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Half Moon Bay Golf Links
2 Miramontes Point Road, Half Moon Bay (650) 726-1800In 1973, legendary course designer Arnold Palmer partnered with Francis Duane to build The Old Course. With its unparalleled ocean views, the 18th hole is one of the most photographed golf settings in the world. The Ocean Course is aptly named and boasts some of the best final four finishing holes in golf. Ideal playing conditions, salty breezes and enchanting coastal terrains, put this two 18-hole championship golf courses on a par with Scotland’s greatest. Test your handicap!
Half Moon Bay Kayak Company
2 Johnson Pier, Half Moon Bay (650) 773-6101Grab a paddle and discover the world of sea kayaking in Half Moon Bay’s dynamic and diverse environment. Paddle among seals, birds, and other marine life in protected Pillar Point Harbor or delve into the wild waters of the open Pacific near Half Moon Bay. The fleet is made up of single, double, and triple kayaks and a wide variety of stand up paddleboards to suit your every need.
How about a whale watching trip from San Francisco or Half Moon Bay? Full and half-day boat tours are available almost every weekend. Opportunities to see blue, humpback, and gray whales, dolphins, and porpoises, seals and sea lions, rare seabirds, great white sharks, leatherback sea turtles, and other marine life up close. California has some of the best marine wildlife viewings in the world! Each trip is led by an expert naturalist who assists with locating whales, identifying seabirds and other marine life, and who provide informative presentations throughout the trip on the islands and marine ecology of the area.
Mavericks is a winter destination for some of the world’s best big wave surfers. Only a select few are willing to risk the hazardous, sometimes deadly, conditions at Mavericks. Cold water, giant sharks, giant waves and giant rocks – it’s like nothing else! Mavericks is a spectacle to behold. The surfing location is about 2 miles from shore outside Pillar Point Harbor. You can also stop by the official store for a t-shirt and some gnarly history.
Sea, Surf & Fun
531 Obispo Road, El Granada (415) 410-1102
Wanna learn how to surf? Don’t worry, you won’t be starting out on those monster waves at Mavericks. You’ll start off slow and get lots of personalized attention, encouragement and safety. You’ll also be greeted by seals, dolphins, and crisp salty air. Use all the energy of your body to face the power (and maybe your fear!) of the ocean. The best way to kick off your day is bright and early. All levels welcomed.
Sea Horse Ranch
1828 Cabrillo Highway, Half Moon Bay (650) 726-9903The horse is energetic, warm-hearted, intelligent and able. Saddle up and enjoy spectacular coastline views, salty ocean air, and wildlife as your guide takes you horseback riding through Half Moon Bay. How often do you get to experience horseback riding on the beach? The guides are very experienced and will put you at ease before the ride, with an explanation of how horses think and act and how to be safe.
One Johnson Pier at Pillar Point Harbor, Half Moon Bay (650) 787-9263Allow nature’s energy to power up the sail and feel her magnificent strength as you cruise Half Moon Bay north towards the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the Farallon Islands. See whale spouts, dolphin fins, and other sea life critters. Sip drinks and nibble on appetizers. Watch the sunset and depending on weather conditions, you may be allowed to participate in the actual boat handling duties or a turn at the helm! Sounds like a memorable day.
H-Dock at Pillar Point Harbor, Half Moon Bay (650) 728-8433Take the boat out of Pillar Point Harbor in Half Moon Bay and spend a day away from it all fishing. Captain ‘Smitty’ of Riptide Sportfishing, specializes in providing personalized attention to individuals and small groups. His enthusiasm for fishing will makes your trip memorable, even if you’re just a beginner. The Half Moon Bay area is traditionally one of the best areas to fish for king salmon off the California coast. The rich waters hold krill, short belly rockfish, anchovies, sardines and other forage that the big kings feed on. So, get your rods ready. Ahoy!
110 Higgins Canyon Road, Half Moon Bay (650) 726-0329 Open 3rd Sat of the month You will be treated to a fascinating glimpse into Bay Area history during the decades that followed the California gold rush. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, a “Yankee-style” white saltbox (two stories in front, one in back) were originally designed so they could qualify as a one-story building and avoid Queen Anne’s taxation on two-story homes. It was constructed by James Johnston for his wife, Petra Maria de Jara, between 1853-55. Johnston was a ’49er who came out west to mine gold but made his fortune in real estate. Johnston also represented ‘Californianos’ in disputes over land rights with the United States. (Californianos were the Spanish-speaking residents and natives of the area, who occupied California before Mexico ceded California to the U.S. in 1848.) Also, the first 2 weekends in November the house gets decked out for the holidays and becomes a shoppers delight.
Half Moon Bay Jail
505 Johnston Street, Half Moon Bay (650) 726-7084Built in 1911 and still stands today as a museum dedicated to the area’s history. It is a tiny little place with just one room and two cells and occasionally housed the traffic speeder too!
