Half Moon Bay Travel Guide

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Half Moon Bay Outdoor Activities

Discover Half Moon Bay…

With its wealth of beaches, parks, open spaces and the great Pacific Ocean, Half Moon Bay has a plethora of outdoor recreational activities for you to enjoy. Whether you are looking for a day hike through the Purissima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve, biking down the Coast Bluff Trail or a stand up paddle in Half Moon Bay's harbor. And after the fun and games are over, take a breather and enjoy one of its fine restaurants or pick out that perfect gif and one of the unique boutiques.
  

 

Biking

 

|| Guided Tours       || Rentals       || Trails

Guided Bicycle Tours

Coastal Elegance Tours — Providing guided eco-tours

Half Moon Bay, California   (650) 712-8456

Come with us and & experience unsurpassed personal attention while exploring one of the most ecologically diverse habitats in North America.

Bicycle Rentals

The Bike Works

20-G Stone Pine Center, Half Moon Bay  (650) 726-6708

BikeRec.Com

(650) 726-8686

Bicycle Trails

Coastside Trail -- Half Moon Bay

Coastside Trail — Half Moon Bay

Half Moon Bay State Beach
95 Kelly Avenue, Half Moon Bay, CA  (650) 726-8819

The Half Moon Bay Coastside Trail runs along the eastern boundary of the four Half Moon Bay area beaches providing close to three miles of multi-use trails to walk, jog or ride bikes. The trail continues north to Pillar Point Harbor. 

Purissima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve Purissima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve

Half Moon Bay, CA  (650) 949-5500

The 3,120-acre preserve is located on the western slopes of the Santa Cruz Mountains overlooking Half Moon Bay. The preserve was established with a gift of $2 million from the Save-the-Redwoods League.

The centerpiece of the Preserve is Purisima Creek Canyon, with its towering redwoods, creek, ferns, berries, and wildflowers. Coastal scrub, tanoak, madrone, and Douglas fir border the canyon. The coast and Half Moon Bay are visible from the northern part of the preserve.

See Also State Parks and Beaches…
 
 
 

Bird Watching

Half Moon Bay's many wetlands and natural preserves create an inviting environment for more than 200 species of birds — creating a bird watching paradise.

Pescadero Marsh Natural Preserve 

Hwy 1, 16 miles south of Half Moon Bay  (650) 879-2170

Pescadero Marsh Natural Preserve is a popular spot for bird watchers and other naturalists. The Reserve is a refuge for blue heron, kites, deer, raccoons, foxes and skunks.

As one of the most important remaining wetlands on the California Coast,  each year thousands of birds rest and feed at the preserve — providing a wonderful opportunity to watch almost 200 species of birds. 

The best bird watching times are late fall and early spring.  If you are interested, the Audubon Society offers walking tours. 

Pillar Point Marsh 

(Fitzgerald Marine Reserve) (650) 728-3584 

This unique marsh may be small, but it is an important habitat for local and migrating birds.  Bird watchers at Pillar Point Marsh have sighted nearly 20% of all North American bird species.  The other amazing fact about this marsh is it is fed by both fresh and salt water.  

Coastside Trail — Half Moon Bay

Half Moon Bay State Beach 95 Kelly Avenue, Half Moon Bay, CA  (650) 726-8819

The Half Moon Bay Coastside Trail runs along the eastern boundary of the four Half Moon Bay area beaches providing close to three miles of multi-use trails to walk, jog or ride bikes.

The green space that runs along the trail  at Poplar Beach is ideal for watching a variety of birds ranging for Blue Herons to Red Tail Hawks.  The photo of the hawk sitting on the split rail fence was taken at this location.  (Poplar Beach is operated by the City of Half Moon Bay.)  More >>

Organizations and Articles of Interest:

||   Protecting the Snowy Plover – New Rules and Regulations

||   Sequoia Audubon Society – Environmental Education and Conservation
 
 
 

Day and Summer Camps

Half Moon Bay Day and Summer Camps provide a wide variety of fun and educational opportunities for children of all ages. From sports and cooking camps to farming and horseback riding, you are sure to find something that will engage your child throughout the summer months.

Learn more by going to our children's camp page
 
 
 

Day Spas

Half Moon Bay Day Spas, Resort Spas, Massage, and Health Clubs

Perhaps it's due to the natural beauty of Half Moon Bay or maybe it's the holistic energy that seems to radiate from the environment, whatever the reason,  Half Moon Bay has attracted some of the finest health practitioners in the county.  

Abundance A Skin Care Studio

432 Kelly Avenue Half Moon Bay, CA 94019     (650) 560-9600

Abundance is a boutique-style salon in a Victorian cottage located on the ocean side of Hwy 1 on historic Kelly Avenue in Half Moon Bay, California.

