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Friday Slide Show: Venice State Beach Share This on LinkedIn   Tweet This   Forward This

21 February 2020

We got in the old Civic last weekend to escape the city, driving down the coast to Half Moon Bay. Along the way, we turned off on a gravel road and rolled slowly into the parking lot at Venice State Beach for a bathroom break.

We confide that detail only to indicate how little time we had at the site before getting back into the traffic to continue our trip.

And traffic there was (even worse in the opposite direction). Sam's Chowder House couldn't possible feed all the people parked along Highway One, we thought as we drove by.

With just a minute or two, we unholstered the Nikon D300 and 18-200mm zoom with circular polarizer to take a few snapshots.

Venice Beach is right in the middle of the five beaches surrounding Half Moon Bay connected by the Half Moon Bay Coastal Trail. You can see either end in our shots south and north. The Pilarcitos and Frenchmans Creeks both flow to the ocean there.

A sign explains the main attractions of the area:

Some of the world's richest waters exist right off the San Mateo coast. An explosion of life occurs here due to a combination of the sun's energy, wind, ocean currents and contours of the sea floor. Microscopic phytoplankton form the base of the food chain, which are fed upon by zooplankton and fishes, providing a feast for seabirds, seals, whales, sharks and humans. Gulf of the Farallones and Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuaries protect this ocean wilderness through research, education, conservation and stewardship. Sanctuaries balance compatible commercial and recreational activities while protecting these ocean treasures today and for future generations.

There are bottlenose dolphins year-round, visits from the southern sea otter, nests of snowy plovers, tufted puffins looking for lunch, harbor seals and (where there are harbor seals) white sharks.

We didn't have time to disturb them, of course. But we did enjoy taking a few shots of the area. Our favorite? That picnic table with a colorful castle off in the distance.

That should be a postcard. For a place you can't stay long.

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