Half Moon Bay Travel Guide


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Half Moon Bay Christmas Events

Half Moon Bay Christmas & Holiday Celebrations

No fruitcake here, we only list the good stuff!

First, my apologies to fruitcake lovers everywhere. Some of my best friends love fruitcakes. Second, Half Moon Bay loves to throw a good ol' fashioned community event, and none are bigger than those during the Christmas holiday season. From the "Night of Lights", lighted boats at the harbor to a community tree lighting ceremony – Half Moon Bay knows how to put on the Ritz!

Half Moon Bay Christmas Tree Farm Locations – Late Nov through Dec.

Multiple locations for pick and cut Christmas farms are listed.
Getting your family's Christmas tree can become a cherished family memory and the beginning of a new family tradition!

AAUW Holiday Tea at Ocean Shore Train Depot – Sunday, Nov. 7 & 8,  14 & 15

Ocean Shore Train Depot, Higgins Purissima Rd., Half Moon Bay, CA   (650) 245-7320

The Holiday Tea is sponsored by the American Association of University Women, Half Moon Bay branch.
This festive event benefits scholarships  for women and girls.  There is one seating each day at 1:00pm. 

Twelfth Annual Gingerbread House Competition and Silent Auction

Houses on display Monday, Nov. 30 till Sunday, Dec. 6, 2015

The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay’s Annual Gingerbread House Contest accepts creative entries by children, home cooks and culinary professionals. Contest winners are announced during the Holiday Tree Lighting Celebration. Many houses are up for auction, with proceeds benefiting Coastside Children’s Programs. Visit BiddingforGood.com/CCP to bid on your favorite house. 

Johnston House Holiday Boutique – Nov.  7,8,14,15, 2015 ♦ 10 a.m. to 4 p.m – Free

Higgins Canyon Rd., Half Moon Bay, CA  (650) 726-0329

The annual event offers a stroll through the historic house all decked out for the holidays. The boutique features gifts for all ages from regional craft artists, local merchants, and purchased items. 

Night of Lights – Dec. 4. 2015 ♦ 6-9pm

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

The event generally features a tree lighting ceremony in Mac Dutra Park, a Parade of Lights down Main Street, carolers and musical entertainment, roasted chestnuts and activities for the kids.

Christmas in the Redwoods – Dec. 5, 2015 ♦ 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM

YMCA Camp Jones Gulch
11000 Pescadero Road, La Honda, CA 94020   (650) 747-1200 

Enjoy a holiday celebration full of family activities, performances by the Hayward La Honda Music Camp, and a very special visitor from the North Pole!  Please RSVP by December 2, 2015. 

Annual Holiday Tree Lighting Celebration – Sunday, Dec 6, 2015 ♦ 5 to 6 p.m.

Ritz Carlton, Half Moon Bay

The resort’s annual holiday open house welcomes you to enjoy holiday carolers, Santa Claus and the lighting of the 25-foot tree on our beautiful Ocean Lawn. Hot chocolate, apple cider, eggnog and cookies are offered throughout the evening.

Holiday Lights Train – Nov. 27 – 28 & Dec. 5 – 6, 12 – 13, 18 – 23 

Felton to Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk – Vintage excursion cars, adorned with thousands of colorful lights, roll through the streets of Santa Cruz as passengers lend their voices to holiday carols, sip hot spiced cider and listen to musical entertainment while Santa visits the little ones, or the young at heart! 

Harbor Boat Lighting at Pillar Point Harbor – Dec. 12, 2015 ♦ 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM PST

Pillar Point Harbor – Half Moon Bay, CA  (831) 475-6161
Decorated boats parade through Santa Cruz Harbor. This is a fun event for the whole family.




What’s on Tap


Half Moon Bay Festivals & Events:

Coastside Summer Camp Fair at New Leaf Community Market

A perfect opportunity for families to learn about different local summer camp options for children of all ages. 

The HEAL Project Presents 7th Annual Spring Ahead

March 29th, 2017— This fabulous strolling supper created by the finest chefs on the San Mateo County Coast.

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

A day-long festival celebrating the return of spring wildflowers and the start of California Native Plant Week.

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

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

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



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.




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.