Bamboo Hair + Body

799 Main Street, Suite B, in Half Moon Bay, CA 94019  (650) 712-8200

Complete personalized hair salon and day spa services located on the beautiful Coastside of Half Moon Bay. Our beauty salon's services offer a unique and relaxing experience!"

Body and Soul Day Spa

489 Tunitas Creek Rd.,  Woodside, CA. 94062  (650) 712-1244

The Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay 

One Miramontes Point Rd., Half Moon Bay, CA

Perched atop a scenic bluff with sweeping coastal vistas, this luxurious Northern California spa resort provides the perfect setting for renewal or reflection – just 30 minutes from San Francisco. Allow the healing power of the sea to ease away tension and leave your body and mind feeling thoroughly refreshed. First, they make the world revolve around you. Then they gently slow it down.   (Basic massage $165). 

Oceano Hotel & Spa 

280 Capistrano Road, Half Moon Bay, CA   (650) 726-5400TThe Oceano Day Spa offers a peaceful sanctuary with a menu of relaxing therapies to de-stress and rejuvenate. It promises to pamper guests before they return to their private veranda for a glass of wine and an unforgettable harbor sunset.  (Basic massage $125).   
 
 
 

Fitness Centers

Curves

101 Main St, Half Moon Bay – (650) 726-1986

Fit

625 Third Ave, Half Moon Bay – (650) 726-4040

Peak Performance Pilates

717 Main St., Half Moon Bay, CA  (650) 726-1657
 
 
 

Fishing

Our guide to Half Moon Bay Fishing provide valuable information on fishing conditions, available charter boats and fishing fleets

USA Fishing – Half Moon Bay

Provides a comprehensive daily fishing report

Fishing Charters and Party Boats

Huck Finn Sportfishing

Johnson Pier in El Granada, Pillar Point Harbor on Half Moon Bay (650) 726-7133

Huli Cat Sportfishing & Charter Boat

PO Box 957,  El Granada, CA (650) 726-2926

Queen of Hearts

Pillar Point Harbor, Half Moon Bay, CA  510-581-2628

Riptide Sportfishing

H-Dock at Pillar Point Harbor, Half Moon Bay 888-747-8433
 
 
 

Golf Courses

Half Moon Bay Golf Links

Two Miramontes Point Rd., Half Moon Bay, CA
Pro Shop at (650) 726-1800

Ocean View Driving Range

227 Kelly Ave, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
Phone:(650) 726-1155

 
 
 
 

Hiking

Half Moon Bay is home to a number of wonderful areas that are perfect for hiking and nature walks.  

To review our listings of hiking trails and nature walks, please click here for a complete list of trails.

 
 
 

Horse Back Riding

Sea Horse Ranch Friendly Acres Sea Horse Ranch Friendly Acres

1828 North Cabrillo Hwy (Hwy 1), Half Moon Bay 
(650) 726-2362
 
 
 

Kayaking

Half Moon Bay Kayak Co.

Pillar Point Harbor, Parking in lot C  (650) 773- 6101
 
 
 

Massage - Therapeutic

Coastside Healing Arts

625 D Purissima Street, Half Moon Bay – (650) 726-2900

Half Moon Bay Massage

940 Main Street, Half Moon Bay, CA  (650) 726-3555

Irma Morawietz-Therapeutic Massage

HMB Studio and In-Home Appointments  – (650) 888-8988

Serving Half Moon Bay and the Coastside – A Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT) and Certified Nurses Aid (CNA), I have many years of experience and regularly take workshops to expand and enhance my skills.  
 
 
 

 

Rock/Wall Climbing

Castle Rock State Park

Along the crest of the Santa Cruz Mountains, Castle Rock State Park contains 3,600 acres of coast redwood, Douglas-fir, and madrone forest. Steep canyons are sprinkled with unusual rock formations that are popular with rock climbers, and hikers can enjoy the 32 miles of hiking and horseback riding trails.
 
 
 
 

Roller Skating

Sailing Schools

Half Moon Bay Yacht Club

214 Princeton Ave. (at Vassar Street) Princeton, CA 
(650) 728-2120
 
 
 

Scenic Boat Tours/Rentals

Huck Finn Sportfishing

Johnson Pier in El Granada, Pillar Point Harbor on Half Moon Bay (650) 726-7133

Queen of Hearts

Pillar Point Harbor, Half Moon Bay, CA 510-581-2628

Riptide Sportfishing

H-Dock at Pillar Point Harbor, Half Moon Bay 888-747-8433
 
 
 

SCUBA Diving


 
 
 

Surfing

 

General Surf Conditions in Half Moon Bay

Generally speaking, Half Moon Bay's surf is often less than desirable because it is too exposed to the ocean and the Bay's bottom is too flat to create the desired surf conditions.  On occasion, though, when the the perfect set of environmental conditions hit, it can create some truly great surfing conditions along the four miles of sandy beaches that make up the crescent shape of Half Moon Bay. 

