Welcome to Half Moon Bay
Coastal Californian elegance, scenery, and leisure.
Looking west out to the endless blue of the Pacific Ocean lies Half Moon Bay, a small, coastal town 30 miles south of San Francisco. Located in the midst of tranquil, Northern California beaches, Half Moon Bay is home to protected state parks, trails, and scenic mountain ranges, as well as a leading-edge library that boasts a Green Building Award.
Half Moon Bay was first a rural, agricultural region primarily used by nearby missions. By the mid-19th century, the community began to flourish as San Mateo County’s first established town. Growth was slow at first but took off after World War II with the construction of several residential neighborhoods. Today, Half Moon Bay is a scenic spot for outdoor recreation, gourmet cuisine, and an understated casual elegance appreciated by all. It is perhaps best known for its many pumpkin patches and annual Pumpkin Festival.
What to Love
- Offering something for everyone, the Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival has become a tradition for families and friends who come each year to enjoy one of California's oldest, biggest and most popular festivals.
- A popular destination for surfing, hiking, golf, and other outdoor recreation.
- Quiet, mellow lifestyle with easy access to high-end dining, shopping, spas, and more in a quaint, walkable downtown.
- Only 20 miles from San Francisco International Airport, and 30 miles from downtown San Francisco.
Half Moon Bay offers an easygoing, mellow lifestyle for its lucky residents. The coastal California location features ample opportunities for time spent in the great outdoors, such as the many trails, mountain ranges, and, of course, scenic Half Moon Bay State Beach
. This park features a lengthy stretch of four white, sandy beaches where visitors can enjoy picnics, fishing, surfing, sunbathing, and riding horses along the shoreline. A bit more inland, award-winning restaurants serve fresh, luxurious seafood paired with local produce from Northern California farms.
Dining, Entertainment, and Shopping
Half Moon Bay offers a balanced variety of high-end cuisine and shopping, offset by charming mom-and-pop establishments adored by locals. From beachfront seafood to comforting roadside classics in refurbished digs, there is something to celebrate every occasion with.
There is no shortage of delicious breakfast options to be had in Half Moon Bay. After an early morning surf session or round of golf, locals can be found getting their morning caffeine fix at Half Moon Bay Coffee Co.
In addition to a healthy variety of dairy-free alternatives, they are particularly well-known for their homemade desserts and brunch offerings, like their California-style eggs Benedict, complete with the addition of creamy avocado slices.
In a historic train caboose on the side of Highway 1, Dad’s Luncheonette
is a roadside stop dishing out renovated, classic comforts with a focus on local California produce. The head chef, Scott Clark, is a former three Michelin-starred chef de cuisine. One of his most-loved items, the mushroom sandwich, has seemed to develop a cult following of its own.
Nestled along Main Street in Half Moon Bay’s quintessential downtown area is Half Moon Bay Wine and Cheese. Stop in at their wine bar for a glass of wine - they have over 30 options to please any palate - and expertly paired farmstead cheese and snacks. Or browse an astounding collection of boutique and family-owned bottles to build your cellar at home.
For a delicious and upscale dinner experience, Pasta Moon offers indoor and outdoor dining with ambiance. Situated at the southern end of main street, the house-made pizzas and pastas are delectable! The impressive wine and cocktail offerings will put you in the perfect mood for an easy evening, whether you choose to sit in the social bar area, at the open kitchen bar, or the more formal dining room.
overlooking Three Rocks Beach is one of Northern California’s favorite places for golf, dining, and luxurious spa treatments. The resort features two of California’s best golf courses - the Scottish-style waterfront Ocean Course, and the parkland-style Old Course with a scenic, oceanside 18th hole. Spa treatments include seasonal facials, massages, and a unique Redwood Forest Ritual. The best way to wrap up a day of leisure is dinner at one of the three on-site restaurants, all offering breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean.
Things to Do
Of course, Half Moon Bay is arguably most famous for its breathtaking beaches and ocean view trails. While these are popular places to visit, locals do enjoy a number of other activities with their neighbors. The Coastside Farmers' Market
in Half Moon Bay is open every Saturday from April-December, showcasing a wide variety of fresh produce, preserves, flowers, fresh-baked treats, and more from Northern California’s best suppliers. Fun for the whole family awaits at Lemos Farm
, a farm-themed amusement park with pony rides, a petting zoo, train rides, and other seasonal activities. Their autumn pumpkin patch, Christmas tree farm, and easter egg hunts provide visitors with memories to last a lifetime.
Half Moon Bay is home to some of Northern California’s finest schools. A few of these are:
Hatch Elementary School
, transitional kindergarten-5th grade; Hatch offers a two-way English-Spanish immersion program with the goal of its students becoming fully bilingual upon graduation from high school.
Cunha Middle School
, grades 6-8; Cunha has recently undergone extensive renovations to become a state-of-the-art campus with extensive instructional technology and Chromebooks for every student.
Half Moon Bay High School
, grades 9-12; HMBHS is a World Language School offering a “Seal of Biliteracy” to graduates who complete the Spanish Immersion program.
Sea Crest School
, junior kindergarten-8th grade; Sea Crest boasts a staggeringly low student-teacher ratio of 8:1.