Thank you to all of you that have been following me on my blogging journey for the last 2 years, I definitely appreciate all of the love and support! I am always shocked to see how many people actually read my blog posts and even engage with me on social media…THANK YOU! One of the main reasons I started this getaway guide was so I could share my passion of living in the Bay Area with locals as well as visitors! I’ve been slacking on those Getaway Guides and hope to give you at least once a month starting in 2019! I finally had a free weekend where I was able to escape a little bit to a fun little coastal town located about 30-45 mins south of San Francisco, along the famous Pacific Coast Highway.
Completely different from the big city, Half Moon Bay is an extremely calm and relaxing town known for their cute bed and breakfasts, local history, lighthouse, and quaint little downtown. I recently did a mini drive up Highway 1 to Half Moon Bay and stayed at the cutest B and B and after all the fun we had, I knew I had to create a quick Getaway Guide. My local Bay Area folks, Half Moon Bay is such a fun little day trip or even quick weekend trip if you’re wanting to explore nearby as well (thinking anywhere from Sausalito to Monterey).
I definitely recommend taking advantage of the nearby scenery and coastlines. Half Moon Bay is located along the always beautiful coastal highway (Highway 1) but there are several ways to get there. I recommend cutting over earlier to drive either north or south so you can drive part of the coastal highway on your way to Half Moon Bay. There’s a TON of small beaches and vista points along the way that you can stop to just enjoy the surrounding scene.
As mentioned above, Half Moon Bay is more known for cute, small boutique hotels or bed and breakfasts rather than household name chains. With that said there is a VERY ritzy and posh Ritz Carlton that can go for upwards of $1000+/night! Not to worry, most of the other accommodations are a lot more affordable. I definitely would recommend staying at either an Airbnb or at one of the cute bed and breakfasts, like the Zaballa House below.
If you’re into local history and have some time to stay in Half Moon Bay for the weekend, I recommend checking out the Zaballa House Bed & Breakfast. It’s the oldest single family residence in Half Moon Bay and still has photos and artifacts from the original Zaballa Family that settled there. It’s also a bed and breakfast in a small but formal dining room. The breakfasts are all freshly made and include a traditional American breakfast (toast, eggs, bacon, and fruit).
It’s also conveniently located in the downtown area of Half Moon Bay so you can park and then easily walk to all the nearby destinations throughout. Again, it’s a really cute place if you’re into older architecture and hotels. Most of the rooms come with a large Jacuzzi tub for ultimate relaxation experience.
Where To Eat
Lovey’s Tea Shoppe
If you have the time to coast down Highway 1 then I would recommend making a quick stop in Pacifica to Lovey’s Tea Shoppe. It’s literally on Highway 1 so it’ll be in your path of travel to Half Moon Bay, if you choose Highway 1 as your route.
We completely stumbled upon this on accident and it was such a great find! It’s a small tea shoppe with a HUGE selection of both teas and sandwiches. More importantly, they’re pretty much world famous for their amazing scones. Also, how cute is this place!
**If there’s a long wait, you can always order Iced Tea and Scones to go!
Things To Do
Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Patch
If you’re in the area anytime during the month of October then you’re in luck! Half Moon Bay is known for having the Bay Area’s most renowned pumpkin patches. Just as a warning it can take HOURS to get to and from Half Moon Bay during this time of year so plan accordingly!
Pigeon Point Lighthouse and Hostel
Not exactly located in Half Moon Bay Bay but about 30 minutes south is Pigeon Point Lighthouse. It’s a great stop for those coming from the San Jose or south since you’ll drive right past it. Also, for those on a backpacking or similar trip, they have also converted this area into a popular hostel. Located overlooking the Pacific Ocean, it might be one of the best hostel views in the area! Take about 30-45 min. to walk the site and read about the rich local history. It’ll actually come in handy when you’re in Half Moon Bay and historical facts come up to know what was happening nearby!
Downtown Half Moon Bay
There really isn’t too much going on in downtown Half Moon Bay but I definitely recommend going for a day time stroll while there. They have a couple fun quirky shops that I feel like you might ONLY find in Half Moon Bay. Any lover’s of organic and/or holistic products? I felt like Half Moon Bay had an array of shops that catered these kinds of needs.
Don’t forget to check out some of the local coffee shops and restaurants in downtown…keep in mind that you’re near the coast so plenty of delicious chowder, oysters, mussels, etc!
No matter what time of year you go to Half Moon Bay, it’ll never really be warm enough to enjoy a true beach day. If you have, you probably froze your tail off to make a point or justify your travels…so though I do not recommend turning your Half Moon Bay trip into a beach vacation, I do recommend taking a couple hours to just stop and enjoy the coastal vibes and life.
Depending what time of year you go (August-October is the best weather) it may actually be nice enough to go to the beach (fully clothed) and lay out on a towel and have a dry day, if that’s your thing. Or you could drive along and stop at the many beaches and vista points nearby….
As always, thank you all so much for reading…if you’re in Half Moon Bay let me know if any information was helpful and I always want to hear about your experiences too!