For more information on Half Moon Bay Surfing, please go to our surf page.
 
 
 

 

Theme Parks

Lemos Family Farm

12320 San Mateo Rd., Half Moon Bay, CA 650) 726-2342

Explorer1.com Review – This family farm specializes in year round activities for children such as pony rides, tractor/train rides, petting zoo, etc.  Adults may find the seasonal decorations and crowds a little much, but children seem to love it!

 

Looking for a major theme park with really cool rides? Click here to expand your search.
 
 
 

Tours

Coastal Elegance Tours — Providing guided eco-tours

Half Moon Bay, California   (650) 712-8456

Come with us and & experience unsurpassed personal attention while exploring one of the most ecologically diverse habitats in North America.
 
 
 

Top Public Golf Courses

Train Rides

Roaring Camp Big Trees Railroad

Graham Hill Rd., Felton (831) 335-4484
 
 
 

Walking

Pescadero Marsh Natural PreservePescadero Marsh Natural Preserve

Hwy 1, 16 miles south of Half Moon Bay  (650) 879-2170

Pescadero Marsh Natural Preserve is a popular spot for bird watchers and other naturalists. The Reserve is a refuge for blue heron, kites, deer, raccoons, foxes and skunks.

As one of the most important remaining wetlands on the California Coast, each year thousands of birds rest and feed at the preserve — providing a wonderful opportunity to watch almost 200 species of birds.

The best bird watching times are late fall and early spring. If you are interested, the Audubon Societyoffers walking tours.

Pillar Point MarshPillar Point Marsh

(Fitzgerald Marine Reserve) (650) 728-3584

This unique marsh may be small, but it is an important habitat for local and migrating birds. Bird watchers at Pillar Point Marsh have sighted nearly 20% of all North American bird species. The other amazing fact about this marsh is it is fed by both fresh and salt water. More >>

Coastside Trail -- Half Moon Bay Coastside Trail — Half Moon Bay

Half Moon Bay State Beach 95 Kelly Avenue, Half Moon Bay, CA (650) 726-8819

The Half Moon Bay Coastside Trail runs along the eastern boundary of the four Half Moon Bay area beaches providing close to three miles of multi-use trails to walk, jog or ride bikes. The trail continues north to Pillar Point Harbor. More>>

Purissima Creek Redwoods Open Space PreservePurissima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve

Half Moon Bay, CA  (650) 949-5500

The 3,120-acre preserve is located on the western slopes of the Santa Cruz Mountains overlooking Half Moon Bay. The preserve was established with a gift of $2 million from the Save-the-Redwoods League.

The centerpiece of the Preserve is Purisima Creek Canyon, with its towering redwoods, creek, ferns, berries, and wildflowers. Coastal scrub, tanoak, madrone, and Douglas fir border the canyon. The coast and Half Moon Bay are visible from the northern part of the preserve.  More >>

Go to Parks & Beaches Page…
 
 
 

Whale-Watching Tours

Oceanic Society – Whale Watching

Half Moon Bay 415 474-3385

From Dec-May, thousands of gray whales swim north along the California coast on their way to summer feeding grounds. Oceanic Society offres boat tours out of Half Moon Bay December through May.

Huck Finn Sportfishing

Johnson Pier in El Granada, Pillar Point Harbor on Half Moon Bay (650) 726-7133

Queen of Hearts

Pillar Point Harbor, Half Moon Bay, CA 510-581-2628

Riptide Sportfishing

H-Dock at Pillar Point Harbor, Half Moon Bay 888-747-8433
 
 
 

Wind Surfing


 
 
 

What’s on Tap
this Winter

Events

Half Moon Bay Fall Festivals & Events:

 

Pacific Coast Dream Machines April 24, 2016 – 10am to 4pm

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

Whale Watching – Dec. through May. Half Moon Bay (415) 474-3385.

Elephant Seal Watching – December is breeding season. Año Nuevo State Reserve has a large colony of northern elephant seals that assemble there each winter.

 

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

Attractions

Top Fall Attractions in Half Moon Bay:

Fall is a Great Time to Visit the Coast!

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.

Half Moon Bay Fishing 

Fishing is a big draw. Check out our fishing page for more info.

Open Spaces

Open space, and beaches are Half Moon Bay’s true claim to fame.

Whale Watching – Whale Watching December through May

Half Moon Bay 415 474-3385

 

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.