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Half Moon Bay boasts full plate of things to do
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 A coastal gem, Half Moon Bay boasts spectacular outdoor attractions showcase the powerful unspoiled beauty and bounty of the coast and the dramatic redwood trees.

Beaches – From long stretches of sandy beach to a rocky shoreline with tide pools, Half Moon Bay has many stunning public, private and state beaches to explore. Wildlife includes a wide variety of waterfowl, sea otters, sea lions and elephant seals.

Farms – Half Moon Bay is home to a number of working farms that are open to the public. Farms filled with vegetables and flowers allow visitors to experience and learn firsthand about the bounty of area by sampling the fresh local produce, picking their own fruit and vegetables, petting the animals and making their own goat cheese. During the fall, pumpkin patches abound, and in the winter, Christmas tree farms are open for the public to cut down and purchase their holiday tree.

Hot Houses and Field Flowers – Half Moon Bay’s number one industry, floriculture, is prevalent throughout the entire area, overflowing with acres of gorgeous flowers. There are many farms and nurseries to visit and learn more about the abundance of local flora that thrives throughout the area.

Pillar Point Harbor – This working fishing harbor provides a unique opportunity for visitors to interact with local fisherman and purchase fresh seafood such as Dungeness crab, salmon and tuna directly off of the boats. Locally owned coastal cafes dot the harbor, featuring the daily catch, delicious clam chowder and other local treats.

Redwood Preserves – Ancient giant redwood trees native to the central and northern California coast are in abundance throughout Half Moon Bay. Purissima Creek Trails, located on the western slopes of the Santa Cruz Mountains overlooking Half Moon Bay, is a favorite place to these “skyscrapers” considered to be the tallest trees on earth.

Tide Pools – Spectacular tide pools full of coastside aquatic life such as starfish, small crabs and sea urchins are located at Fitzgerald Marine Reserve at Moss Beach and Miramontes Point in front of The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay.

Wineries – The San Mateo Coast is home to more than 80 wineries. La Nebbia Winery is located in Half Moon Bay and features award winning wines and a gorgeous picnic area adjacent to a large pumpkin patch. Nearby, nestled in the Santa Cruz Mountains is Thomas Fogarty Winery, known for their excellent pinot noir and chardonnay, with fantastic views of the San Francisco Bay Area.

Bird Watching – Half Moon Bay is home to over 20% of all North American bird species. Two refuges, Pescadero Marsh and Pillar Point Marsh, are the perfect place to see thousands of unique birds.

Bluff and Mountain Top Hiking and Mountain Biking – A wide variety of hiking and biking trails lead through the redwoods and provide breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean.

Dining – With the abundance of fresh seafood, vegetables, cheese and wine there are many acclaimed restaurants in Half Moon Bay that offer visitors the opportunity to experience local California cuisine. The city’s wide dining variety also celebrates Italian, Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Mexican, Continental, American, French and Mediterranean cuisines. The community is filled with local cafes and bakeries, oceanside restaurants, cozy pubs, and even a restaurant with a ghost.

Golfing – Half Moon Bay is home to several award-winning championship golf courses overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Half Moon Bay Golf Links features two award-winning 18-hole championship golf courses. Directly outside of The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay are two championship courses: The Ocean Course, ranked as one of the top courses in California, is a Scottish links course meandering along the bluffs that boasts Pacific Ocean views from every hole; and The Old Course, a Parkland-style course lined by cypress trees, originally designed by Francis Duane and Arnold Palmer in 1973, and redesigned by Arthur Hills in 1999.

Historical Walking Tours – Half Moon Bay cherishes its history, and its rural charm is reflected in many historical buildings throughout the area. The Spanishtown Historical Society offers a self-guided walking tour that features historical homes, churches, commercial buildings, bridges, cemeteries and more, dating back to the mid-1800s. Points of interest include: Graveyard Hill Cemetery (1857); Angelo Boitano’s General Merchandise Store and Saloon (1873), the oldest place of continuous business in town; and the James Johnston House (1855), an unusual saltbox-style home called The White House of Half Moon Bay.

Horseback Riding on the Beach – whether galloping or simply riding at a relaxing pace next to the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean, this is a unique and fun way for visitors to experience the beautiful coast.

Shopping – charming historical Main Street is filled with many unique gift shops, art galleries and antique stores.

Sport Fishing – Visitors can charter a boat and catch fresh fish such as salmon, rock cod and albacore tuna straight out of the Pacific.

Surfing – Maverick’s, located one half mile off Pillar Point Marsh and Shoreline at Princeton Harbor, is home to some of the world’s largest waves and one of the hottest surfing locations in the world. Surfer’s Beach just south of Pillar Point Harbor is another popular spot.

Whale Watching – The best time to go whale watching is late December through early April when female whales are migrating north with their young calves. Whale watching tours depart from Pillar Point Harbor, four miles north of Half Moon Bay, regularly during the peak season.