A wonderful, natural beach with a cute little town.
Half Moon Bay is a small town with 12.000 residents. The town is especially known for its annual Art&Pumpkin Festival and all the Pumpkin Patches and Christmas tree sales around.
In Downtown you can find many cafés. Perfect for a relaxed afternoon drinking tea. Around Half Moon Bay are man farms where you can buy local fruits and vegetables.
Half Moon Bay State Beach is a 3.7mi (6km) long beach. The easiest and cheapest way to get there is if you park your car in the neighborhood and just walk to the beach. That gives you also the opportunity to take a look at those beautiful beach houses! As you come closer to the beach the windier it gets. To get to the beach you will have to climb down a cliff. If you did that it is not that windy anymore and you can finally enjoy the beach. Sometimes they even have horse back riding at the beach. The beach is unlike other California beaches super crowded. That gives you the chance to actually watch the waves and birds. Often you can even observe whales here!! The beach is super clean and well maintained.
Half Moon Bay also gives you the perfect opportunity to camp and make a bonfire. Tomales Bay is a beach south of Half Moon Bay State Beach. This beach not easy accessible. You have to climb down a really steep cliff, again 😛 Nobody climbs down this cliff unless they are staying for the night. That means: the cops will do so neither. Once you arrived at the parking lot on Highway One you have to get the tents, sleeping bag, fire wood and so on down the cliff (you can find more tips on camping here). Buuuuuut it is so super worth it!!! Camping and making a fire is not really allowed here but believe me no cop will come down here 😛 And in the end that doesn’t count when you wake up from the sound of the waves of the ocean in the morning. You open up the zipper of the tent and you smell the salty water and have the most beautiful view ever that no house in the world coul ever offer.
Pillar Point is another place you should visit. Coming from CA1 from the south in direction to Pillar Point you will drive by a small beach which is surfer’s paradise. The surfer’s here call those waves perfect! On the other road side you can find free parking and this is also the spot where the surfer’s park with their boards on the roof a jeep or the back of a truck (pretty American and maybe not always the case lol). They just take of their wet suits here, get dry and drive back home as well as they just take off their suits from work, put on their wet suits and run in the water! So California Dreamin’ like.
In front of the beach is a small stone wall which is a perfect sitting opportunity for the audience 🙂 If you watched those hotties enough (okay, that sound weird….) you can head to the harbor.
Here you can find many ships and boats. Old, new, big, small, with people living on it or not it is so interesting to just observe everything. You have to walk to the harbor. On the way you will pass a RV park, beaches with surf schools, a launch ramp, and the California Canoe&Cayak Rental and many small restaurants. By the harbor you can find some more restaurants and surf shops. The best you can do here is walk along the pier, sit down and enjoy. There are so many seagulls and the sunset here is beautiful! On your left you can see the harbor and on your left you can see an old, abandoned firehouse. In the distance you can see Point Bluff and the Air Force Station.
Traffic is a big topic when going to Half Moon Bay from the inland. There is only one road going to HMB, the CA-92. On the weekend it is always crowded and it takes for ever. But the road is also beautiful. You will drive by huge trees and mountains. Also you will drive over the San Andeas fault without even noticing it. Once you pass the San Andreas Lake you change technical plates. From the North American plate to the Pacific Plate (you can read more about that in my Point Reyes Article or here).