No have to drive for hours from the Large Metropolis to get rural allure and spectacular coastal magnificence. Half Moon Bay is only a half hour from San Francisco.
It is on this small village that you will discover quaint outlets and just a little extra laid-back tempo than the bay cities lower than a half-hour drive to the northeast. There are lighthouses and farms close by, flower markets, spectacular tide swimming pools, and a harbor with the freshest of crab, salmon and halibut that discover their means onto tables of some wonderful native eating places.
Half Moon Bay is certainly particular, and it is most likely all as a result of its title – how may a spot named Half Moon Bay be something however a dreamy little enclave with virtually fairy-tale views of the ocean?
Our most up-to-date go to to Half Moon Bay was enhanced by our lodging – a spot referred to as the Seashore Home that provides 54 colourful loft suites perched on a scenic cliff overlooking the shoreline. The suites are spacious and welcoming, designed as open studios to reap the benefits of the ocean views. Every unit features a non-public patio or balcony in addition to separate bed room and residing areas. All of the conveniences are there: wooden burning fireplaces, moist bars, microwaves, fridges, goose down comforters – you title it.
With its Cape Cod styling, the Seashore Home blends completely with the windswept seashore slightly below the lodge and the handfuls of sailboats anchored simply contained in the breakwater point. You possibly can stroll extensive trails right down to the marina or seashore and have the sense that you simply really are an extended methods from the Large Metropolis.
After all the lodge’s spa providers will remind you that you simply’re not precisely in Kansas – there’s a complete menu of spa enhancements out there together with the signature Parisian Lavender Wrap, Reiki Therapeutic massage and Aromatherapy.
Only a five-minute drive from the lodge is the downtown buying district of Half Moon Bay, a spot to meander and discover when you search for that particular one thing to take again to family and friends. Quite a few boutiques, eating places and cafes are alongside Historic Most important Road, to not point out extra bakeries per capita than any small metropolis now we have visited.
A restaurant referred to as Cetrella was advisable to us and is described as a “casually elegant Mediterranean bistro” with maybe the latest and most spectacular constructing within the downtown buying space. The menu was wonderful in its selection, but it nonetheless provided easy decisions between seafood, beef, pork, lamb and even rabbit. Amongst our favorites have been the mesquite grilled dry aged Creekstone Farms Black Angus ribeye and the seared Cypress Island salmon – each cooked to perfection. Greens, served in a dizzying array of various dishes, have been the freshest we will bear in mind – which ought to come as no shock contemplating there are farms inside strolling distance of the restaurant. All and all, Cetrella was successful with our household and apparently with everybody else on the town, too – this huge restaurant was nearing capability even on a weekday night time.
One other enjoyable place to dine in Half Moon Bay is Sam’s Chowder Home, our alternative for lunch on the second day. This pretty new restaurant is only a brief stroll from the lodge and gives terrific views of the bay. Our favourite merchandise: the clam chowder.
As soon as you’ve got shopped and dined to your coronary heart’s content material, the subsequent step is exploration and that begins with the seashores proper in Half Moon Bay. There are some 55 miles of seashores alongside this a part of the Coastside space – the realm simply on the west aspect of the mountains from San Francisco Bay cities — and it appeared like an excellent variety of these have been proper in Half Moon Bay. We took a path alongside the bluffs after which went down one other path to the seashore stage the place on this windy day we had miles and miles of seashores to ourselves. Little doubt on much less windy days there are extra guests having fun with these extensive, seemingly limitless seashores.
Quite a few state parks and coastal trails of all varieties are present in practically the entire communities alongside Freeway 1. McNee Ranch State Park is a 700-acre protect close to Montara Mountain that provides picture-perfect ocean and hillside views. San Pedro Valley County park is an 1,150-acre park in Pacifica that provides a number of brief, scenic trails.
Eco-tourism is huge on this space solely minutes from downtown San Francisco and among the many actions to place you in contact along with your planet are visits to space wildlife preserves and farms. Pillar Level Harbor, close to the Seashore Home, is a working fishing harbor the place you possibly can work together with fishermen and ladies and find out how they make their residing from the ocean. Actually you possibly can go fishing your self on one of many native constitution boats, or take a ship out to observe the whales that journey the Pacific Coast, December via April.
And the way’s this for an fascinating possibility: Spend a part of your go to staying on an area family-owned farm the place you will get an up-close view of how farmers make their residing from the soil or from animal merchandise. You can even tour a farm if you do not have time to remain. Phipp’s Ranch in Pescadero options over 100 kinds of natural veggies, vegetation and herbs, whereas Harley Farms Goat Dairy options an edible flower backyard and excursions of their cheese-making room.
Along with the seashore actions similar to beachcombing and tide pooling, there are a few fowl refuges within the space. The Pescadero Marsh is the place about 200 species of birds relaxation and feed annually and the path that leads alongside an previous marshlands dike gives some nice views. At Pillar Level, bird-watchers have sighted about 20 p.c of all North American fowl species together with herons, snowy egrets, loons and grebes.
Lastly, you should definitely go to the 2 historic lighthouses situated in alongside this coast. The Level Montara Lighthouse is in Montara and simply off Freeway 1 – though hold a watchful eye otherwise you’ll miss the turn-off. It was constructed for mariners approaching the generally fog-shrouded San Francisco Coast and dates again so far as 1875. The present 30-foot tower and lens have been in operation since 1928. The grounds are presently leased to American Youth Hostel, Inc. and are open from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. and 5 to 9:30 p.m.
The Pigeon Level Lighthouse State Historic Park is situated south of Pescadero on the way in which to Santa Cruz. The lighthouse lens was lit for the primary time in 1872 and this specific lighthouse is among the two tallest on the West Coast. The grounds are open each day from daybreak to nightfall with guided excursions and docents out there from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends. There’s a hostel at this lighthouse as effectively.
AT A GLANCE
WHERE: Half Moon Bay is about 25 miles from San Francisco and accessible utilizing the two-lane coast highway from Pacifica or by driving Interstate 280 south from San Francisco after which motoring the previous couple of miles west on Freeway 92, a two-lane highway. Half Moon Bay feels fairly rural, most likely as a result of it has some coastal mountains separating it from San Francisco.
WHAT: Half Moon Bay is a perfect alternative for a brief getaway that provides a wide range of lodging, good native eating places, quaint outlets, seashores and loads of seaside actions similar to tide pooling and sea kayaking.
WHEN: Any time of 12 months. Bundle up for these winter walks, and generally even summer season months are fairly quiet down on the seashore.