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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 south of San Francisco, and only an hour's drive from virtually anywhere in the Bay Area.

Francis State Beach

Understand

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

  • Half Moon Bay Visitor Information Center, 235 Main St (from westbound Hwy 92, turn left on to Main Street), +1 650 726-8380, fax: +1 650 726-8389, . M-F 9AM-5PM, Sa-Su 10AM-3PM. Closed Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Presidents' Day, Close at noon on Good Friday, Easter, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, Veteran's Day, Thanksgiving Day & following Friday, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day. Visitor Information Center run by the Half Moon Bay Coastside Chamber of Commerce & Visitors' Bureau.

Climate

Half Moon Bay
Climate chart (explanation)
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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
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140
 
 
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6
 
 
 
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41
 
 
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84
 
 
17
7
 
 
 
135
 
 
15
6
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation+Snow totals in mm

Get in

By car

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 for a very scenic drive through Devil's Slide, which has beautiful, breathtaking cliffs that descend steeply into the ocean. (Unfortunately, this will be bypassed in late 2012 by a tunnel.)

By bus

Take Samtrans #294 from Hillsdale Caltrain, or from Pacifica.

Get around

  • Enterprise Rent-A-Car, 213 San Mateo Rd #112, +1 650 712-6880, fax: +1 650 712-6884.
  • Coast Cab Company, PO Box 2252, El Granada, CA 94018, +1 650 726-1779, fax: +1 650 712-1119.

See

Tide pools at Pillar Point

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

  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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 NOT recommended for swimming. (Technically 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.
  • 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.
  • Pigeon Point Beach (off of Highway 1). Home of the Pigeon Point Lighthouse.
  • 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.
  • 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. Note – this is a clothing optional beach.
  • 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.

Do

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.
  • Classics By The Sea Car Show, +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.

Buy

  • 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.

Eat

Methodist Episcopal Church at 777 Miramontes St.
  • Ketch Joanne Restaurant and Harbor Bar, 17 Johnson Pier, +1 650 728-3747. Open until 3AM F and Sa. Good food that is reasonably priced, but the service is lacking. Bar becomes popular around 10:30PM
  • Sam's Chowder House, 4210 North Cabrillo Hwy, +1 650 712-0245. 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 the Lobster Roll as one of the five "best sandwiches in America". However, it is unexpectedly expensive, with no seafood dinner entrees under $20, and reports suggest service quality is poor.
  • Cafe Gibraltar, 425 Ave. Alhambra, El Granada, +1 650 560-9039. Interesting Mediterranean restaurant a short drive north of Half Moon Bay. Very high ratings in Michelin guide, one of the best places to eat on the San Mateo coast.

Drink

  • La Nebbia Winery, 12341 San Mateo Rd, +1 650 726-9463, fax: +1 650 726-7074. Formerly Obester Winery.
  • Half Moon Bay Winery, 700 Mill St, Ste 4, +1 650 245-8033.
  • 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.

Sleep

  • Oceano Hotel and Spa, 280 Capistrano Rd, +1 650 726-5400, fax: +1 650 726-5402. Check-in: 4PM, check-out: Noon. Nice, clean rooms with helpful staff. Environmentally friendly features, including in-room recycling, organic bamboo linens (very comfortable!), and chemical free room cleaning technology.

Stay safe

Be careful to check for ticks after hiking in fields in the bay area. There is a high rate of lyme disease transmission in the Bay Area. If a bulls' eye rash develops at the tick bite site, immediately seek medical help and treatment with antibiotics.

Go next

The City of San Francisco is just 25 miles to the North, Santa Cruz is just 40 miles to the South.

Routes through Half Moon Bay
San FranciscoMoss Beach  N California 1.svg S  PescaderoSanta Cruz
END  W California 92.svg 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.