Half Moon BayUnited States of America

4.5/5Top Destination

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
Half Moon Bay Lodge
Half Moon Bay Lodge
3 out of 5
2400 Cabrillo Hwy S, Half Moon Bay, CA
$159
per night
Nov 6 - Nov 7
4.2/5Excellent! (1,460 reviews)

"Good price for the area, hotel was clean and quiet"…"

Reviewed on Oct 14, 2019

Half Moon Bay Lodge
The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay
The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay
5 out of 5
1 Miramontes Point Rd, Half Moon Bay, CA
$869
per night
Nov 15 - Nov 16
4.6/5Wonderful! (439 reviews)

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

Reviewed on Sep 12, 2019

The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay
Coastside Inn
Coastside Inn
2 out of 5
230 S. Cabrillo Hwy, Half Moon Bay, CA
$149
per night
Oct 31 - Nov 1
3.8/5Good! (922 reviews)

"It had a nice coastal feel and was convenient to get downtown and to the beach. Not walkable but short drive. Breakfast was goid but it got crowded around the coffee toaster area. Layout could be better."…"

Reviewed on Oct 14, 2019

Coastside Inn

Popular things to do in Half Moon Bay

Golden Gate Bridge
Image for Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge

4.5/5(6,400 reviews)

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

Pier 39
Image for Pier 39

Pier 39

4.5/5(6,041 reviews)

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
Image for Alcatraz Island

Alcatraz Island

4.5/5(2,393 reviews)

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
Image for Lombard Street

Lombard Street

4.5/5(3,932 reviews)

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

Palace of Fine Arts
Image for Palace of Fine Arts

Palace of Fine Arts

4.5/5(1,205 reviews)

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

Golden Gate Park
Image for Golden Gate Park

Golden Gate Park

4.5/5(4,406 reviews)

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
Image for Pacific Sky Tour

Pacific Sky Tour

$159

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

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

$50

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.

Catamaran Sailing Cruise on the Bay
Image for Catamaran Sailing Cruise on the Bay

Catamaran Sailing Cruise on the Bay

$45

Board a catamaran and set sail across the waters of the beautiful San Francisco Bay. Along your journey, enjoy the panoramic views of the city skyline, loop around the historic prison on Alcatraz Island, and pass beneath the majestic span of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Redwoods & Wine Country Escape to Sonoma & Napa with Optional Gourmet Lunch
Image for Redwoods & Wine Country Escape to Sonoma & Napa with Optional Gourmet Lunch

Redwoods & Wine Country Escape to Sonoma & Napa with Optional Gourmet Lunch

$139

For over a decade Extranomical Tours has been creating amazing memories on our Redwoods and Wine Country Escape tour from San Francisco. This award-winning tour combines two of California’s best experiences: Coast Redwoods in Muir Woods and California’s Wine Country! It’s the only Woods & Wine tour to include all wine tasting fees and a gourmet lunch upgrade.

Total Yosemite Experience with Giant Sequoias
Image for Total Yosemite Experience with Giant Sequoias

Total Yosemite Experience with Giant Sequoias

$189

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.

Private Tour: San Francisco Sightseeing - 3 Hour
Image for Private Tour: San Francisco Sightseeing - 3 Hour

Private Tour: San Francisco Sightseeing - 3 Hour

$43

Itinerary This is a typical itinerary for this product Pass By: Pier 39, Beach Street & The Embarcadero Parking area, San Francisco, CA 94133 Fisherman's Wharf Pass By: Embarcadero Center, Embarcadero at Battery Financial District, San Francisco, CA

Reviews of Half Moon Bay

4.5

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
159
5 - Excellent 58.24175824175824%
4 - Good
91
4 - Good 33.333333333333336%
3 - Okay
17
3 - Okay 6.227106227106227%
2 - Disappointing
2
2 - Disappointing 0.7326007326007326%
1 - Terrible
4
1 - Terrible 1.465201465201465%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Oct 2, 2019

The weather was absolutely perfect! The Harbor Inn was really close to some really great places to eat!! Beautiful sunset!

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Sep 23, 2019

Great beaches

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Aug 31, 2019

Barbara’s Fishtrap is our new favorite place to eat and love the beaches 

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Aug 30, 2019

Half moon bay was nice especially during the week when it is. It too busy.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Aug 25, 2019

It was one of the most spectacular places we visited. Especially if you love nature

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Aug 13, 2019

love visiting Main Street and love eating at restaurants overlooking the water

Read travel guides and advice on visiting Half Moon Bay

Best hikes around San Jose
Image for Best hikes around San Jose

Best hikes around San Jose

Exploring Silicon Valley, one trail at a time