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Great Escape: Coastside Edition

Discover a haven in El Granada, known for its banana belt climate and variety of fun, quirky businesses.

Last week, Great Escape introduced the idea of hiking to some of the Coast’s most accessible waterfalls as a way to decompress and experience the sounds of nature and water.

This week, stay closer to home and discover a surprising haven in El Granada, known by old-timers as “A Synonym for Paradise.” El Granada, with its banana-belt climate, can be warmer and sunnier than its neighboring towns, making it a great spot to retreat to on a coast that is notorious for spring winds and summer fogs. The town is also home to some eclectic and fun businesses, offering goods, services and tasty eats, from and to Harbor Pizza and Cafe Gibraltor, making this destinaton a perfect day-trip diversion.

Start out at Art Attack (106 Francisco Street, across from the El Granada Market) and lose yourself in this cozy little roadside shop browsing eclectic antiques and art deco furniture, art and décor. From vases, lamps and outdoor fixtures to wicker and cane furniture and stained glass windows and art pieces, there’s always something special here to set your sights on.

Around the corner is Creekside Smokehouse (280 Avenue Alhambra), selling some of the best tasting smoked salmon, albacore, sturgeon, and cheese and butter, all smoked on the premises. Try the samples. The smoked salmon cream cheese spread and salmon salad are very popular. Take it to go; they’ll bagged it up in an ice pack to keep it fresh.

Next head south to (504 Avenue Alhambra) and treat yourself to their newest service: the Smooth Infusion Retexturizing System, which permanently softens, smoothes or straightens the hair with thio-based, creme products and thermal processing.  Depending on your desired result, the stylist can vary application techniques to produce customized texture effects. The treatment contains a minimum of 74 percent naturally derived ingredients with conditioning organic botanicals, including organic ylang-ylang, which nourishes the senses.

Last, stroll over to El Granada’s center, merely encompassing the town’s post office, thrift store, liquor and video store, fire department and hardware store, which doubles as a café and serves up some of the tastiest sandwiches and smoothies around. El Granada Hardware & Cafe (85 Avenue Portola) sells Dreyer’s ice cream, too, and offers 14 different bagel sandwich options as well as eight different milk shakes. Eat at the tables outside the café or take your order to go and have a picnic at Surfer’s Beach to wind down your day in El Granada.

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