Experience relaxing Half Moon Bay: its beaches, oceanfront, art and more!

Half Moon Bay is a laid-back coastal town with beaches, cafés, galleries and bookstores. Shop for organic fruit and vegetables, fresh flowers and locally produced honey at a farmers’ market. Relax on spacious sandy beaches with picnic areas and kayak, fish, cycle or even whale watch.

Most visitors to Half Moon Bay spend the majority of their time at the beach. Moon Bay State Beach is one of the finest beaches in the region. Head to the visitor center on weekends to learn about the history of this wonderful beach. This 4-mile (6-kilometer) sandy stretch is great for fishing, picnicking and lounging.

Drive from Half Moon Bay to Mavericks Beach in less than 20 minutes. Due to rare underwater rock formations and Pacific Ocean storms, this beach often produces large waves. Watch surfers take on the giant offshore swells from the top of the bluffs.

Back in town, visit the Barterra Winery and taste some of their award-winning vintages. Embark on a salmon fishing charter; many boat trips depart from Pillar Point Harbor.

The Half Moon Bay Coastalside Trail is a scenic hiking, running and cycling trail that runs through the protected Wavecrest Open Space. Admire picturesque views of the ocean and spot birds such as hawks and herons.

Half Moon Bay is located in San Mateo County, California, about 30 miles (48 kilometers) from San Francisco and just 30 minutes’ drive from San Francisco International Airport. The town is less than 15 minutes’ drive from numerous attractions, including the small coastal hamlets of El Granada and Moss Beach.

With its long golden beaches, oceanfront walking trails and wide range of outdoor activities, Half Moon Bay is a popular weekend escape for San Franciscans.

Known for

Beaches, Dining and Sea

Top hotels in Half Moon Bay

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Image for Half Moon Bay Lodge
Half Moon Bay Lodge
3 out of 5
2400 Cabrillo Hwy S, Half Moon Bay, CA
£166/night
29 Sep-30 Sep
4.2/5Excellent! (1,438 reviews)

Situated in Half Moon Bay, this golf hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Pelican Point Beach and Half Moon Bay Golf Links. Half Moon Bay State Beach and Cowell ...

4.2/5Excellent! (1,438 reviews)

"Staff was very friendly, I did have an additional charge, maybe hotel fees, (it was over $30), regardless, they should have stated that, besides that it's a charming place."…"

Reviewed on 6 Sep 2019

Half Moon Bay Lodge
Image for The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay
The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay
5 out of 5
1 Miramontes Point Rd, Half Moon Bay, CA
£882/night
13 Oct-14 Oct
4.6/5Wonderful! (436 reviews)

This family-friendly Half Moon Bay hotel is located by the ocean, within a 5-minute walk of Half Moon Bay Golf Links and Pelican Point Beach. Half Moon Bay State ...

4.6/5Wonderful! (436 reviews)

"This is a gorgeous hotel, and the price being extreme is worth it!"…"

Reviewed on 12 Sep 2019

The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay
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Zaballa House
3 out of 5
324 Main St, Half Moon Bay, CA
£125/night
16 Sep-17 Sep
3.8/5Good! (991 reviews)

Situated in Half Moon Bay, this bed & breakfast is within 1 mile (2 km) of Francis Beach and Half Moon Bay State Beach. Venice Beach in Half Moon Bay and Dunes ...

3.8/5Good! (991 reviews)

"Every good breakfast. Fresh fruit, yogurt, quiche, bagels. Central location The property is a bit under disrepair. Given the ocean this is not surprising"…"

Reviewed on 7 Sep 2019

Zaballa House

Popular things to do in Half Moon Bay

Golden Gate Bridge
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Golden Gate Bridge

Cars trundle across it and ships sail under it, but the best way to experience this iconic bridge is on foot. 

Pier 39
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Pier 39

This waterfront attraction offers thrilling rides, innovative street performers and colorful souvenir shops, but it’s the sea lions that win the day. 

Alcatraz Island
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Alcatraz Island

Escape to “The Rock,” home of the infamous and abandoned island prison, and discover how it earned a reputation as a cold and unforgiving place.

Lombard Street
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Lombard Street

Lombard Street is a well-known landmark worth seeing in San Francisco. Discover the beautiful sunsets and shops in this vibrant area.

Palace of Fine Arts
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Palace of Fine Arts

This Roman-inspired palace built in 1915 remains a modern-day renaissance center of fine arts and science. 

Golden Gate Park
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Golden Gate Park

This beloved park offers relaxation among trees, flowers and wildlife, right in San Francisco’s backyard. 

Top activities in Half Moon Bay

Pacific Sky Tour
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Pacific Sky Tour

£130

Cruise through the air above the Pacific Ocean, catching glimpses of the golden sands around Half Moon Bay, admiring dramatic rock formations scattered down the coast, and snapping photos of dense redwood forests from your lofty aerial vantage point on this breathtaking scenic flight.

San Francisco Double Decker Open Top Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour
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San Francisco Double Decker Open Top Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

£41

Explore San Francisco with a birds eye view of the city by the bay. Cross the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. Learn about the city from our entertaining live tour guides as they provide you with rich history and insider tips. Become a Local Expert on a Big Bus Tour.

Total Yosemite Experience with Giant Sequoias
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Total Yosemite Experience with Giant Sequoias

£153

Spend a day soaking up the natural splendor and breathtaking beauty of Yosemite National Park on this full-day excursion from San Francisco. Trek to a grove of giant sequoias, marvel at features like El Capitan, and enjoy free time to explore the park's outdoor wonders and historic lodges on your own.

Napa Valley & Sonoma - Wine Country Tour from San Francisco
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Napa Valley & Sonoma - Wine Country Tour from San Francisco

£97

Join us on a fun and relaxing Napa Valley Wine Tour on one of our luxury coaches. During our full day tour from San Francisco, you will visit renowned Napa Valley and Sonoma Wineries for tasting, learn about winemaking techniques, and shop for wines and souvenirs in local shops.

Alcatraz Island Ticket with Chinatown Tour & Cable Car
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Alcatraz Island Ticket with Chinatown Tour & Cable Car

£79

Spend your a day visiting Alcatraz, riding a cable car and taking a guided tour of Chinatown with this tour/ticket combo pack. It’s a great way to enjoy some of San Francisco’s quintessential experiences with the help of a local to both guide you and sort out logistics.

2-Day, 2-Tour Alcatraz & Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito
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2-Day, 2-Tour Alcatraz & Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito

£82

Catch a boat ride to Alcatraz, cruise over the saffron spans of the Golden Gate Bridge by bicycle, and coast down winding roads to the charming streets of Sausalito on this 2-day guided tour.

Read travel guides and advice on visiting Half Moon Bay

Best hikes around San Jose
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Best hikes around San Jose

Exploring Silicon Valley, one trail at a time