree there’s a selection of pre-cut ones ready to go.
We opted to cut our own of course. I gave sawing a go, but called in Pavel to finish the job. Once cut you can either haul it yourself to the baling station, or have one of the workers give you a tractor pulled hay ride to pick it up and haul it back. (TIP: Trees look smaller out in the wild than they do in your house… found that out when we got home.)
There are also wreaths for sale, or you can opt to make your own! Making a wreath from scratch was a first for me, and like it or not – I’m pretty proud of it!
There is an bonfire going for marshmallow roasting, and feel free to bring your own sausages to roast too! And mind the sign warning that unattended children will be given an espresso an a puppy.
Next door to the tree farm is Pie Ranch where we picked up a fresh baked apple pie, an mini honey nut oat pie, and some shortbread cookes. Hey, it’s the holidays! They also have a variety of fresh produce, pickled vegetables, and preserves.
Sam’s Chowder House is one of our favorite spots. It happened to be raining by the time we got there, but on fair weather days it’s nice to sit outside by one of the firepits and dine while overlooking the ocean. And they have s’more kits if you feel like making your own dessert!
Though the rain kept us inside at Sam’s this trip, it gave us a beautiful rainbow on the drive home.
The scenic route. All 3 of these places are located on Cabrillo Highway aka Highway 1 and the drive has some terrific views of the Pacific Ocean. There are also tons of produce stands and wine tastings along the way – so take your time and make a day of it!