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!
Visit the Beaches
Half Moon Bay is home to several beautiful beaches, including the popular Half Moon Bay State Beach, Montara State Beach, and San Gregorio State Beach. These beaches offer breathtaking views, perfect for surfing, sunbathing, and beachcombing.
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. For more information on this and other beaches, go to https://explorer1.com/halfmoonbay/things-to-do/beaches.
Visit a Half Moon Bay Farm or Nursary
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.
Half Moon Bay has several hiking trails to explore, including the scenic Coastal Trail and Purisima Creek Redwoods Preserve. These trails offer a chance to experience the natural beauty of the area, including towering redwoods and stunning ocean views.
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. For more information, go to https://explorer1.com/halfmoonbay/purisima-creek-redwoods-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. For more information, go to https://explorer1.com/halfmoonbay/whale-watching/.
Explore Fitzgerald Marine Reserve
This reserve is home to a diverse array of marine life, including anemones, sea stars, and crabs. Visitors can explore the tide pools during low tide or take a guided tour.
Take a Walk on the Coastside Trail
This trail offers a stunning coastal view and is perfect for hiking, biking, or walking. It covers a 7.5-mile stretch, from Pillar Point Harbor to Poplar Beach. You can also continue south to the Ritz Carlton and beyond.
Go Wine Tasting
– Half Moon Bay is home to several wineries, including La Nebbia Winery and Half Moon Bay Winery. Visitors can enjoy a tasting and tour of the vineyards.
Visit the Pigeon Point Lighthouse
The Lighthouse is located about 20 miles south of Half Moon Bay and is one of the tallest lighthouses on the West Coast. Visitors can take a tour of the lighthouse and enjoy the stunning views.
Pillar Point Harbor
Located four miles north of Half Moon Bay, Pillar Point Harbor is used by both pleasure and commercial fishing boats. Several popular restaurants and stores are also located at the harbor.
One Johnson Pier, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019 (650) 726-5727
For more information, go to https://explorer1.com/halfmoonbay/pillar-point-harbor/
Go Horseback Riding
Several local stables offer horseback riding on the beach or through the redwoods. This is a unique way to explore the natural beauty of the area.
Shop Main Street’s Unique Stores
Half Moon Bay’s historic downtown offers a variety of unique shops, galleries, and restaurants. Visitors can enjoy browsing the stores or grabbing a bite to eat.
Half Moon Bay Golf Links is home to two world-class golf courses, The Old Course and The Ocean Course. These courses offer stunning views of the ocean and are a must-play for golf enthusiasts.
Two huge events in the fall are the are the world-famous annual Half Moon Bay Art and Pumpkin Festival, which draws in thousands of visitors each year to see the giant pumpkins on display and enjoy live music, and art, wine and food vendors. Don’t forget the kids because there are also plenty of activities specifically designed for the little ghosts and goblins. And before or after the festival, be sure to visit one of our beautiful pumpkin patches or lots! Tons of fun for both adults and kids!The other wildly popular fall attraction is cut your own Christmas trees. During late fall and early winter, cars traveling around Half Moon Bay become adorned with bundled Christmas trees from one of the Half Moon Bay’s local farms or Christmas tree lots. When the scent of evergreen fills the air, you know it’s official—the holiday season is well underway in Half Moon Bay! Half Moon Bay’s quiet streets begin to swell with shoppers enjoying unique boutique shops, restaurants and some old-fashioned styled events like the tree lighting, lighted boat parade, and the night of lights.
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