Half Moon Bay is a scenic area of the California coast is about a one hour drive from San Francisco. Half Moon Bay is a popular day trip or weekend getaway offering visitors art galleries, small restaurants, and shops in its small downtown.
Lodging ranges from inexpensive motels and bed and breakfast to the 5 star Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay.
Just outside of town are farms growing vegetables and pumpkins which Half Moon Bay is famous for. Every year Half Moon Bay hosts a Pumpkin Festival with arts and crafts from over 250 artists. Half Moon Bay has several beaches, Moss Beach to the north, Martin’s Beach and San Gregorio State Beach to the south.
The town is home to the world-famous surfing spot Mavericks, located one-half mile off the coast by Pillar Point Harbor. Mavericks is considered to be one of the most challenging surfing areas in the world, with waves reaching up to fifty feet high during the winter.
Half Moon Bay State Beach has four miles of sandy beach just south of town. Sunbathing, fishing, picnicking and camping are popular activities. Once a year “The Maverick’s Big Wave Invitational,” contest is held. Swells at Mavericks have to reach 20 feet in order for the contest to take place.
Things to do while visiting Half Moon Bay: Pigeon Point Lighthouse is about 20 miles south of town and a wonderful day trip while staying in town. Pigeon Point Lighthouse is one of the most picturesque lighthouses on the Pacific coast.
The tower has long been a landmark for ships approaching San Francisco Bay from the south. On weekends, free history walks guided by State Parks docents are available. The restored lighthouse keepers housing also serves as a youth hostel for travelers
Filoli House and Gardens area about a 15-mile drive from Half Moon Bay. Filoli is a historic site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and one of the finest remaining country estates of the early 20th century.
Filoli is open for self-guided tours, guided tours, and nature hikes. The largest gardens are working gardens for the production of cut flowers for the mansion and for the growing of some vegetables.
Lemos Farm Half Moon Bay is a fun place to visit If you bring kids along on your trip to Half Moon Bay you won’t want to miss Lemo Farm. Offering pony rides, hay, and train rides, the farm also has a jump house and petting zoo. Seasonal events include a pumpkin patch and Christmas on the Farm.
Half Moon Bay State Beach Visitor Center is open Saturdays and Sundays and entrance is free. Dogs are only permitted in the campground, in the day-use picnic areas, and on the Coastal Trail, provided they are on a leash.
The ocean water is cold at all times of the year so unless you have a wetsuit plan on taking a just a quick dip.