Welcome to Half Moon Bay
Undeniable historic charm radiates from this scenic coastal town
Encounter a vibrant small-town feel in the small city of Half Moon Bay, encircled by forested hills and some of California’s most dazzling coastline. Equal parts beautiful open space and historic appeal, Half Moon Bay is apt to make visitors and residents nostalgic for the slower pace of a bygone era with its incredibly caring, warm atmosphere. Around 28 miles from San Francisco, Half Moon Bay is a veritable escape, where the coastal ridges are blanketed in soft green grass.
From its early beginnings as a very rural, agricultural community, Half Moon Bay experienced a slow bloom into today’s thriving town. Suburb divisions sprouting post-WWII led to the city’s incorporation in 1959. However, Half Moon Bay is rich in historical structures and homes, taking great measures to conserve its downtown district.
Most of the homes in Half Moon Bay were developed during the 1960s-80s, though there are also a good number of historic homes and contemporary new builds and condos. Modest beach cottages and gorgeous Colonials saturate the market with beauty, and it’s not uncommon to run into magnificent Spanish Colonial and Mediterranean homes along Half Moon Bay’s pristine streets.
What to Love
- Less than an hour from San Francisco
- Alluring historic downtown district
- Highly involved community and dedicated leadership
People & Lifestyle
The neighbors in Half Moon Bay genuinely care for one another and their city at large. Small enough to feel close-knit yet big enough to keep things exciting, Half Moon Bay has the perfect characteristics for families looking to settle down or individuals with a strong sense of community.
Dining, Shopping, & Entertainment
For a picturesque retail experience, residents invariably head to Historic Downtown Half Moon Bay
. Art galleries, hip coffee shops, local retailers, and delicious restaurants await along the scenic Main Street, with notable buys including the hand-crafted, fair trade gifts at LuzLuna Imports
and chic, locally sourced fashion at Urban Sanctuary
While you’re out and about for the day, Half Moon Bay is awash with places to grab a bite to eat. At the historic San Benito House
are two of Half Moon Bay’s local favorites, The Cantina
and The Garden Deli Cafe
. The former serves excellent Mexican cuisine, craft beers, and tequila from a convivial indoor venue, while the latter has some of the best sandwiches on the coast. With its locally brewed craft beers and Latin-inspired cuisine in their Tap Room, it’s no wonder that the Hop Dogma Brewery
is one of the most visited establishments in Half Moon Bay.
For an upscale meal featuring locally sourced ingredients and a seasonal menu, there’s hardly a better establishment than Pasta Moon
. Supporting sustainable agriculture with their farm-to-table practices, this Half Moon Bay staple is dishing out decadent Italian fare every week. Another sustainably-minded location, Sam’s Chowder House
is famous for its fresh oyster bar, decadent clam chowder, and irresistible lobster rolls.
Things to Do
Half Moon Bay is packed with recreational options, the most well-known being the Half Moon Bay State Beach
. Four miles of sand and sun greet visitors of the beach, ideal for sunbathing, picnics, and fishing. Alternatively, residents can check out Mavericks Beach
, which is the site of a large annual surfing competition of the same name.
A surprising facet of Half Moon Bay is that it’s brimming with pumpkin patches
. Fall is lovingly embraced in the city, where the agrarian coastland turns into a vibrant tapestry of autumnal colors, haunted houses, and celebrations. The Half Moon Bay Art and Pumpkin Festival
is held for one weekend during pumpkin harvesting season and has a massive pumpkin weigh-off competition, live entertainment, pumpkin-carving artists, tons of food, and adventure attractions.
Half Moon Bay is home to several excellent schools. Top educational opportunities include:
- Half Moon Bay High School, 9-12, highly rated public high school
- Sea Crest School, PK & K-8, highly rated private elementary school
- Kings Mountain Elementary School, K-5, highly rated public elementary school