Small and colorful, Moss Landing on Monterey Bay reveals its wintry charms

Safe harbor

Moss Landing is roughly halfway between Santa Cruz and Monterey on State 1. Call ahead for boating reservations and to confirm winter hours for shops. For general information, contact Moss Landing Chamber of Commerce (831/633-4501 or

Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve. Join 21/2-hour guided walks in this 1,400-acre reserve, at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. 9–5 Wed–Sun; $2.50, free ages 15 and under. 1700 Elkhorn Rd., Prunedale; (831) 728-2822 or

Elkhorn Slough Safari. Guided two-hour tour aboard a 27-foot pontoon boat. $26, $19 ages 3–14; reservations required. Moss Landing Harbor; (831) 633-5555 or

Kayak Connection. Three-hour guided Elkhorn Slough kayak tour; kayak and sailboat rentals and instruction. $40 tour, rentals from $20. 2370 State 1; (831) 724-5692 or

Monterey Bay Kayaks. Offers a three-hour guided tour, kayak rentals, and lessons. $50 tour, rentals from $25. 2390 State 1. (800) 649-5357 or

Moss Landing Marine Laboratories. Extensive dune plantings and demonstration garden, plus displays on research activities. 8:30–5 Mon–Fri. 8272 Moss Landing Rd.; (831) 633-6565 or

Salinas River State Beach. (831) 649-2836 or

Sanctuary Cruises of Moss Landing. Whale-watching cruises aboard the Princess of Whales, a 65-foot power catamaran, run 3 to 4 hours. $30, $25 ages 12 and under; reservations required. Dock A, Moss Landing Harbor; (831) 917-1042 or

Karthia. 8071-A Moss Landing Rd.; (831) 633-3622.

Promenade Deck Antiques. 7902-D Sandholdt Rd.; (831) 633-6122.

Yesterday’s Books. 7902-E Sandholdt; (877) 892-5555 or (831) 633-8033.

Haute Enchilada. Coffees, pastries, and light lunches served among colorful Mexican folk art (which is for sale). 7902-A Sandholdt; (831) 633-5843.

Maloney’s Harbor Inn. Fresh fish and a pretty harbor view. State 1, 1/2 mile north of Moss Landing Rd.; (831) 724-9371.

Phil’s Fish Market and Eatery. Fresh seafood and regal cioppino. 7600 Sandholdt; (831) 633-2152.

Whole Enchilada. Try the messy but wonderful red snapper tacos. State 1 at Moss Landing Rd.; (831) 633-3038

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