A Modern Guide to Half Moon Bay

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There are plenty of scenic hikes, endless beaches, and delicious food to keep you happy. 

EAT

Half Moon Bay Brewing Company

No matter what time of the day, this local staple is good for breakfast hitting before beach; quick salads in the afternoon; or creamy chowder and lightly battered calamari with beer tastings around the fire pit at night.  //  390 Capistrano Rd., hmbbrewingco.com

Barbara’s Fish Trap

Overlooking the harbor, Barbara’s Fishtrap has been a seafood institution for decades. Not a fan of waiting lines? Grab your fish and chips from the attached kiosk and savor it on the beach or at the outside tables. // 281 Capistrano Rd., barbarasfishtrap.com

Half Moon Bay Bakery

There is nothing better than a good ole family-owned bakery in a small town, filled with donuts, Mexican wedding cookies and all manner of buttery deliciousness plucked from granny's recipe book. The prices are unbeatable and the maple glazed donut with bacon is unforgettable.  //  514 Main St., 650-726-4841

Moss Beach Distillery

Hidden among cypress trees on a cliff, its easy to understand how this old distillery became smuggler point during Prohibition. Today, it’s a perfect (and pet-friendly!) spot for a simple meal. Take your drinks to the fire pit on the patio, especially when the fog rolls in. Hint: Look out for ghosts.  //  140 Beach Way (Moss Beach), mossbeachdistillery.com

Sam’s Chowder House

You haven’t been to Half Moon Bay if you haven’t indulged in Sam’s famous lobster roll. Attracting locals and visitors alike, Sam’s might get crowded on the weekends, but the food is worth the wait. Try to grab a spot outside, or take your clam chowder to the nearby beach.  //  4210 Cabrillo Hwy N, samschowderhouse.com

Half Moon Bay Wine & Cheese

In addition to wine tastings, this boutique sells carefully selected wines and cheeses. Can you say picnic?  //  421 Main St, hmbwineandcheese.com


STAY



Point Montara Lighthouse

Comfort: enough. Price: super affordable. View: million dollar worth
The old Montara Lighthouse has been transformed into a hostel with a view most hotels would charge your life savings for. Book a room, pack some provisions for a dinner al fresco and watch the sun dipping into the Pacific ocean. // 8800 Cabrillo Hwy, Montara, norcalhostels.org/montara

Oceano Hotel & Spa

Close to everything, yet with the ocean view and a promenade just in front, Oceano Hotel & Spa will treat you good. Enjoy lazy breakfast in bed, long walks on the beach and relaxing spa treatments - you deserve it. // 280 Capistrano Rd, oceanohalfmoonbay.com

Seahouse Room 

If you're looking for a cheap-but-cool Airbnb, we like the Seahouse Room, with its private deck and soaking tub, for a cozy weekend for two. You can make your own breakfast in the huge (shared) kitchen or cruise around on complimentary bikes.  //  airbnb.com

(Photo by AirCanada)

Ritz-Carlton

A stay at this majestic, oceanfront property takes any Half Moon Bay escape to a whole new level—you can have a soak in the fireside hot tub in the spa, sip wine at sunset, and dig into a luxurious meal at Navio before tucking into your suite for the night. If you don't have the coin to stay overnight, the Ritz is still a must stop. Enjoy a hot tea or cocoa on the patio while listening to the waves crash below.  //  1 Miramontes Point Rd, ritzcarlton.com/HalfMoonBay

TO DO

Fitzgerald Marine Reservoir

Breathe in the fresh ocean air while you discover the local sea life and tide pools along this wind-shaped stretch of coastline.  //  200 Nevada Ave (Moss Beach), fitzgeraldreserve.org

(Photo by Everything Pumpkin)

Pumpkin Patches

Come fall, it's pumpkin season in Half Moon Bay, and there are plenty of patches to take the kiddos. Diehards should check out the Art & Pumpkin Festival (Oct 17-18, 2015). One of the largest and oldest California festivities, the weekend shindig promises homestyle food, local arts and crafts, music from Bay Area bands, and some seriously massive pumpkins.  //  pumpkinfest.miramarevents.com

Half Moon Bay Beaches

Wide open with cream-colored sand, Half Moon Bay’s 10-plus beaches are its signature attraction—they are so spacious, you won't be forced to lay head to head with other relaxing humans. Our favorites are Poplar, Redondo, and Miramar.

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