|Moss Landing is a seaside community located between
Monterey and Santa Cruz on Highway 1, south of the PG&E Power Plant
on Moss Landing Road. Visible from both Aptos to the north (as seen in
top view above) and Monterey Peninsula, Moss Landing is located a few minutes
north of Seaside and approximately a two-hour drive south of San Francisco.
Framed by landmark smokestacks that tower over the community,
look west to see a beautiful harbor with boats, a rock jetty leading to
the Pacific Ocean and a community with a post office, antique shops, restaurants
and quaint homes. Popular for fishing excursions, surfing, bird watching
with boat tours through the Elkorn Slough (Whisper Charters, 831-372-7616),
kayaking, dining and antique hunting, the small town provides a nice side
trip, though it does not offer much in the way of overnight accommodations.
For that, you'll need to check into nearby Monterey or stay north in Santa
Cruz 30 minutes away.
Though we've only tried the popular Phil's Fish Market
(7600 Sandholdt Road, 831-633-2152 / www.philsfishmarketcom) where people
line up cafeteria style and order from the menu or purchase fresh from
the tanks in the lobby, the food is flavorful with specialties in deep
fried items and chowders. It's not a fancy place, looking like a huge,
tin covered hangar with tables where you often end up sitting next to someone
you don't know when the usual crowds overflow. It is one of several choices
you'll want to check out on your visit.
Moss Landing was named after Captain Charles Moss, a Texan
who established shipping facilities and a pier to develop commercial water
traffic from the area in the mid 1800s. The gold rush was partially responsible
for this port's development. Demand was great for all types of products
and coastal harbors and ports sprang forth rapidly to capitalize on this
new market to the north seeking goods. Among the cargo was produce from
the Watsonville and Pajaro Valleys. The produce came from up Elkhorn Slough
at Hudson's Landing on flat bottom boats and even a ferry down the slough
to Moss Landing for shipment to the gold boom town of San Francisco.
Oyster farming, commercial fishing and a whale processing
plant were several industries already established before the rush..
The Southern Pacific Railroad arrived in the late 1800's and became the
primary vehicle for moving goods quickly. A similar fate met ports
to the south and north, though the Port of Los Angeles grew to become possibly
the largest in the nation. A harbor was constructed in the 1940's, serving
commercial fishing boats. Historic photographs from Moss Landing's past
which can be viewed by the public on the walls of the Moss Landing Post
Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute and Moss Landing
Marine Laboratories are several companies located in Moss Landing. Once
a year, Moss Landing's population climbs to more than 10,000 as tourists
and locals alike flood into town for the Moss Landing Antique Street Fair.
Held the last Sunday of every July since 1971, thousands of antiques and
collectibles are sold at the largest outdoor market on the Central
Coast. Local shops share their space with over 200 vendors that provide
everything from antiques to food, with a special treat, a fish fry and
Other events include
Boreas Yacht Race and BBQ, National Estuaries Day,
Monterey Bay Bird Festival and Moss Landing Marine Laboratories Public Open House. RV camping is available at Moss
Landing State Beach.