331 Main Street, Half Moon Bay (650) 726-4814 Open Mon-Fri 8:30am to 6pm, Sat 9am to 5 pm, Sun 10am to 4pmHalf Moon Bay Feed & Fuel has been in continuous operation right on Main Street since its founding in 1911. If you need something for the barn, farm or garden they have it: fencing, bedding, hay, feed, troughs, saddles, tack, supplements, clothing, gift items and of course super cute critters to take home with you. Maybe you’re just getting started with an en vogue backyard chicken coop and have some questions? No problem. The staff is incredibly knowledgeable and helpful. It’s worth a stop in, even for those ‘city folk,’ who can see how we country bumpkins live a little.
HMB Wine & Cheese Company
421 Main Street, Half Moon Bay (650) 726-1520 Open Mon-Wed 11am to 6pm, Thurs-Sat 11am to 8pm, Sun 11am to 5pmStop in Half Moon Bay Wine & Cheese Company because they have an oasis of carefully crafted boutique, family owned and rare wines as well as a number of the world’s finest artisanal and farmstead cheeses you wanna get. But maybe you want to taste it first? No problem. Join them at their tasting bar; choose from 60 different wines by the glass and enjoy a cheese plate paired with your wine. They have unique gifts, tools, and accessories for both the wine and cheese lover. Maybe someone’s on your gift list? They could also help you create the perfect basket of goodies for a picnic on the beach.
329 Main Street, Half Moon Bay Open daily 10am to 6pmTreat yourself to some scrumptious bath and body products like: Cacao soap, Vanilla & Balsam Sugar Scrub, Lavender Massage Oil, and Jasmine & Bergamot & Violet Leaf Bath Tea to name a few. All beautifully hand-made, organic ingredients and made in small batches to ensure quality and freshness. Garden Apothecary also has high-quality home and garden tools, Tillandsia air plants, unique succulents, organic herbs and teas to ooh and aah over. The owner is a professional botanist and has an organic landscape design and consulting company (Wildflower Farms) that specializes in coastal plantings, edible gardens, and unique plant sourcing. You might want to give her a call…
Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society
Douglas Beach House on Miramar Beach, Half Moon Bay
A nonprofit organization that has been presenting Sunday afternoon headliner jazz, classical and world music since 1964 at the Douglas Beach House. People come with picnics and their favorite beverages and set themselves up on the decks overlooking the ocean. Seeing such incredible talent up close is a wonderful experience. It’s like a jazz concert in someone’s beach house. The room has seen the likes of many jazz greats. According to the musicians who have played there throughout the years, the Douglas Beach House is “the best small venue in the United States.” What could be more perfect than cool jazz and a stunning view?
Half Moon Bay Distillery
103 Harvard Avenue, Half Moon Bay (650) 728-7226Half Moon Bay Distillery is a small hand-craft distillery that provides locally produced ultra-premium spirits to people who care about where their drinks come from and who made them. Like their Purissima vodka which is crafted from wheat with just a touch of malted barley, which gives it an exceptionally smooth and silky “mouthfeel.” During your visit, you will be able to learn about distilling, experience their fine distilled craft spirits (the best part) and find out how craft distillers make their products. Tours are approximately 45 minutes long.
551 San Mateo Road, Half Moon Bay (650) 726-1702 Open Mon-Fri 9am to 5pm, Sat & Sun 9:30 am to 5pmIt’s thrilling to watch a piece of wood transform into a sculpture – all with a chainsaw! If you’ve never seen it, you should because the chainsaw moves quick! Firewood Farms love to work with wood and each carving is handcrafted to produce a one of a kind look. One of the largest pieces they completed weighed over 19 tons and stood over 19 ft tall! How did they get it out of there? A crane? The best part, they recover raw material from structures destined for the landfill and re-manufacture the wood into usable products like flooring, trim, paneling, countertops and amazing wood carvings. I think The cottage may need a new addition….
La Nebbia Winery
12341 San Mateo Road, Half Moon Bay (650) 726-9463 Wine tasting daily 10am to 5pm
La Nebbia introduces visitors to a wide sampling of grape varietals and wines reflective of the expansive and diverse wine regions of California. The gardens and picnic areas throughout the property offer another great space for sipping wines, enjoying a picnic, and playing bocce ball. Their history, tradition, and legacy have been in their ‘Barrel to Bottle’ gatherings. For nearly 40 years, customers would stop by with their empty bottles and jugs and they would fill them. This is where the ‘Slug Red’ wine comes from that we give our guests to enjoy.
Half Moon Bay Art Glass
12341 San Mateo Road, Half Moon Bay (650) 283-5626
Make art this weekend! Create one of a kind glass blown pumpkins, memory balls, paperweights or for the more adventurous, a hanging jellyfish lamp (pictured). The maximum number of students per class is six, which is perfect because you’ll get lots of personalized attention. The finished glass needs to anneal overnight, so what better way than to plan a weekend out of it! After the class, you can taste wine and play bocce ball at La Nebbia Winery next door!