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- Sam's Chowder House
- 4210 N. Cabrillo Hwy - Half Moon Bay
- California 94019 - United States
- (650) 712-0245
- [email protected]
Even Evil Knievel wannabes aren't foolish enough to paddle or get towed out to Half Moon Bay's world famous surf spot, Mavericks - especially during winter when the waves are seriously cranking. Located one half mile off the shoreline of Pillar Point Marsh, the legendary spot is known for regularly producing some of the all-time most monstrous and challenging walls of water. Though it's more of a place to let pros risk life and limb as you watch safely from shore, should you get inspired to "get tubed" you can check the surf report, rent a board, find calmer, more approachable curls at local beach breaks (Ask the guys at Cowboy Surf Shop where to go.), or take a lesson or enroll in a full-blown surf camp through Open Ocean Surfing.
Want to do some active exploring? Whether you opt for two wheels or your own two feet, Half Moon Bay has a myriad of ways to get back to nature. Hike or bike through McNee Ranch State Park where you'll find native plants and wildlife and magnificent Pacific Ocean and coastline views from as high as 1,898 feet. Hoof it along Gray Whale Cove State Beach's trail, where cliffs lead to sandy seclusion and often, in season, whale sightings. Immerse yourself in eucalyptus groves and a rich assortment of wildlife at Burleigh Murray State Park. Check out California's famed redwoods along the Purisima Creek Trail in Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve, a park that also welcomes bikers. Or walk, hike, or bike along Half Moon Bay State Beach's Coastside Trail. Before you set out on any trek, it's a good idea to check trail conditions.
Half Moon Bay is a choice spot to tote the tots because the infinite ways to keep them entertained are equally fun for adults. Play at one of the many beaches or go tide pooling. Visit a farm with a petting zoo and pony, train, and hay rides. Learn about making goat cheese and milk a goat and let the kids play with 'kids' as in kid goats. Pick your own fruit. Strawberry patches and many more welcome kids and kids love it. Take surf lessons. Whale watch. Or go kayaking, take a hike, or simply lounge around your hotel pool and spend some relaxed quality time. The quaint seaside town is so friendly and accommodating that even the family dog is welcome at some hotels, hiking trails, and beaches.
If half of Half Moon Bay's heart is oceanfront living, the other half is agriculture, which means visitors have unlimited access to organic edible delights - not to mention more flowers than you'd find at the annual Rose Bowl Parade. Beyond plucking up deals from roadside stands selling locally grown artichokes, fava beans, peas, leeks, pumpkins, flowers, and more, visitors can indulge all the senses by visiting farms and nurseries. Gather fresh produce within a historic barn at Andreotti Family Farm.
Getting teed off while on vacation is a good thing if you happen to be in Half Moon Bay. Here even the driving range has an oceanfront view, as do the two world-class 18-hole championship courses at the Half Moon Bay Golf Links. Along with breathtaking vistas, the resort boasts numerous reasons to dust off your clubs. The resort was named the 34th top resort in the nation by Golf Digest and the 27th golf destination in the country by Conde Nast Traveler. The Old Course, previously the Links Course, is famed for being one of the most difficult in the region, while the Ocean Course, designed to rival the famed fairways of Scotland, challenges and dazzles with oceanfront holes. Visit to get a visual of each hole, but be warned: Right afterward you're likely to be booking a tee-time and packing your bags!
California dreaming is a reality in Half Moon Bay. Here you can jump on a horse and see the famed coastline - from its forests to its beaches - on horseback. Give a holler to Sea Horse Ranch & Friendly Acres Horse Rentals to giddy-up along seven miles of trails, which meanders along creeks and bluffs and down to the sandy shore. Take younger tots on a pony ride. Regardless, here in Half Moon Bay riding into the sunset can be an everyday occurrence.
Stretching along miles and miles of pristine California Coastline, the Half Moon Bay region is teeming with aquatic life and rich marine reserves - and exciting ways to interact with them. Play with starfish, hermit crabs, and more while tide pooling. Go on a fishing expedition from land or sea. Grab some binoculars and watch migrating gray whales from the beach or a whale-watching cruise. Make the short drive to Año Nuevo State Reserve to see the magnificent and sizable elephant seals lounging on the beach. Or play ornithologist and check out the sea birds during a bird-watching adventure. Plan your trip right and you'll find Half Moon Bay is one big natural aquarium containing an amazingly diverse and wide selection of the sea's living wonders.
Half Moon Bay is a birdwatcher's paradise. With two incredible sanctuaries in which to view an astounding variety of winged wonders, it's entirely possible to site hundreds of species in one day - especially in late fall and early spring. Along with being the gateway to the world-famous surf spot Mavericks, Pillar Point Marsh is home to twenty percent of all the North American bird species. Visit the area, which is fed by salt and fresh water, to see great herons, snowy egrets, loons, and red-winged blackbirds, and hundreds more feathered friends. Take time to follow the trail around the point to excellent tide pools and visions of California sea lions lounging on offshore rocks. Another preferred stop is Pescadero Marsh bird refuge where nearly 200 species rest and feed each year. Drop by to spot great blue herons, great egrets and snowy egrets, northern harriers, and more, and see why Half Moon Bay is indeed for the birds.
