Half Moon Bay Travel Guide

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Half Moon Bay Tourist Attractions

So many things to do, so little time. 

This quick reference is designed to help you navigate through the plethora of Things to Do in Half Moon Bay. Yes, you could call it our lil' bucket list for the top activities. But seriously, these are some of the things you really do not want to miss out on when you visit. (I actually made this list so my 9 year old could never again say "I'm bored".)   

To expand your search explore another travel destination, e.g.,  Santa Cruz or Monterey, please select the desired vacation location from our Destination Explorer and search away!
       

Coastside Trail

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

The Half Moon Bay Coastside Trail runs along the eastern boundary of the four beaches providing close to a three mile stretch to walk, jog or ride bikes. The trail continues north to Pillar Point Harbor.

A horse trail parallels the Coastside Trail from Roosevelt Beach to Francis Beach. While in the state parks, horses are restricted to the designated horse trail and are not permitted on State Beaches.

Farms – Half Moon Bay, Pescadero, etc.

All though the long California drought has had some impact on the local agriculture business, many crops are still available including pumpkins, Christmas trees, brussel sprouts, berries, etc. 

Here is a directory of local farms.

Fitzgerald Marine Reserve in Moss Beach

PO BOX 451, Moss Beach, CA  (650) 728-3584
County Parks Reservation line (650) 363-4021

The Reserve is set aside to protect this complex but fragile community for us and future generations. Within the reserve, most marine life is protected. The Reserve is popular with school and community groups for its educational value.

Directions: Take California Ave. off of Hwy 1 in Moss Beach.

Half Moon Bay State Beach

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

Four miles of broad, sandy beaches stretch out to welcome visitors to Half Moon Bay. This picturesque setting is ideal for sunbathing, fishing and picnicking. A campground provides accommodations for those who wish to visit longer.

     –   Francis Beach , at the end of Kelly Ave.
     –   Venice Beach , at the end of Venice Blvd. off Highway 1.
     –   Dunes Beach , at the end of Young Ave. off Highway 1.

Directions: The beach is located a half-mile west of Highway 1 on Kelly Avenue in Half Moon Bay. There are three parking and beach access points:

Pillar Point Harbor

One Johnson Pier, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019  (650) 726-5727

Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve

Located on the western slopes of the Santa Cruz Mountains overlooking Half Moon Bay, the centerpiece of this 4,711-acre Preserve is Purisima Creek Canyon, with its towering redwoods, rushing creek, and understory of ferns, berries, and wildflowers. Magnificent views of the coast and Half Moon Bay are visible from the northern part of the preserve.

Whale Watching – Oceanic Society

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.

Wineries – Half Moon Bay / San Mateo / Santa Cruz

A directory of local wineries


          
          
               

    Do you know something that we should include on one of our lists? Please let us know! We just may add it! Send in a name/description 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.