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Half Moon Bay: The Disneyland of Pumpkins

Trading its usual seaside chill for a brilliant month full of shades of orange, Half Moon Bay morphs into the Pumpkin Capital each and every October, and it all culminates with this very weekend: the annual Art & Pumpkin Festival.

Among other things, expect to see a “Picasso of pumpkin carvers” sculpting and shaping a monster 1,000+ pound pumpkin, a handful of massive weigh-off champion pumpkins, three stages of blockbuster entertainment, everyone's favorite home-spun parade, harvest-inspired crafts, the tastiest pumpkin pie on earth, enchanting events and contests for the whole family, and the never-ending search for the Great Pumpkin waiting to be picked at one of the rustic patches the area boasts...and much, much more. Plus, there will be lots of pumpkin-flavored treats to sample, like pancakes, pies, breada, cake rolls, cheesecakes, cookies, ice cream, pumpkin caramel apples and chicken pumpkin sausages. (Tip: Wear your elastic-waisted pants.)

The Art & Pumpkin Festival is free of charge and lasts from 9am to 5pm on Saturday and Sunday. So head to the coastal enclave and pick your own pumpkin that would make Charlie Brown, Linus and the gang green with envy.

(To fight the crowds, we recommend getting there as soon as the sun comes up.)