From outdoor activities to sampling local offerings, there’s never a dull moment when visiting Half Moon Bay on the coast. Here are our top picks.
Hop aboard a kayak or stand-up paddleboard (SUP) and make your way around the harbor, or watch seabirds and harbor seals at play on a sunset excursion. Rentals are available at Half Moon Bay Kayak or Maverick PaddleSports (SUP only).
Spend an afternoon wine tasting at La Nebbia Winery, and triple the fun with a game of bocce ball and a picnic. Hint: On a warm day, the sparkling wine will hit the spot. More tasting options can be found on Main Street at Half Moon Bay Wine & Cheese, Vinoteca and Barterra Winery.
Play a round of golf at the Half Moon Bay Golf Links. Dramatic ocean views more than make up for the frequent chill factor at this challenging links course.
Make a stop on Highway 92 to enjoy the flowery temptations at a variety of nurseries along the way. Wander through the blooms with resident felines at Half Moon Bay Nursery, learn about California’s native plants at Yerba Buena Nursery, and find out about a range of carnivorous species at Predatory Plants.
Stop at one of the local farm stands along Highway 1 and other byways for treats such as artichokes, Brussels sprouts, fava beans, berries and—the ultimate Half Moon Bay icon—pumpkins.
Walk, jog or bike the oceanfront trail. Running from Pillar Point Harbor to the Ritz—past secluded beaches, along dramatic bluffs and through open grasslands—this makes for a perfect outdoor excursion.
Tour the craft Half Moon Bay Distillery to sample and learn about vodka and gin. Mixology classes are on order too!
The whimsical Oddyssea shop on Main Street invites all ages to dabble in its garden. Try sand art, make a terrarium display, craft a sailor bracelet, or engage in other entertaining creative fun.
Drop by the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve in Moss Beach at low tide to get up close to small sea creatures, and keep a watch out for harbor seals, too.
Families with youngsters can stop by Lemos Farm for pony rides, a petting zoo, bounce houses, and seasonal attractions such as the Halloween Haunted Zone.
Buy goat cheese and goat milk lotions or take a tour of the Harley Farms Goat Dairy, a restored 1910 dairy farm house in Pescadero, 17 miles south of Half Moon Bay.
Head over to Pillar Point Harbor to buy fresh-caught seafood straight off the boat—from Dungeness crab (winter through spring) to salmon (late spring through summer). Want to be part of the action yourself? Book your spot on a sport fishing charter boat.
Warm up by a pot-bellied stove for a live bluegrass set on weekends at the 1889-era San Gregorio General Store. You can also happily lose time browsing through everything from fishing gear and hardware to books, tools and cookware.
Hike the 235-acre Pescadero Marsh Natural Preserve and keep an eye out for the more than 200 species of birds—including blue herons and snowy egrets—that inhabit the marsh or stop over during migrations.
For a perfect way to end your day, bundle up and find your spot to watch the sun set behind the ocean. For an extra treat, head for the Ritz-Carlton to be serenaded by a bagpiper on the bluffs (Sun, Tues, and Thurs-Sat).
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