Half Moon Bay Travel Guide

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Half Moon Bay Festivals & Events

Looking for that once in a year experience? We got you covered!

Here is our mini-bucket list of some of the top events and festivals in Half Moon Bay! So let the good times roll and find your next BIG experience from our list of some of the most popular annual events and festivals in Half Moon Bay.

To refine your search and focus exclusively on a specific travel destination, e.g., Monterey or Yosemite, please select the desired vacation location from our Destination Explorer and search away!

Half Moon Bay is much more than just a summer vacation destination.   With its year-round events, indoor / outdoor activities, and tourist destinations there are many ways to  entertained yourself throughout the year.

Click here to submit an event to our calendar.
       

Ongoing Over Multiple Months

Coastside Farmers Market

A farmer-directed Certifed Market designed to link Coastside residents with their neighbors — the Coastside farmers, ranchers, fishermen and culinary artisans that produce some of the most beautiful, nutritious and creative food in the world.

Every Saturday from May to third Saturday in December. Click here for more information.

First Weekends ART Show

Located in the former Dunn-Mehler Gallery on the beautiful Half Moon Bay coast, 337 Mirada.  

First Weekends ART shows are the first weekend of every month and feature local artists displaying and selling their work. For more info, visit www.337MiradaART.com

ART will be showcasing paintings by four Coastside artists March 3 through March 5.

• Ellen Joseph creates colorful paintings of the San Mateo, Santa Cruz and Monterey County coastlines

• Ellen Silva uses recycled fence chunks to create one-of-a-kind pieces featuring flora and fauna

•  Marianne Schovsbo creates vibrant, free flowing oil paintings that capture the beauty of the natural world

• Sherri Hanna’s abstract paintings are based on images real and imagined

An artists’ reception will be held on March 3 from 5pm to 8pm. Saturday and Sunday hours are 10am to 5pm.

Johnston House Tours & Holiday House

Highway 1 at Higgins-Purisima Road., Half Moon Bay, CA

The Johnston House is open to visitors the third Saturday of each month from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. It is closed October, November and December, except for the Holiday House held the first two weekends of November.

Group tours can be arranged by calling 650-726-0329.

Mavericks Surf Competition – Event Timeframe – Nov 1, 2016 – Mar 31, 2017

TITANS OF MAVERICKS is the world’s premiere, high adrenaline, big wave surfing event. This one-day, invitation-only surfing competition is held at the legendary Mavericks surf break located near Half Moon Bay, only 20 minutes south of San Francisco and near the heart of California’s Silicon Valley. The 24 Titans will attempt to compete at the highest level of skill, risk and athleticism to stand out and effortlessly challenge these the massive swells on the biggest and best day of the winter season.
    

January

SOS Seafood Festival – January 30, 2016

Half Moon Bay Harbor

Sustaining Our Seas (Saturday, January 30) brings people together, inspires them and stimulates their minds with a fantastically fun and educational festival featuring our headliner: the SOS Seafood For Thought Chefs Pavilion with celebrity chefs’ demos.

Crab Week “The Big Catch” – On Hold

Half Moon Bay Harbor

Crab Week is a full week-long extravaganza featuring creative and enticing Crab Week-themed restaurant, hotel and merchant promotions, special offers and add-on events.

The big signature kick-off event will be Half Moon Bay Crab Fest, January-30-31, from 10 am to 5 pm under big tents in the outdoor lots surrounding Half Moon Bay Brewing Company.

February

Crab Week “The Big Catch” – On Hold

Half Moon Bay Harbor

Crab Week is a full week-long extravaganza featuring creative and enticing Crab Week-themed restaurant, hotel and merchant promotions, special offers and add-on events.

The big signature kick-off event will be Half Moon Bay Crab Fest, January-30-31, from 10 am to 5 pm under big tents in the outdoor lots surrounding Half Moon Bay Brewing Company.

 

March

Coastside Summer Camp Fair at New Leaf Community Market

This event is the perfect opportunity for families to learn about different local summer camp options for children of all ages and register. 

The HEAL Project Presents 7th Annual Spring Ahead

The Heal Project presents its 7th Annual Spring Ahead on March 29th, 2017, at Mavericks Event Center, 107 Broadway, Half Moon Bay at 6:30 pm. This fabulous strolling supper created by the finest chefs on the San Mateo County Coast will feature ingredients donated by local farmers and purveyors.

48th Annual Farm Day Luncheon

The Half Moon Bay Coastside Chamber of Commerce and Visitors’ Bureau and First National Bank invite you to attend the 48th Annual Mel Mello Farm Day Luncheon which will take place at the IDES Hall on Main Street on Friday, March 31 from 11:30am–2:30pm. 

Discover the Secrets of Pescadero Marsh with guided walks

Highway 1, 1/4 mile north of Pescadero Road.

Pescadero Marsh docents lead nature walks in the marsh twice a month: First Sunday of the month at 10 a.m., and Third Sunday of the month at 1 p.m.

