Watsonville, California is often associated with lush farmlands off Hwy 1 on the Pacific Coast. Here one can see miles and miles of farms growing fruits and veggies off all sorts. Strawberries, raspberries, apples, lettuce, kale, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, artichokes, tomatoes, and much more. At its core Watsonville is an agricultural community. But what is often overlooked is that being so close to the ocean, Watsonville also has miles of beautiful beaches. One of these beaches was our destination on a gorgeous fall October morning when my friends Padmini, Rose and I went on a road trip to Pajaro Dunes in Watsonville.
A walk on the beach with sunny skies, gorgeous weather, and good friends. What more could a gal ask for on a cool Fall day?
We headed out in the morning to Watsonville on roads that took us past acres of farmland on our way to Pajaro Dunes Beach.
We drove past fields where farm workers were picking strawberries. It looked like such hard work that I really appreciated the painstaking labor it takes to pick these delicate berries and bring them to our stores.
In these fields in the photo below the previous crops had been cleared away and were getting ready to sow the next batch of strawberry seedlings.
After a beautiful drive we reached Pajaro Dunes where my friend Padmini has a condo. Here we unloaded our picnic baskets and headed out onto the sand for our spectacular walk on the beach.
Truly, this was one of the best walks I’ve had on any beach. The weather was in the pleasant 70s, the sun was shining ever so gently, the cool Pacific breeze was mild, hardly a person in sight, and the scene serene and blissful.
How can one not feel calm and content with such beauty around?
Rich Marine Life at Pajaro Dunes
Pajaro Dunes has such a rich variety of marine life and birds that it is no surprise that it is a designated wildlife sanctuary. We saw so many birds here that at times it felt like a migration.
At the beach at Pajaro Dunes the ocean had thrown on shore lots of crabs and fish and sadly some didn’t make it back into the water.
This fish was large and we guessed it might be a puffer fish or a moon fish.
Lots of jelly fish didn’t make it back into the ocean either.
Beach combing for shells
Surprisingly Pajaro Dunes was a gold mine of shells. Sand dollars were the most common to be found but most of those that we picked were broken but beautiful nonetheless. Padmini informed us that her husband Naresh heads out early in the mornings when when the tide has just receded to pick up shells and usually finds beautiful big sand dollars.
The perfect post-hike lunch
After a long 5-mile walk on the beach we headed back indoors and as you can expect we were famished.
We had a delicious and satisfying lunch prepared by all three of us. On our post-hike lunch menu was a kale and apple salad, veggie quiche, and a hot cup of delicious chai.
Post-hike Vegetarian Lunch
Kale, avocado and apple salad – Padmini
Brie and crackers – Padmini
Crustless veggie quiche – Rose
Fresh cut fruit – Me
Cardamom and fresh ginger chai – Padmini
Fall Walk on the Beach
A walk on the beach with sunny skies, gorgeous weather, and good friends. This is one special walk that I will have in my heart forever 😘❤️🐟🌞.
I’d like to end this post with these spectacular photos that Padmini sent me when she and her husband went back to Pajaro Dunes for the weekend.
Pajaro Dunes is off Hwy 1 on the way to Monterey and Carmel heading south bound from Santa Cruz. Pajaro Dunes in Santa Cruz County
Have a great weekend everybody!