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Half Moon Bay

Welcome to Half Moon Bay

Located on the pacific coast of California near the bay of the same name, the city of Half Moon Bay is what most people imagine when they think of California: sun, sand, and the relaxing sound of gently crashing waves. While the modern history of the city involves tourism and a seasonal economy, the city is a tiny fishing town at heart.

Lay of the Land

Half Moon Bay is located in San Mateo County on the pacific coast, approximately 40 miles south of San Francisco. Though relatively isolated from the rest of the county, the city does have several close neighbors, including Montara, Moss Beach, and El Granada. While the ocean is obviously the dominant geographic feature, the area is also dominated by a wide range of wildlife and several state parks. While the population of Half Moon Bay spikes during certain seasonal periods, the city is generally home to around 12,000 full time residents. The city is also a relatively affluent area, with median home values holding steady at $724,883 and the average household income locked in at $103,242.


Despite its geographic isolation, Half Moon Bay is still connected to the rest of the region via several avenues. State Route 1 connects a large section of the coast to the rest of San Mateo County in the north and the south while State Route 92 extends to the east. The city is also connected by SamTrans buses to the Hillsdale CalTrain station and the Linda Mar station in Pacifica. These eventually connected with Bay Area Rapid Transit stations, which provide roundabout public transportation to the entire Bay Area and Silicon Valley. The city is also serviced by the Half Moon Bay Airport.

Local Highlights

Historically, Half Moon Bay was an area dominated by agriculture and fishing. While the modern economy is dominated by tourism and commercial ventures associated with providing services to out-of-town guests, Half Moon Bay has not totally forgotten its roots. Many local businesses still function to provide access to farm-fresh vegetables and fresh fish, as well as more exotic agricultural products such as Christmas trees.

Half Moon Bay offers visitors a variety of lodging options. These range is quality from local lighthouse based hostels in nearby Pescadero or Montara, to one-of-a-kind luxury resorts within the city itself. One thing that all of the lodgings have in common is that they provide guests with access to the commercial and natural attractions in the city. An added benefit to the number of hotels and regional lodging locations is that many locations also specialize in wedding ceremonies and receptions, providing any union with an amazing natural backdrop. 

When it comes to shopping, Half Moon Bay offers visitors and residents alike access to a wide range of commercial ventures. First, several boutiques and specialty stores offer customers access to products associated with the coastal heritage of the city. These include antique barns, book lofts, and numerous craft stores. However, the town also provides more modern recreational amenities and luxuries, such as a golf emporium and gourmet chocolate shop. Finally, there are also several businesses focused on providing for the general need of residents and tourists alike, such as a furniture store and a general goods store.

Finally, the selection of eateries in the city is as diverse as anywhere in the San Mateo County area. Bed and Breakfasts, critically acclaimed restaurants, and soulful local venues overlooking the beach operate alongside one another within the city. Regardless of where diners choose to stop, they can expect to partake of dishes featuring freshly caught fish and house made pasta as well locally produced wines offered alongside specialty cheeses and seasonal samplers.