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Moss Landing is an eclectic destination on the central California coast

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Moss Landing, California is small, off the beaten path and a bit rough around the edges, but for the intrepid explorer it is well worth the relaxed effort to visit.

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Situated at the center of the Monterey Bay region and marked by a distinct power plant, Moss Landing is unassuming to the traveler whizzing by on Highway 1, which is the main reason that many do not stop and take the time to visit. Day-trippers from the Fresno area usually visit the more popular haunts of Monterey and Carmel to the south or Santa Cruz to the north. Moss Landing, which sits almost exactly halfway between the two, is for most voyagers just a road sign on the edge of the highway.

However, Moss Landing can be a day trip destination by itself. Here you can find great food, scenic vistas, water sports, art, shopping and interesting local conversation. The area is so small that you can park once and walk virtually the entire town.

There are a number of eateries in the village, the most famous of which is Phil's Fish Market & Eatery, which has been reviewed by dozens of local and national publications. As the name states you can order fish to dine-in or fresh fish to-go. There are several other restaurants in town if fish is not to your liking.

Art scene
Moss Landing has an eclectic and surprisingly unique art scene. An easy stroll south on Moss Landing Road will reveal several galleries and shops displaying local and regional artists. Do not be afraid to mention your roots in Fresno and Clovis as you may meet artists with deep ties to the Central Valley.

For those that love Shakespeare, be sure and visit the home of the Shakespeare Society of America were you will find not only a rare book and reference collection but, depending on that day's docent, you may be regaled with the rich details of the society's history and Shakespeare's works. Kayaking, beach roaming, antiquing and general exploring are some of the other opportunities in Moss Landing.

From Highway 101/156 you can take a shortcut to Moss Landing by exiting at San Miguel Canyon Rd. Turn left at Castroville Blvd and follow this as it turns into Dolan Rd, which will take you directly to Moss Landing on Highway 1. A few yards south is Moss Landing Rd and downtown Moss Landing. As always, review your route ahead of time and be aware of local travel conditions.

Take a step off the well-traveled path and explore Moss Landing. You will be pleasantly surprised by what you find on the road less traveled.