La Honda is a small unincorporated town in San Mateo County in the state of California. It is located in the Santa Cruz Mountains between Silicon Valley and the Pacific coast of California, western United States. The population of the Cuesta La Honda subdivision is approximately 1,500, with a similar number in the surrounding area. It is near the La Honda Creek Open Space Preserve. It is situated on State Route 84 on its downward slope towards the Pacific ocean, that is, on the ocean side of the Coastal Range.
The ZIP Code for La Honda is 94020 and the community is located in area code 650. Wired numbers in the La Honda telephone exchange follow the pattern 747-xxxx while wired telephones in and around the Middleton Tract (along Portola State Park Road) work out of the Los Altos exchange with 94x-xxxx numbers. U.S. Geological Survey NAD83 coordinates for the community are Coordinates: . The Survey says Lahonda is a historic variant of the modern spelling.
The book A Separate Place by Charles Jones describes the people, history and landscape of La Honda.
La Honda is well known as one of the birthplaces of the Psychedelic era. Ken Kesey, the author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (pages of which were written all over the restroom wall of his La Honda residence) and other books, owned a home in La Honda, which served as the base of operations for The Merry Pranksters where they used LSD and other drugs.
The escapades of Kesey and the Merry Pranksters are documented in Tom Wolfe's The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, which describes the wildly painted school bus, 'Furthur', driven by Neal Cassady, who had been the hyperkinetic driver in Jack Kerouac's On the Road. Today, Neil Young lives on a 1500 acre (6 km2) ranch near La Honda.
The La Honda house where Kesey's adventures became famous - one mile (1.6 km) west of Apple Jack's Inn - has been faithfully restored after years of neglect and a near catastrophic flood in 1998, although the road sign on the bridge no longer exists: "No Left Turn Unstoned". For the story of the restoration, with photos, see http://web.mac.com/ta56ek/Site/The_Site.html
In the last few years, La Honda has become known for its wine grape vineyards, most notably Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese planted by La Honda Winery (of Redwood City) just north of California State Route 84 above the Red Barn.