Harley Farms Goat Dairy in Pescadero; Visitor’s Guide from a Local
The tiny town of Pescadero, California is already remote. But if you drive past the town’s diminutive Main Street and continue just a bit farther through a handful of small houses and churches, you’ll find one of Pescadero’s hidden gems: Harley Farms Goat Dairy.
As the name implies, Harley Farms raises dairy goats. The farm originally started in 2011 with the Harley family’s small herd of pet goats.
Today, Harley Farms has over 200 Alpine goats on nine acres of pasture just a few minutes from the Pacific Ocean, and about an hour south of San Francisco.
And those goats aren’t just lazing about in a field, either. They’re producing cheeses that have won several World Cheese Show metals and other awards.
Here’s a look at Harley Farms Goat Dairy.
What Is At Harley Farms?
The Harley Farms Goat Dairy property has been a farm since 1910, and the farm today still has a historic barn.
Harley Farms is owned by the Harley Family, and specifically Dee Harley.
Here’s a look at some of the things you’ll find at the farm.
Goats, Goats, and More Goats
Again, Harley Farms has 200 goats. That’s a lot of goats! And these aren’t the tiny dwarf goats you might find at goat yoga or in a children’s petting zoo.
These are large milking goats that look as large as a person. The goats hang out in the fields at Harley Farms where you can stop by to visit them. Come at the right season (known as kidding season), and you might even find some baby goats!
Be careful of the unlabeled electric fence by the main field!
Near the main farm building you’ll find a more enclosed paddock where the goats get fed and thus (unsurprisingly) seem to like to hang out.
Goats aren’t quite as curious as cows, but they’re still likely to come over and see what you’re up to if you visit.
A Guard Alpaca
Guard alpaca? Guarding against what, you might be wondering.
It turns out that farms often use guard llamas or alpacas—who are naturally attentive and able to detect and scare off predators—to keep their herds safe from coyotes.
Harley Farm does indeed have a guard alpaca, though no guard llamas. His name is Jimmy. Don’t worry; Jimmy won’t bother you. He will also gladly let you take a selfie with him.
Harley Farms’ goats aren’t just for show. They’re actively milked to produce the goat’s milk for Harley Farms’ award-winning cheeses in the milking parlor within a special barn.
The milking barn’s milking parlor is where the magic, as it were, happens. Unless you arrive very early in the morning, you’re unlikely to see active milking taking place. If you can still look in the windows to see the milking machine.
For visitors who want to bring a picnic, Harley Farms has a large—though unsettlingly greenish—pond with picnic tables.
You wouldn’t want to swim in it, but the pond makes a nice place to sit and have a bite to eat.
There’s an overly friendly cat who hangs out by the pond and may pay your group a visit, or try to filch some of your cheese.
Harley Farms’ Farm Shop
The Harley Farms Farm Shop is one of the main reasons to visit the farm!
The shop fills one of the farm’s historical buildings. In it, you’ll find Harley Farms’ fresh goat cheese, as well as local products, honey, goat milk soap and lotions, goat milk cheesecake, and Harley Farms shirts and souvenirs.
It’s like a cheese shop, gift shop and authentic farm experience all rolled into one! You’ll sometimes find special events like a cheese tasting, too.
Harley Farms goat dairy has some terrific cheeses, including goat cheese with edible flowers on top, fromage blanc, and more.
You’ll also find a section with selections of delicious pudding-like confections in Mason jars, baked goods and more.
The Farm Store is a great place to get some locally-made gifts. It’s also a great place to grab some cheese and confections for a picnic by the pond!
I got some local honey and goat cheese on my visit and it was all delicious.
How to Visit Harley Farms
Harley Farms is open daily from 11 to 4. You can drop in to visit the farm store or chill with the goats.
You don’t need to make a reservation, and because Harley Farms is fairly remote, parking is easy.
There are some other option for more formal visits, too.
Book a Tour
Want to get up close and personal with the farm’s goats? Harley Farms offers scheduled farm tours, which include a more extensive guided tour of the farm itself and its cheesemaking operations.
The farm’s goat dairy is a highly controlled, sealed area that stands in contrast to the more rustic, traditional farm. It’s connected to cheese shop area of the farm story, but is normally visible only through a sealed window.
You can also book private farm tours for your group, but they’re a bit pricey. Team building retreat among the goats? Farm tours are the way to do it!
Yes, if you’ve always dreamed of a “rustic farmhouse” wedding at an actual farm, you can get married at Harley Farms!
Jimmy the alpaca will be on his best behavior and probably won’t crash your ceremony.
Are dogs allowed at Harley Farms?
Dogs are welcome in the pond area, if they’re leashed. Just make sure not to bring your dog near the goats.
Jimmy looks friendly, but he’s trained to react to threats to the goats, and might frown up the presence of a dog.
Harley Farms Goat Dairy is a great spot for a visit if you’re heading to Pecadero, California or if you need a day trip from nearby Half Moon Bay.
It’s especially great for kids, who will enjoy getting up close and personal with the goats and will enjoy the puddings, goat milk, and treats at Harley Farms Goat Dairy even more.
A perfect visit involves meandering around the farm, seeing Jimmy, grabbing some Harley Farms goat milk cheese (try the feta cheeses if they have them) at the farm store, and then having a picnic by the pond, ideally without being accosted by too many cats.
Harley Farms is inexpensive and open daily, which is another big bonus. Definitely check this Pescadero gem out!