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For other places with the same name, see Half Moon Bay (disambiguation).

Half Moon Bay is a city on the Peninsula in the San Francisco Bay Area of California. The Half Moon Bay Coastside is a rural seaside community about 30 miles (45 km) south of San Francisco.

Francis State Beach


Half Moon Bay's visitor information center offer maps, brochures, directories, and other information for tourists.


The climate in Half Moon Bay is more "foggy San Francisco" than "sunny California" in style. It's easy to spot the tourists on the beach: they're the ones shivering in bikinis. The locals are more likely to be found in wetsuits or strolling along the beach in shirts and rolled-up pants. Although there are cold snaps that drop below freezing every few years or so, and a few days here or there that are warm enough to be uncomfortable every year, on typical days, it's cool and somewhat windy, but not downright cold. Even in the summer, you'll want to pack a jacket or an extra shirt to put on when the ocean breeze kicks up in the early evening. Plan for rain from mid-October through April.

Half Moon Bay
Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation+Snow totals in inches
See Half Moon Bay's 7 day forecast    Data from NOAA (1981-2010)
Metric conversion
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation+Snow totals in mm

Get in[edit]

By car[edit]

Highway 92 is perfect if you are coming in from either 101 or 280.

If you are coming from San Francisco you can also take 280 to Highway 1.

By bus[edit]

Take Samtrans #294 from Hillsdale Caltrain, or 110 then 117 from Pacifica. The 110 to 117 is scheduled for a short-wait transfer at Linda Mar, but may not be guaranteed if the bus is late.

Get around[edit]

  • Enterprise Rent-A-Car, 213 San Mateo Rd #112, +1 650 712-6880, fax: +1 650 712-6884.
  • Coast Cab Company, El Granada, +1 650 726-1779, fax: +1 650 712-1119.


Tide pools at Pillar Point

Almost all of the beaches are on or off of California State Highway 1 (a.k.a. the Pacific Coast Highway) (Note some addresses are given as CA Highway 1, the Cabrillo Highway or the PCH.)

  • 1 Bean Hollow State Beach & Pebble Beach (Off of Highway 1), +1 650 879-2170. Due to the heavy surf and rip tide, swimming is not recommended, but it's a fine place to climb on the rocks or have a picnic. You can explore tide pools and the self-guided nature trail. Dogs allowed if kept on leashes at all times. Restrooms next to the parking lot. Bean Hollow State Beach (Q4876248) on Wikidata Bean Hollow State Beach on Wikipedia
  • Cowell Ranch State Beach (Off of Highway 1), +1 650 726-8819. The entrance to Cowell Ranch is a fairly long hike in and leads to cliffs overlooking the ocean. It is a steep hike down to the beach.
  • Dunes State Beach (Highway 1 to Young Avenue), +1 650 726-8819. Sister beach of Venice State Beach and Francis State Beach. Part of the Waterfront Coastside Trail system.
  • 2 Gray Whale Cove State Beach (Devil's Slide), Highway 1, +1 650 726-8819. The two nicknames derive from the fact that 1) gray whales can be seen from the beach and 2) there are steep landslide trails. This is a clothing optional beach. Gray Whale Cove State Beach (Q5598242) on Wikidata Gray Whale Cove State Beach on Wikipedia
  • Francis State Beach (From Highway 1 to Kelly Avenue), +1 650 726-8819. Sister beach of Venice State Beach and Dunes State Beach. Part of the Waterfront Coastside Trail system. Also home of the Half Moon Bay State Beach headquarters
  • 3 Montara State Beach (Highway 1 at 2nd Street), +1 650 726-8819. One of the more popular beaches in Half Moon bay due to easy access and low hills, the beach provides opportunity for swimming, exploration of tide pools and surf fishing. There is also a lighthouse at Point Montara that has been converted to a bed and breakfast. Montara State Beach (Q6904453) on Wikidata Montara State Beach on Wikipedia
  • Mavericks & Pillar Point Marsh (Highway 1 to Capistrano Road to Pillar Point Harbor), +1 650 728-3584. Home of the legendary Mavericks Surf Contest. This area is not recommended for swimming. (It is not recommend for surfing either but the people who compete in the contest are professional and a tad crazy.) The huge crashing waves are a sight to see.
  • Naples / Roosevelt State Beach (Highway 1 to Washington Boulevard to Naples Avenue), +1 650 726-8819. Part of the Waterfront Coastside Trail system.
  • 4 Pescadero State Beach (Highway 1 to Pescadero Road), toll-free: +1-800-444-7275. Explore the tide pools or watch the waves crash along the rocks. It's a great place for bird watchers. Sister beach of Pomponio State Beach. Pescadero State Beach (Q7171335) on Wikidata Pescadero State Beach on Wikipedia
  • Pigeon Point Beach (off of Highway 1). Home of the Pigeon Point Lighthouse.
  • 5 Pomponio State Beach (Highway 1 to Pescadero Road), toll-free: +1-800-444-7275. This beach is at the base of sand stone cliffs that are not as hard to reach as steeper trails. Sister beach of Pescardero State Beach. Pomponio State Beach (Q7227504) on Wikidata Pomponio State Beach on Wikipedia
  • 6 San Gregorio State Beach (Highway 1 to Highway 84). Discovered by Explorer Gaspar de Portolá in 1769, the beach is strewn with driftwood and there is also a bird sanctuary. This is a clothing optional beach. San Gregorio State Beach (Q7414273) on Wikidata San Gregorio State Beach on Wikipedia
  • Venice State Beach (Highway 1 to Venice Boulevard), +1 650 726-8819. Sister beach of Dunes State Beach and Francis State Beach. Part of the Waterfront Coastside Trail system.
  • Waterfront Coastside Trail (Pillar Point Harbor to Mirada Road), +1 650 726-8297. The trail systems goes through Naples, Roosevelt Beach, Dunes Beach, Venice Beach, Francis Beach and Bluff Top Coastal Park.


