Half Moon Bay Travel Guide

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Pillar Point Travel Information

Pillar Point Harbor, El Granada, and Princeton-by-the-Sea

Located just 4 miles north of Half Moon Bay, the Harbor is surrounded by popular beaches, bird habitats, and excellent surf.   The picturesque Pillar Point Harbor is also home to commercial fishing boats offering fishing trips and whale-watching tours.  You can also rent a kayak, shop in the region's only indoor mall, stay at a luxury resort, and eat a many fine restaurants. 

Although often attributed to Half Moon Bay – t he Mavericks annual surf competition is actually held in >Princeton-by-the-Sea.  Well…actually about a ½ mile off  its shoreline.

Miramar Beach & El Granada Beach –  Features a wonderful shoreline and surf that are great for swimming, surfing, beach-combing, etc.

|| Area Snapshot

Location – Located 4 miles north of Half Moon Bay and 49 miles north of Santa Cruz.

Population – Around Princeton = 297 residents, El Granada = 3,600

Established   –  The area has been thriving since the early 1900's

Weather   –  Generally speaking, the Half Moon Bay coastal region has the warmest daytime temperatures during the spring and fall months.   During the summer months, the days can be overcast, foggy, and very chilly  –  especially in June and July .  Winter months are often overcast, rainy and cold.

Primary Industries are/were   –  farming, fishing, and tourism.

|| Area Attractions:

Eco-friendly Activities  –  Surrounded by the natural beauty of the ocean and green spaces, Half Moon Bay is home to many eco-friendly activities that can cater to just about any outdoor enthusiast.

Fishing & Whale-Watching Tours  –  Charter a boat and enjoy a day of deep-sea fishing or a join in on a whale-watching excursion

Pillar Point Marsh  –  A great location for beach-combers and bird-watchers.

Pillar Point Harbor  –  Full of outdoor activities including boating, kayaking, walking, biking, bird-watching, surf fishing, and much more.

Miramar Beach & El Granada Beach –  Features a great beach and surf that are great for swimming, surfing, beach-combing, etc.

|| Tourist Destinations:

Harbor Village  –  Located in the Pillar Point Harbor, the recently complete Harbor Village is home to the area's only indoor mall, Oceano Hotel & Spa, and several restaurants

Half Moon Bay Brewing Company  –   390 Capistrano Ave., Pillar Point Harbor, CA  (650) 728-2739

Barbara's Fishtrap  –  281 Capistrano Road, Princeton  (650) 728-7049

Half Moon Bay Brewing Company   –   390 Capistrano Ave., Pillar Point Harbor, CA  (650) 728-2739

Ketch Joanne & Harbor Bar  –  Pillar Point Harbor, CA (650) 728-3747

Explorer1.com Review ─ Good food, excellent service, and a cozy rustic ambiance make this an excellent choice for a low key, moderately priced restaurant.

||  Festivals/Annual Events:

Art & Pumpkin Festival   –  If you plan to attend this highly publicized and populated  event in October, you may want to make hotel reservations early!

Mavericks Annual Surf Contest   –  Just north of Half Moon Bay in Princeton, CA, the famous Mavericks can be found a ½ mile off of the Pillar Point Marsh shoreline.

During the winter months, the perfect set of environmental conditions can come together to create some of the biggest waves on the planet!  Although spectacular to look at, the waves at Mavericks should only be negotiated by professionals.  Less experienced surfers can find more appropriate waves along the local beach beaks.   

December Harbor Lights Ceremony  –  Pillar Point Harbor Info.  (650) 726-5723

For more event listings, please click 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.