4th Annual Coastal Wildflower Day

Saturday, April 15, 2017—California State Parks and the Coastside State Parks Association invite you to a day-long festival celebrating the return of spring wildflowers and the start of California Native Plant Week.

 

April

Pacific Coast Dream Machines – April 30, 2017 – 10am to 4pm

9850 N. Cabrillo Hwy, Half Moon Bay, CA      (650) 726-2328

Half Moon Bay Airport – Rare and custom cars, motorcycles, military aircraft, antique engines and tractors at Pacific Coast Dream Machines in Half Moon Bay, California.”

Admission: See Web for current pricing. Tickets are available at the gate only. Parking is free with admission.

May

Pescadero Chamarita Festival – May ?, 2017

Stage Rd., Pescadero, CA     (650) 726-5701

Line up on Stage Road and watch the colorful, Portuguese festival parade that features elegant Queen’s courts, marching bands, flag/banner carriers and equestrian groups.  Interesting Examiner article

Portuguese Pentecost Festival – May ?, 2017

IDES Grounds to Our Lady of the Pillar Church, Half Moon Bay     (650) 726-2729

Line up on Main Street between IDES Grounds and Our Lady of the Pillar Church to view this colorful, Portuguese festival that features elegant Queen’s courts, marching bands, flag/banner carriers and equestrian groups. Interesting Examiner article >>

Rock the Block Coastside Block Party – May 17, 2015 | 2:00pm to 8:00pm

Main Street, Half Moon Bay. A local favorite with a focus on food, music and neighbours.

June

 

 

July

Half Moon Bay “Old Fashioned Fourth of July Parade”

Main Street, Half Moon Bay, CA

The Old  fashioned Fourth of July parade takes center stage on Monday, July 04 at 12 noon.

Other Close by Fourth of July Celebrations include:

–  San Francisco

Fisherman’s Wharf is San Francisco’s premier spot to celebrate
America’s Independence Day holiday.  Pier 39

Farm + Fish + Flowers – July 23, 2016

(formerly Tour des Fleurs) Half Moon Bay, CA      (650) 726-8380

Visit the Half Moon Bay Coastside’s nurseries/greenhouses, historic sites, farms and a even a working harbor. Many of these businesses are not ordinarily open to the public except during “Farm + Fish + Flowers” when they invite visitors for a behind the scenes tour of their facilities and operations.  Check out their Website for more information and ticket pricing.

August

Pescadero Arts and Fun Festival – Aug. 20 & 21, 2016

Pescadero, CA      (650) 879-0848

The celebration of music, food and crafts is designed to promote local artists and benefit local youth programs. Third weekend in August

 

September

Annual Coastal Cleanup Day – Sept. 17, 2016 9am – noon

Meet at Poplar Beach at the west end of Poplar Street

Join Coastside Land Trust and more than 60,000 Californians as they clean our state’s beaches and waterways!

They need your help to restore the beauty of the California Coast.

 

King’s Mountain Art Fair – Sept. 3, 4 & 5, 2016

13106 Skyline Blvd., Woodside, CA       (650) 851-2710

Saturday, Sunday & Monday
September 3, 4 & 5, 2016
10 am – 5 pm

Since 1963, Kings Mountain has been providing fine arts and crafts in a redwood forest setting to benefit the local volunteer fire brigade. It is now one of the top five fine craft fairs in California.

 

October

The Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-off – Oct. 10, 2016

The gathering of titanic pumpkins will take place at the strong>–Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-off !  Nearly 100 participants will enter their massive pumpkins in hopes of capturing the coveted title and share of $15,000 in prize money.

 

Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival – October 15 & 16, 2016

Half Moon Bay, California – Half Moon Bay heralds in All Hallows Eve with rustic pumpkin patches, harvest-inspired arts and crafts, entertainment, contests, food, wine and beer, and activities. It all creates a wonderful atmosphere of fun, fun and more fun.  Admission is free.

Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Patches

Going to a real pumpkin patch and selecting the perfect pumpkin create wonderful family memories and marks the beginning of the Fall festivities

Our Lady of the Pillar Fall Festival

Our Lady of the Pillar Church, Kelly Ave., Half Moon Bay     (650) 726-4674

Haunted Hostel Halloween at Point Montara Lighthouse

16th St at Hwy 1 Montara, CA       (650) 728-7177

The annual Haunted Hostel Halloween Festival will be held on Monday, October 25, 2010 2:00pm-5:00pm

The Haunted House of Moss Beach

601 Kelmore Street, Moss Beach, CA

No admission fee, but donations are accepted for UNICEF. The 3-5 minute self-guided tours are limited to just two people. This haunted house will scare you! Not recommended for young children.  No infants or pets.

