Half Moon Bay Travel Guide

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Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival

Surviving the Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival…

According to organizers, up to 250,000 attendees will visit Half Moon Bay over the two day festival.  If you plan ahead of time, you can avoid the heavy stop and go traffic by booking a hotel room in Half Moon Bay and riding your bike around town. Please note that traffic during the pumpkin season—and especially during the festival—will suck the life out of you! To try to avoid the 2 mile per hour road rage on Hwy 1 and 92, plan to come into Half Moon Bay very early in the morning  (before 7 AM) and leave very late night (after 7 PM). 

Explorer1.com suggestion—If you are NOT planning to spend the night in Half Moon Bay during your visit to the Pumpkin Festival, I would encourage you to try to beat the traffic and get in to Half Moon Bay before 7 AM. Spend a few hours at the festival, and, if you have the time, drive south on Hwy 1 to Santa Cruz. Spend some time exploring Santa Cruz and then travel over Hwy 17 to make your way back home. 

For a break from all the festival fun, plan to visit one of the Half Moon Bay restaurants.  Also, if the weather is nice, the area beaches make a great retreat.  And don’t forget to visit a local pumpkin patch.  This is a great activity for the whole family!

Scroll down the page for a schedule of events.  

 

Festival & Giant Pumpkin Contest Details:

Giant Pumpkin Contest

When:

Monday, October 10, 2016 — 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m

What

The gathering of titanic pumpkins will take place at the 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.

Where:

IDES Grounds, 735 Main Street, Half Moon Bay, CA

Information:

650-726-9652

Photo Gallery:

Click here to view a recent
Giant Pumpkin Contest photo gallery
.         
  
 

Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival

Date:

Saturday, October 15, 2016 — 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Schedule
 of Events:

7:00 am

Pancake Breakfast – Mac Dutra Park Main St. & Kelly Ave.

9:00 am

Festival Opens

10:00 am

Costume Contest, HMB Library Parking Lot #620 Correas Street

12 noon

Great Pumpkin Parade

2:00 pm

Pie Eating Contest (age 11 & under) Bank of America Family Fun Zone

2:00 pm

Pie Eating Contest (age 12 & over) Bank of America Family Fun Zone

5:00 pm

Festival Closes

Where:

Main Street, between Miramontes and Spruce St., Half Moon Bay

Information:

650-726-9652

Date:

Sunday, October 16, 2016 — 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Schedule of Events:

7:00 am

Pancake Breakfast – Mac Dutra Park Main St. & Kelly Ave.

8:00 am

Pumpkin Run / Walk on Coastside Trail, Kids Fun Run, 5K & 10K Run, 5k Walk, Starts at Hatch School (Kelly Ave. at Hwy. 1) Run Information: 650-712-7322

9:00 am

Festival Opens

10:00 to
1:00 pm

Just for fun pumpkin carving, Bank of America Family Fun Zone

2:00 pm

Pie Eating Contest (age 11 & under) Bank of America Family Fun Zone

2:00 pm

Pie Eating Contest (age 12 & over) Bank of America Family Fun Zone

5 pm

Festival Closes

Where:

Main Street, between Miramontes and Spruce St., Half Moon Bay

Information:

650-726-9652

 

 

What’s on Tap

Events

Half Moon Bay Festivals & Events:

Christmas Tree Farm Locations

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

Night of Lights & Christmas Tree Lighting

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

Harbor Lights Ceremony – Pillar Point Harbor

Pillar Point Harbor  (650) 726-5723

“Joy to the World” – Johnston House

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

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

 

Attractions

Top Attractions:

Christmas Tree Farm Locations

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

Winter 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 WatchingWhale 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 more 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.