Walk along this beautiful beach and enjoy all of the great things to do in Half Moon Bay, CA

A Quiet Getaway on California’s Half Moon Bay

Select Registry - May 12, 2022

Soak Up the Sun in California

Taking in these dramatic coastal views, its one of the best things to do in Half Moon Bay, CA

Experience Northern California’s dramatic and quiet coastal beauty with a trip to Half Moon Bay.  There are plenty of things to do in Half Moon Bay, though the best reason to come is to retreat into this coastal paradise. Half Moon Bay is located around 45 minutes south of San Francisco, yet it feels like an entirely different universe than its metropolitan neighbor to the north. 

As you drive south towards Half Moon Bay, leaving the highrises of San Franciso in your rearview mirror, you’ll find yourself mesmerized by the dramatic cliffs, pounding waves, and soft, sandy beaches of the California coast. A string of beaches will beckon, and it won’t take you long to sink into the laid-back California way of life. 

There’s great hiking, biking, and surfing in the area, not to mention exquisite restaurants, wine tastings, and a wide variety of other things to do in Half Moon Bay – but getaways here are all about getting away. It’s genuinely the change of scenery you’ve been dreaming about. 

One of the things we love most about our Select Registry network is the unique destinations they take us to – and this coastal retreat is no different. Explore this quiet part of California’s coast with us this summer, and enjoy the best things to do in Half Moon Bay. There’s no better place to stay than our Select Registry Bed and Breakfast in Half Moon Bay

San Gregorio State Beach in Half Moon Bay, CA

Visit Half Moon Bay State Beach

There’s nothing better than spending a day at the beach under the warmth of California’s summer sun, and there’s no better place to do it than Half Moon Bay State Beach. Half Moon Bay State Beach is one of the top-rated things to do in Half Moon Bay, and one visit is all you’ll need to see why. You’ll find four wide and pristine miles of beach to explore, and it’s perfect for a variety of activities, such as sunbathing, picnics, surfing, fishing, and camping.

Half Moon Bay State Beach is actually a network of four different beaches: Francis Beach, Dunes Beach, Venice Beach, and Roosevelt Beach. The main hub of these beaches is Francis Beach (also sometimes called Kelly Beach), located at the south end of Half Moon Bay State Beach. Francis Beach is a popular spot for picnicking, sunbathing, and even surfing – in short, all of the best things to do in Half Moon Bay! 

Venice beach is adjacent to Francis Beach, and it’s just as beautiful, though often less crowded. Pilarcitos and Frenchman’s Creeks border this part of Half Moon Bay State Beach, so they sometimes form lagoons at the beach.  Continue farther north at Half Moon Bay State Beach, and you’ll find your way to Dunes Beach, which is adjacent to the popular California Coastal Trail. The trail is popular for bikers, walkers, and horseback riders. 

Finally, the northern stretch of Half Moon Bay State Beach is Roosevelt Beach (also called Naples Beach). It’s the least accessible part of Half Moon Bay State Beach and thus also the least crowded. To get here, you have to take a short walk from the Dunes Beach parking lot – but the views of Miramar and Pillar Point Harbor to the north are more than worth it!

Just as there are more great things to do in Half Moon Bay than hang out at the beach, there are more beaches than just Half Moon Bay State Beach. Some of the other top beaches in Half Moon Bay include: 

  1. Spending a day at Poplar Beach is one of our favorite things to do in Half Moon Bay, and it also happens to be a great dog-friendly beach. Horses are allowed here, too, so if you’ve been craving that seaside ride, this is your place. 
  2. Montara State Beach is another dog-friendly beach to the north of Half Moon Bay State Beach.
  3. Gray Whale Cove State Beach is quiet and off the radar, which means less crowded and more enjoyable for you! The cliffside has a fun swing, and sitting on it will help you soar out and see the stunning ocean views. 
  4. If you want to explore tidepools, head to Fitzgerald Marine Reserve
  5. Suppose you’re into surfing or want to give it a try, head to the aptly named Surfer’s Beach. It doesn’t have the big waves of other famed surfing beaches. Even if you don’t enjoy surfing, it’s a fun place to watch the surfers attempt their craft. 
Visiting this lighthouse is one of the best things to do in Half Moon Bay, CA

