Saturday afternoon I decided to get off the recliner and make the trek to the nail salon. A pedicure was way overdue. While unwinding with the massage chair with hot stones on my legs I was reading through an old issue of Sunset Magazine. In it I came across an article suggesting Davenport as a great day trip on the Central Coast (my home).
I consider myself an explorer, and have visited many of our local tourist destinations, yet I had never made the 9 mile drive north of Santa Cruz to discover the gem of Davenport. The town it self is home to a population of about 400 people, a few shops, galleries, farms, and beaches. Mainly it is beautiful land and quirky folks. A few tourist stop by to grab a bite to eat, or ask for directions, and what they stumble upon is a true breath of fresh air.
The article tickled my adventure bone, and as soon as I saw that Sunday's forecast called for a clear mild day, I begged the husband for a Sunday Drive and away we went. I had just a few little places in mind based off of the recommendations of the magazine and a quick look at yelp.
Our first stop was at Davenport Roadhouse Restaurant. I had read many reviews of outstanding Brussels sprouts, and that was just odd enough to get me in the door. I figured any place that can get people raving over Brussels sprouts has to have a special way in the kitchen.
As we arrived we walked in with other friendly patrons, and were seated promptly by the greeter. My hopping and skipping toddler with a cape was graciously lead to the table and treated with respect, free of sighs and side-eyes. This is a big test as to how comfortable I will usually be for the rest of the meal.
We got a our drink orders in and of course the kids pizza going right away. They offered a local organic Amber Ale which was super crisp and refreshing. We then decided on the BBQ Burger special and of course the Brussels sprout appetizer. When they came out in their caramelized glory my mouth instantly watered and bite after bite I was not one bit disappointed, not until it was the last bite I suppose. The sprouts had almost a teriyaki flavor going, it might have been the apple cider.
My son enjoyed his pizza, and the hubs and I enjoyed our burgers. Although they were tasty, I was a little disappointed in the lack of a "BBQ" flavor. I think I was expecting a little more smoke, hickory, sweet, or something, but overall the burger was good. We shared a small chocolate cake desert, and walked away with happy bellies.
The second stop came at Swanton Berry Farm right off of Hwy 1, about 4 miles north of the Roadhouse. This place was absolutely AMAZING. I was so stuffed from our lunch, but I had to stop by anyway and at least check out the joint.
The inside of the shop had refrigerated berry treats. Cobblers, shortcakes, cheesecakes, chocolate covered fresh berry treats, and all sorts of other creations. There was a spread of jams that were available for jam tasting, and the cutest part of it all was that at the front of the store you did not find a typical cashier and cash register, instead there is an honesty till. You pay for what you take and you make your own change. It sits openly on the counter and makes me so happy because it shows that when people are expected and trusted to do right, that they genuinely want to come through on that.
The left side of the shop has a few picnic tables, some rocking chairs, a sofa lounge area, and a whole lot of fun. There are wooden toys, old board games, local agricultural memorabilia, and a whole lot of books. All for your entertainment. My son strung around a collection of wooden train cars while my husband flipped through old Marvel Essential books. I wondered around looking at all of the vintage collectibles and just tried to take in the precious moments that we were spending together.
Outside of the shop they have a u-pick berry farm, that we did not try, and there is also have an airstream trailer out front that serves as the flagship location for Slow Coast. The Slow Coast website says it best, "This is a place where you can escape from all your stress, relax into the cool breeze and salty air, and be in the midst of some of the most talented folks around. We give you all that and more, at SLOWCOAST. Come, see what we are all about." You can find locally made goods in the cutest little trailer and then relax in a variety of awesome seating arrangements that they have place on this beautiful property.
Our last stop came at a side of the highway beach a little further north from the berry farm. After driving along the gorgeous Pacific for miles and miles, it was time to stop and dip my little toes in it's cool waters.
We spent an hour enjoying the sea mist and coastal breeze. Some of us napped, others threw sand around like natures confetti, and I marveled at the blessings that the Lord has placed so carefully in my own backyard. On the walk from the waters back to daddy and little brother, Lonnie started to praise God saying, "Praise God. Thank you for my mommy, and daddy, and baby, and the water, and the sand in my toes." It was completely out of his own heart and in his own words and that prayer was as breathtaking as the views that surrounded me.
Davenport is a magical place, a humble town with raging waters and endless beauty. It is a trip that I recommend to anyone who is in need of a spirit cleanser, a little break from the daily hustle. Please go to Davenport and let yourself be overpowered by the kind spirit of fellow man, and the beauty of our life giving planet.