Surrounding Half Moon Bay's charming downtown are endless ways to get out and enjoy some fresh air and unadulterated California coastal terrain. A true outdoor wonderland, this quaint seaside town manages to offer virtually all of Northern California's earthy delights (not to mention those of the sea). You can hit the beach, hike or bike along hundreds of acres of pristine trails complete with famed California redwoods and wildlife, indulge in water sports, bird watch, go tide pooling, camp, or get some fresh sea air while playing a leisurely game of golf. Did we mention that they're minutes from each other, allowing visitors a smorgasbord of al fresco experiences with minimal travel time or effort?
Whether you fancy yourself a sharp shooter or simply want a few picturesque snapshots of you on vacation, Half Moon Bay's diverse scenery creates an idyllic centerpiece or backdrop for any photo. Capture the beauty of the California coastline complete with pristine beaches, colorful tide pools, and giant waves. Frame the quaint seaside ambiance through stills of fisherman doing their thing, small but busting Main Street, and the beautifully fresh bounty offered at local farms. Immortalize the area's redwood forests, mountains, and wildlife. The area is a visual paradise, so make sure to pack lots of film and your best camera.
While there's plenty to do without leaving the streets and shores of Half Moon Bay proper, taking a spin around the area promises to divulge infinite visual treasures and priceless discoveries. A few memorable California treats you can expect include craggy bluffs with trademark ocean views, tide pools overflowing with sea life, towering and majestic redwood forests, bucolic and welcoming farms, boutique wineries, back country roads, and forgotten little villages - all of which are within easy reach yet still allow you to be back in town by cocktail hour! See your Half Moon Bay hotel concierge or innkeeper for referral to a route that best suites you.
Flashback to a more old-fashioned, small-town friendly good time by heading to Half Moon Bay for any of our festivals and ongoing events. Gather bouquets of your favorite blooms at the yearlong Coastal Flower Market. Mingle with locals and pluck excellent produce from the Coastside Farmers Market. Visit during spring to marvel over more than 2,000 magnificent driving, flying, and working machines at the Pacific Coast Dream Machines show. Check out to-die-for antique cars at summer's annual American Classics by the Sea. Welcome harvest season with the famed Art & Pumpkin Festival, which includes food, pumpkin patches, family fun, and contests, including the great Pumpkin Weigh-Off. Stroll quaint downtown and holiday shop late night during winter's Nights of Light.
Seeking a little pampering during your stay? You need look no further than local day spas. Within the Victorian bungalow and garden environs of Primrose Country Day Spa you can indulge in classic treatments like electrolysis, a facial, pedicure, or massage or spoil yourself silly with local specialties such as a pumpkin enzyme body wrap or hot stone massage. Or let your spirit sing at Harmonies Salon, which offers the likes of European facials, Swedish massage, lash and brow tinting, tanning, and even microdermabrasion or Botox treatment. For the full-blown luxury experience, beeline directly to the Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay where16,000 square feet of self-indulgence includes a co-ed Roman mineral bath, steam, sauna, whirlpool, oceanfront Jacuzzi, and virtually any relaxing and revitalizing treatment your heart desires.
No doubt you'll want to play while visiting Half Moon Bay, but if there's work to be done, the coastal community has your professional needs covered, too. Several excellent locations are specifically designed for conducting conferences or business meetings. Small conference rooms, five-star meeting full-service with ocean views, complete business services, up-to-the-minute technical capabilities, catering - literally whatever you need, you'll find it within exceptionally motivating and captivating surroundings. And with staffs that are trained to make it easy on you, there'll be plenty of time left over to take in the sites and sea air.
Coastal weddings. Garden weddings. Beach weddings. When it comes to tying the knot, your dream is Half Moon Bay's reality. With romantic beach and redwood forest environs, small-town charm, outstanding restaurants, and an abundance of wedding locations, you can create the ceremony and reception of your dreams and introduce your guests to an exceptional vacation destination. The area's experienced wedding planners can work with any budget or party size and despite the intimate get-away-from-it-all surroundings, the area's proximity to San Francisco, San Jose, and their airports allows for easy access for out-of-town guest. For help determining the optimum spot for exchanging vows, check out Pacific Coast Weddings or Weddings by the Sea or view the accomodations section, which lists the ultimate places to shack up and say "I do".
The last thing anyone wants to do on vacation is stress the details of how to make the most of the trip. Thus, we've designed the following itineraries, which highlight some of Half Moon Bay's best sites and activities. All you need to do is find your way to this seaside slice of paradise, fill the car with gas, and get going.
Half Moon Bay may be a sleepy seaside hamlet, but it's also got enough happenings to keep visitors and locals continually enamored and engaged. Historic downtown is the spot to mix and mingle with locals, shop for antiques, arts, and crafts, and dine at fantastic restaurants that rival big-city offerings. You'll also find scenic seaside dining rooms scattered along the coastline. Regardless of where you feast, you'll be treated to the freshest ingredients pulled fresh from the water or plucked straight from the organic farm. And if you've still got an appetite after a night of noshing, there's a small but burgeoning nightlife scene just waiting for you to join in the fun.
A good deal of highly regarded produce and seafood that finds its way onto Bay Area's upscale menus originate here, so it's no surprise that there's spectacular eating right here in Half Moon Bay. Sure there are outstanding restaurants, including Navio at the Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay; Cafe Gibraltar, Pasta Moon, and Cetrella. But in these parts there's more than one way to feast. Whether it's picnicking on the beach, grabbing fresh produce or seafood from roadside shacks or the farmers' market, picking your own fruit at local farms, satisfying sweet tooths at exceptional local bakeries, tasting wine from local wineries, or bringing your fresh catch from a sport-fishing trip to a local restaurant to prepare for you, in this coastal town dining world is your oyster.