It's a State of Mind

What’s My California Delicious? Embarking on the Elkhorn Safari in Monterey Bay

Copy writer Andrea shares a recent wonderful California safari experience with us…

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Elkhorn Slough is one of California’s largest wetlands and is part of a National Estuarine Reserve located in central Monterey Bay, California. It’s just a short trip from the Santa Cruz area, the Monterey Peninsula and about 2 ½ hours from the San Francisco Bay Area. It’s a beautiful, wildlife rich reserve that winds many miles inland and provides an important feeding and resting place for many species of California animals. Each season is unique and at various times of the year, you will see seals, sea lions, nesting birds, feeding sharks, giant slugs and endangered animals like sea otters.

We recently decided to get back in touch with nature and get out of the office, so a group of us booked a tour on the “Elkhorn Safari” and were excited to set sail! This 2 hour tour on a 27 foot Pontoon boat is a comfortable and environmentally friendly way to see the wildlife up close and enjoy the beauty of this unique environment. We were blessed with a sunny day and our guide, Captain Yohn Gideon, was a wealth of information. He’s a certified Coast Guard licensed captain, a naturalist and an amateur photographer who could answer any and all questions and has a colorful personality to boot. He even runs special photographer boat rides at certain times of the year and book private parties.

We pulled out into the sunny Moss Landing harbor and made our way slowly towards the slough. The boat is open and comfortable— other than paddling your own kayak; this is the closest way to see the unique wildlife of this area. We were immediately greeted by about 50 sea lions on the wharf and a little further on a raft were at least 8 sea otters with babies! We were fortunate enough to be there during harbor seal birthing season so there were many pups along the way. We saw many varieties of birds: terns, great blue herons, egrets and sandpipers to name a few. All in all, it was a relaxing trip and gave us a true appreciation for this California ecosystem and what it has to offer.

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After regaining our “land legs”, we asked the Captain for a brunch recommendation (we discovered, you get hungry on boat rides). He directed us to the Moss Landing Café, a small and homey restaurant just down the Highway from the harbor. We had a great meal, which included the local specialty of deep fried Castroville artichoke hearts (Castroville stakes its claim as the “Artichoke capitol of the World!). We washed these delicious treats down with a frosty glass of a California Chardonnay- we recommend both heartily! This dish turned out to be our “California Delicious” of the day.

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Travel Time-
Under 3 hours from Sacramento
Under 2 hours from San Francisco
8 hours from Los Angeles

Visited-
Moss Landing Cafe
421 Moss Landing Rd,
Moss Landing, CA 95039

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