Half Moon Bay Travel Guide

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Half Moon Bay Bird Refuges

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.

The hawk shown above was photographed along Half Moon Bay's Coastside Trail near Poplar Beach.

Half Moon Bay Area Birding

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.   More >>

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
 
 
 

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.