More Things to do in Half Moon Bay, CA

As easy as it would be to spend an entire vacation at the beach, there are many other wonderful things to do in Half Moon Bay! From sampling admiring the dramatic coastal beauty to walking among the giants of the Redwood National Forest, there’s no shortage of things to do in Half Moon Bay.

There’s great hiking, biking, and outdoor recreation, wonderful restaurants and shopping, fun events throughout the summer, and plenty of art and culture to round out your vacation.  If you’re looking for a destination that has it all, you should consider a getaway to Half Moon Bay.  Here are just a few of our favorite things to do in Half Moon Bay:

  1. Hike or bike on the Half Moon Bay Coastal Trail (California Coastal Trail), which runs parallel to the Pacific Coast Highway and offers grand, sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean.
  2. Hiking is one of the best things to do in Half Moon Bay, and there are several excellent trails to explore. Favorites include Old San Pedro Mountain, Gray Whale Cove Trail, Cowell-Purisima Trail, Butano State Park, Audubon Trail at Pescadero Marsh Natural Preserve, and the Año Nuevo Point Trail.
  3. With scenery as inspiring as what you find in Half Moon Bay, it’s no surprise that art galleries are burgeoning with incredible works of art. Spend an afternoon browsing local galleries and connecting with local artists, and you’ll leave inspired – and maybe with a new piece of art to take home. 
  4. Visit the Pescadero Marsh or Pillar Point Marsh, two exceptional bird-watching destinations, especially in the spring and fall. 
  5. This area thoroughly embraces its agricultural history, so one of our favorite things to do in Half Moon Bay is to visit the local farmers’ market.
  6. Two of the West Coast’s most majestic golf courses are located here, and visiting them is one of our favorite things to do in Half Moon Bay! Tee off at The Old Course or The Ocean Course
  7. Though looking at the beautiful ocean is one of our favorite things to do in Half Moon Bay, getting out on the water is even better. Take one of the many whale watching, charter, or other boat tours in the area.
  8. Like many coastal towns in California, there’s a burgeoning wine and beer scene in Half Moon Bay. It’s hard to argue with sipping and swirling your afternoon away on craft beverages, and it’s quickly become one of our favorite things to do in Half Moon Bay!
  9. Surfing isn’t the only watersport worth trying in Half Moon Bay!  It’s also an excellent place for kayaking, paddleboarding, and more.
  10. Northern California cuisine is known to be fresh, delicious, local, and seasonal – and we’d be lying if we didn’t mention eating as one of our favorite things to do in Half Moon Bay!  Luckily, there are some really exceptional restaurants in the area. 

As fantastic as these things are, one of our absolute favorite things to do in Half Moon Bay is to kick back, relax, and enjoy the warm summer breezes at our Select Registry California Bed and Breakfast. When you choose to Stay Select, you’re choosing an experience that is second to none. See the difference good hospitality can make – book your room at one of our California Bed and Breakfasts today!

Best Place to Stay in Half Moon Bay

Mill Rose inn Bed and Breakfast

An unforgettable Half Moon Bay bed and breakfast experience from the vibrant gardens to the breathtaking California views, the Inn offers nothing less than the finest accommodations. Scattered throughout the Inn are valuable antiques and watercolors, magnificent decor, and period furnishings, which create an ambiance of soothing refinement. 

Half Moon Bay maintains the flavor of its farming heritages amid the sophistication of a developing resort. Within minutes of the B&B are several secluded beaches, one-of-a-kind shops, hiking and biking trails in redwood forests, wine tasting venues, and amazing art galleries.

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