This weekend, my friend Shelby and I headed up the coast to Half Moon Bay with a mission: to explore Andreotti Family Farm’s sunflower fields.
We arrived at the delightfully charming farm late in the morning, with our shears in hand and ready to roam. The sunflowers towered over our heads, most of them easily 7-9 feet tall! Weaving through their stems felt like an adventure, and one we were happy to partake in.
Since Half Moon Bay is a cute, coastal town with lots of foggy weather throughout the summer, Andreotti Family Farm’s sunflowers bloom a little later in the season; while most of California’s sunflowers have already been picked in June and July, the cool weather in Half Moon Bay means these sunflowers don’t reach peak bloom until September. If you missed going to the earlier summer U-Pick Farms, don’t fret – Andreotti Farms still have available dates coming soon!
This family-owned farm allows their guests to wander around the farm, pick their own sunflowers, and are even offering picnic tables, professional photography, and a high tea fairy festival this year. Early this year, the Andreotti Family lost their historic barn – which was over 100 years old – to a fire, so supporting them by visiting their sunflower farm and soon, their pumpkin patch, aids them in their goal to rebuild!
Some things to take note of…
Address: 800 Cabrillo Highway North, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
Distance: From Santa Cruz – about 1 hour 10 minutes, From San Francisco – about 45 minutes, From San Jose – about 45 minutes
Ticketing: Adults $20, Children $10. Advance tickets are recommended; tickets include 5 u-pick sunflowers with the option to take home more at $1/sunflower. Hours are from 10am-4pm.
Tips: Bring your own shears! While the farm does have shears to lend, they only have so many, and are sanitizing between uses, so you may have to wait if you don’t bring your own. Wear comfortable shoes that you aren’t worried about getting dirt on – it is a farm, after all. Please be aware that bees and bugs will be present on the sunflowers. Just do your best to ignore the bees – they are there for the pollen, not for you – so if you leave them alone, they’ll do their best to leave you alone, too.
If you’re planning to make a whole day of it – which I highly recommend – plan to get there at opening (10 am) and grab lunch somewhere local, like the adorable Dad’s Luncheonette. Located just down the highway at 225 Highway 1, near Kelly Ave, it’s hard to miss: this restaurant is located in a historic train caboose!
If you’re interested in a coastal drive before lunch, I highly recommend heading south to Pescadero (about a 20 minute drive), where you can walk along their main street, checking out the cute antique shops and stopping into the delicious Arcangeli Grocery + Deli for lunch. All of their bread is made in-house, so these sandwiches are definitely drool-worthy. While you stop in, it’s an excellent idea to grab an artichoke bread or homemade pie for later!
We took our sandwiches to picnic at Pigeon Point Lighthouse, which has been operating since 1872. Standing at 115 feet tall, Pigeon Point Lighthouse is one of the tallest in America, and is THE tallest lighthouse on the West Coast. As it is perched on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, it is a picturesque spot for a picnic.
Even further south is the adorable town of Davenport, where you can spend the afternoon picking strawberries at Swanton Berry Farm before heading to Shark Fin Cove for an amazing sunset view with your snacks of strawberries and pie. Davenport is just north of Santa Cruz, so if you decide to make a whole weekend of it, any of these places would be a fantastic spot to stay the night. In Santa Cruz, there is so much to do!
If you have any questions, please leave a comment below – and if you decide to visit Andreotti Family Farms, please let me know! I love to hear it when people are inspired to visit fun places.
Have a wonderful day!