It’s been awhile since I last traveled through the West Coast but after my recent California trip courtesy of the San Mateo County/Silicon Valley CVB, my memory is refreshed. Combining both adventure and cuisine, my days in San Mateo County were short but very sweet. From kayaking along Half Moon Bay to petting goats at a local goat cheese farm, here are a few highlights from my trip through scenic Silicon Valley.
A Scenic wander through Filoli Mansion & Gardens
Our first stop was Filoli Mansion & Gardens, a 654-acre estate in Woodside. I didn’t know anything about this center but after a few hours walking through the spacious grounds, I was determined to have my own garden one day. The preserved Georgian Revival house was built in 1915 by William Bower Bourn II (owner of one of the richest gold mines in CA). My favorite part of Filoli are the 16-acres of formal gardens surrounding the mansion.
Experiencing a bit of London in California
Next up was a trip down memory lane. We stopped for lunch at Cameron’s Restaurant & Pub, which is completely London-themed inside and out. Before even stepping inside, I found a traditional telephone box, a black London taxi and two original London double-decker buses. I later learned that one serves as a “video game bus” and the other is a “smokers bus”. I’m not a smoker but I can only imagine how popular these are in the evening.
Hanging out with some pretty friendly goats at Harley Farms
My personal highlight of the trip was also the most unexpected. Before sampling some of Harley Farms‘ famous goat cheese, we actually spent a few minutes petting a few of the farm’s 200 Alpine goats. I remember that as a kid I always got so excited whenever it was time to feed the goats and clearly, not much has changed. It was hard to tear me away from my new furry friends but my interest quickly shifted to cheese once I realized we were having a tasting.
Stopping to show my appreciation for Facebook with a certified “Like”
I could not resist taking a photo in front of the Facebook campus, so here is my official “Like” for the social media platform. Unfortunately there were no Mark Zuckerberg spottings but I that hardly mattered to my inner nerd. For those interested in learning more about the start-up scene, Silicon Valley (especially Palo Alto) is the main hub for internet companies but it’s also a filled with countless restaurants, bars and shops.
Doing one of my favorite things – Wine Tasting
My last day in Silicon Valley combined both nature and culinary treats. After a morning hike along “the Dish”, a recreational path where you can clearly see Stanford Campus, we made our way to Thomas Fogarty Winery & Vineyard. For the next hour I sampled local Pinot Noirs, Chardonnays, Merlots and Cabernets all while gazing upon the Santa Cruz Mountains. The outdoor garden and views of the San Francisco Bay area definitely made this feel like a unique cultural experience rather than a standard wine tasting.
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