The fog has come in over the mountains
  • Rock the Block Coastside Block Party, +1 650 726-8380. Late May. Sponsored by Chamber Office.
  • Portuguese Pentecostal Festival, +1 650 726-2729. 7 weeks after Easter. Sponsored by IDES Society.
  • Dream Machines, +1 650 726-8380. Late July or early August. Sponsored by Chamber Office.
  • Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival (Main Street between Miramontes and Spruce Streets), +1 650 726-9652. Early to mid-October. Sponsored by Half Moon Bay Beautification Committee.


  • Coastal Flower Market, +1 650 712-9439. Third Saturday of every month (except October).
  • Coastside Books, 432 Main St, +1 650 726-5889. 10AM to 5PM. Serving Half Moon Bay since 1972, Coastside Books has a carefully selected stock of current fiction, biography, history, science and nature, spiritual books, and children's literature.


Methodist Episcopal Church at 777 Miramontes St.
  • 1 Ketch Joanne Restaurant and Harbor Bar, 17 Johnson Pier, +1 650 728-3747. 7AM–9PM most nights; open later on weekends. Good food and substantial portions in a busy, usually noisy, harbor restaurant. Attached bar becomes popular later in the evenings. $10–30.
  • 2 Sam's Chowder House, 4210 North Cabrillo Hwy (between Surfers Beach and Pillar Point Harbor), +1 650 712-0245, . M-Th 11:30AM-8:30PM; F 1:30AM-9PM; Sa 11AM-9PM; Su 11AM-8:30PM. Large seafood restaurant just above the beach, with live music Friday and Saturday. The deck has great views and is a great place to sit around the fire pits. It's also dog-friendly. NBC's Today Show named their Lobster Roll ($29.95 as of April 2023) as one of the five "best sandwiches in America." For an unusual experience, call at least 48 hours in advance to get a "lobster clambake to go". They'll put together a large pot of seafood that you can steam over a fire or stove, plus clam chowder and coleslaw. Almost everything on the menu can be ordered for take-out and is available from the ChowderMobile food truck service. Reservations recommended, especially on holidays and summer weekends. $20–40.
  • 3 Cameron’s Inn, Restaurant & Pub, 1410 South Cabrillo Hwy (South edge of town), +1 650 726-5705. Opens at 11AM daily. Mostly English pub fare in an ostentatiously English environment. Offers everything from pasties to pizza, or from bangers to burgers. Includes a store that sells English candy bars and other treats that can be hard to find in the US. $12–25.
  • 4 Dad's Luncheonette, 225 South Cabrillo Hwy, +1 650 560-9832, . Th-Fr: 11AM-7PM; Sa-Su: 11AM- 5:30PM. Try whatever special they are serving that day. Expect a satisfying, homemade meal in a cozy space.


  • La Nebbia Winery, 12341 San Mateo Rd, +1 650 726-9463, fax: +1 650 726-7074. Formerly Obester Winery.
  • H.M.B. Brewing Company, 3909 Capistrano Road, Princeton (west off Rt. 1 just north of Half Moon Bay). Seafood restaurant with an excellent and extensive menu (check out the Half Moon Bay Louie salad with Bay Shrimp) at reasonable prices (they offer half size portions too.) Fast, friendly service. Inside and outside dining with good views of Pillar Point Harbor. They book rock and blues bands on the weekends. moderate.


Stay safe[edit]

Be careful to check for ticks after hiking in fields in the Bay Area, as this region has a high rate of Lyme disease transmission. If a rash with the appearance of a bull's eye develops at the tick bite site, immediately seek medical help and treatment with antibiotics.

For those visiting the beaches, never go swimming alone, and beware of rising tides.

Law enforcement services are provided by the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office.

Go next[edit]

The City of San Francisco is 25 miles to the north, and Santa Cruz is 40 miles to the south.

Routes through Half Moon Bay
San FranciscoMoss Beach  N  S  PescaderoSanta Cruz
END  W  E  San MateoHayward

This city travel guide to Half Moon Bay is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.