Santa Rosa has always been one of those interestingly remote places for me. I grew up just an hour away from it, but it always felt as distant as places three or four hours away, as if it were more suited to a long weekend trip than a quick visit. Where I live now is […]
Half Moon Bay got its name from the shape of the so-called bay alongside the town. Look on a map and you’ll see that it’s almost a perfect crescent (and really, wouldn’t “Crescent Moon Bay” have sounded even nicer?).
Thanks to its proximity to the water, the town offers wonderful access to the Pacific Ocean. The “bay” isn’t really a bay, but rather part of the ocean as well.
Every weekend—and, to be fair, most weekdays—you’ll see dozens of surfers bobbing in the water. There are so many of them, and they’re so at home in their aquatic world, that it’s easy to imagine they’re a pack (swarm? school?) of particularly large otters. If you’re interested in trying your hand at hanging ten yourself, there are several places nearby to rent everything you’ll need. Just steer clear of the insanely large waves of the world-famous Mavericks until you have another decade or so of practice.
In much of the Bay Area, it’s easy to orient yourself because the water is on one side and the hills or mountains are on the other (and wine country is beyond that). Half Moon Bay is no exception. If you’re here long enough to explore more than just the beaches, head into the hills for a long, beautiful hike and some stunning ocean views.
Half Moon Bay is also a perfect place to experience the reality of horseback rides on the beach, even if you’ve never ridden a horse before. There are several options offering guided seaside rides. It can be just as exhilarating as it sounds—but don’t forget to plan a quiet day following the experience to recover from the inevitable soreness.