Click here to see more Halloween inspired activities in Half Moon Bay

 

November

“Joy to the World” – Johnston House

110 Higgins-Purissima Rd., Half Moon Bay (650) 726-0329

The Johnston Holiday House Boutique and Tour is an annual fundraising event for the Johnston House Foundation. Tickets are $10 and are good for an unlimited number of visits.  Another annual event, Spanishtown Tea, benefiting the Spanishtown Historical Society. Call (650) 726-7780 for details and reservations.

 

 

December

 Christmas Tree Farm Locations

Getting Your Family’s Christmas Tree Can Become a Cherished Family Memory and the Beginning of a New Family Tradition!

Half Moon Bay Tree Farms

Santa Cruz Mountain Tree Farms

Night of Lights & Christmas Tree Lighting

Downtown Main Street, Half Moon Bay  (650) 726-8380

The Tree lighting and crowning of Nights of Light Prince & Princess takes place in Mac Dutra Park.  Traditional holiday activities are abundant on Main Street during this annual event.  Some of the schedule activities include: snow, carriage rides, roasted chestnuts, Scottish fiddlers, Half Moon Bay Sit Down Marching Band, barber shop quartet and street carolers. There are also many children’s activities and visit from Santa Claus!

Harbor Lights Ceremony – Pillar Point Harbor

Pillar Point Harbor  (650) 726-5723

Boat decorating contest begins at 5:30 p.m.

“Joy to the World” – Johnston House

110 Higgins-Purissima Rd., Half Moon Bay (650) 726-0329

The Johnston Holiday House Boutique and Tour is an annual fundraising event for the Johnston House Foundation. Tickets are $10 and are good for an unlimited number of visits.  Another annual event, Spanishtown Tea, benefiting the Spanishtown Historical Society. Call (650) 726-7780 for details and reservations.

Seventh Annual Gingerbread House Contest & Auction

The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay

One Miramontes Point Road, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019      (650) 712-7007

Top Decorated Neighborhoods

South San Francisco – On 280, exit West Bourough and travel East toward the hills.  When you cross over El Camino, West Bourough becomes Chestnut Street. Continue driving to Woodside Court.  Please note that Woodside Court is not a through street, so it is recommended that you park outside the court and walk in.

Palo Alto – Palo Alto’s “Christmas Tree Lane” is located on Fulton Street between Embarcadero Road and Seale.

Redwood City – Redwood City’s “Candy Cane Lane” is located on Dewey Avenue between Carson Street and Roosevelt Avenue.

Half Moon Bay –

San Mateo –

Are we missing an event that should be featured in this section?  Please let us know and we may add it!  Send a name/description to us by clicking here >>

 

What’s on Tap

Events

Half Moon Bay Fall Festivals & Events:

Welcome Back Monarchs Day – Oct. 8, 2017 11am – 4pm.

Natural Bridges SB in Santa Cruz welcomes the monarchs back.

The Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-off—Oct. 9, 2017

The gathering of titanic pumpkins try to capture the coveted title and share of $30,000 in prize money.

Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin FestivalOct. 14 & 15, 2017

Main Street, Half Moon Bay, CA

Half Moon Bay heralds in All Hallows Eve with rustic pumpkin patches, harvest-inspired arts and crafts, entertainment, contests, and activities. Admission is free. 

Pumpkin Patches Along the California Coast  – Sept. and Oct. 2017

Half Moon Bay, CA – The coast transforms into a spooky, magical land of orange gourds. Create some great family memories by visiting a local pumpkin farm…

MORE Half Moon Bay Halloween Celebrations  – October

Half Moon Bay heralds in All Hallows Eve with Halloween inspired festivals and events….

 

For more event information, click on our Festivals & Events page for Half Moon Bay.
  
  

Attractions

Top Fall Attractions:

Pumpkin Patches Along the California Coast  – October

The coast transforms to a spooky, magical land of orange gourds. Create some great family memories by visiting a local pumpkin farm…

Fall is a Great Time to Visit the Coast!

Monterey, Santa Cruz, Half Moon Bay and Mendocino – Early Fall is generally some of the best weather on the coast. Plan a visit with your family or an escape for a romantic weekend.

Whale Watching – Whale Watching December through May

Half Moon Bay 415 474-3385

Oceanic Society provides boat tours to view the gray whales as they swim north along the California coast on their way to summer feeding grounds.

 

For more information on local attractions, click on the Half Moon Bay Attractions or Recreational Activities.
  
  

 

Advisories

The Region’s Fall Advisories:
  

Traffic Conditions. During the pumpkin season, traffic in to and out of Half Moon Bay can be extremely challenging – especially during the Art & Pumpkin Festival weekend. It’s a good idea to plan ahead and arrive early and leave late. Go to www.caltrans.com to learn about road conditions. 

Yes, it’s still water, water, water! California is undergoing an extreme drought. If you are planning a lake vacation be sure to check about water levels. That rafting trip, fishing, or skiing can be impacted.

EXTREME fire danger. The drought has created a very dangerous combination of dry vegetation and no moisture in the air to help contain any fire. Please use extreme caution during your trip.