A step back in time: Moss Landing
written by Jeanne:
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A brief hour away from the hustle and bustle of Silicon Valley, a quaint
fishing village offers a look into the past by the cool Pacific
With a backdrop of the landmark 500-foot smokestacks of the surreal
Pacific Gas and Electric Power Plant structure on Highway
1 lies the
town of Moss Landing, busy with fisherman still fishing commercially,
picturesque streets of Victorian homes accommodating
collectable shops, and a variety of restaurants offering everything from
fish to enchiladas.
With a population of about
500, the coastal getaway was named after
Capt. Charles Moss, a Texan who established fishing facilities and a
pier developing commercial
water traffic in the mid 1800s. The gold rush
demanded products and California’s coast developed rapidly to assist.
Among the cargo
was produce from Watsonville and Pajaro Valley. The
vegetables arrived at the nearby Elkhorn Slough at Hudson’s Landing for
to San Francisco.
Oyster farming, commercial fishing and a whale processing plant were
industries already launched. Southern Pacific
Railroad arrived in the
late 1800s and became the primary means of delivery. A harbor
constructed in the 1940s served the commercial
Today, serious hunters of another kind, wade through collectable
treasures offered by a couple dozen antique shops
that once housed
residents of Moss Landing.
Whatever you desire can be purchased on Moss Landing Road, the town’s
original main street.
Antique furniture, glassware, oriental pieces,
clothing, American colorful folk art, jewelry, pottery and everything
else in between
is available with friendly shopkeepers knowledgeable and
eager to assist.
Yesterday’s Books offers a plethora of out-of-print and
books. Next door, Waterfront Antiques features a collector’s cooperative
full of California, Western and Indian pieces.
Across the way, a red
caboose is filled with reasonably priced nostalgia from another time and
If adventure is your forte,
try fishing excursions, surfing, canoeing,
power rafting, kayaking, whale and bird watching of some of the 275
species of warblers
at the Elkhorn Slough. Elkhorn Slough Safari will
take you up close and personal to harbor seals, sea otters, feathered
flora and fauna from a 27 foot pontoon boat. The marsh
consists of five miles of trails and is a Natural Estuarine Reserve and
of California’s largest wetlands.
Perhaps a walk of one of the last fishing villages on the west coast will suffice.
the ocean air, but everything tastes delicious at the
classic fishing port and there are a multitude of choices to wet the
taste buds. If you arrive early, try breakfast at the
Moss Landing Lighthouse Harbor Grill; lunch at the Moss Landing Deli for
and chips. The Whole Enchilada offers fish and Mexican delicacies
and their clam chowder should not be missed. For dinner, Charlie
offers seafood, steaks and grog that its namesake would heartily approve
of. Phil’s Fish Market and Eatery is legendary and
you can wrap up a
fresh catch to take home.
Overnight accommodations are sparse. The Captain’s Inn Bed and
Breakfast features rooms
on the water, each romantic bedroom with its
own bath, lovingly decorated by the proprietor’s handpicked selections
from the seaside’s
communities own antique shops. Moss Landing RV Park
is adjacent to the harbor and accommodates vehicles up to 45 feet.
In July, the
sleepy fishing town’s population grows to 10,000 as
tourists flood the area at the Moss Landing Antique Street Fair. Held
Sunday of July since 1971, thousands of antiques and
collectables are sold at the largest outdoor market on the central
shops share space with over 200 vendors, displaying
everything from antiques to food, with special treats of a fish fry and
Charlie Moss would have been proud.
Half way between Santa Cruz and Carmel is Moss Landing -
remaining time unchanged from its fishing village roots
Musings of a