Half Moon Bay State Beach – California State Parks


Half Moon Bay State Beach – California State Parks

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Half Moon Bay Beach, located in California, is a popular destination for beachgoers and outdoor enthusiasts. With its beautiful coastal views, swimming and surfing opportunities, and scenic trail, it’s no surprise that it’s a top spot for locals and tourists alike.

However, before visiting, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable experience. From parking and transportation to tide schedules and beach regulations, this guide will provide you with all the information you need to know before visiting Half Moon Bay Beach and Coastal Trail. Read on and explore what lies beyond if you plan on taking a trip to Half Moon Bay Beach!

About Half Moon Bay Beach & its location

Half Moon Bay Beach is a popular beach situated in Half Moon Bay, California, USA. The beach is situated on the coast of the Pacific Ocean and offers visitors beautiful views of the ocean and the surrounding cliffs. It’s known for its wide expanse of sandy beaches and its clear, cold water that is perfect for swimming, surfing, and other water activities.

The beach is located about 30 miles south of San Francisco, and it’s easily accessible by car via Highway 1. It’s a great spot for a day trip from the city or for a longer stay in the charming coastal town of Half Moon Bay. The beach is surrounded by a variety of restaurants, shops, and other amenities that visitors can enjoy. The nearby town of Half Moon Bay offers plenty of options for accommodation, food, and entertainment, making it a perfect spot for a weekend getaway or a longer vacation.

How to Reach Half Moon Bay Beach

There are several ways to reach Half Moon Bay Beach, located at Coastal Trail, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019, United States. The most popular way is by car, as the beach is easily accessible via Highway 1.

Driving Directions:

From San Francisco, take Highway 280 South towards Half Moon Bay.

Merge onto Highway 1 South and continue for about 25 miles.

Take the exit for Half Moon Bay and follow the signs to the beach.

Alternatively, you can also reach the beach by public transportation:

Take the Caltrain from San Francisco to the Millbrae station.

From there, take the SamTrans bus 397 to Half Moon Bay.

Once you arrive in Half Moon Bay, you can take a taxi or walk to the beach.

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What is Half Moon Bay Beach famous for?

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Half Moon Bay Beach in California, USA is a popular destination for anyone looking to experience the beauty of the Pacific Coast. From the small coves dotting the shoreline to miles of golden sand, Half Moon Bay Beach has something to offer everyone who visits. Its spectacular sunsets, ample wildlife, and a wide array of activities available keep you busy.

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Why it is called Half Moon Bay Beach?

Half Moon Bay Beach is named after the nearby town of Half Moon Bay, which in turn is named after the shape of the bay. The bay is shaped like a crescent or half-moon, hence the name. The earliest known reference to the area as “Half Moon Bay” was in a report to the Spanish authorities in 1817.

It is believed that the name was given by the Spanish explorers who first visited the area, due to the distinct shape of the bay. The name stuck, and over time the town and beach have both come to be known as Half Moon Bay.

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Activities and Things to do in Half Moon Bay Beach

Swimming and Surfing: The beach’s clear, cold water is perfect for swimming and surfing. Visitors can rent surfboards and wetsuits, or take lessons from local surf schools.

Sunbathing and Picnicking: The beach’s wide expanse of sandy beach is perfect for sunbathing and picnicking. Visitors can bring their food and drinks or purchase them at nearby restaurants.

Beachcombing and Shell collecting: A beach is a great place for beachcombing and shell collecting. Visitors can explore the tide pools and find a variety of shells, sea stars, and other marine life.

Coastal Trail: The Half Moon Bay Coastal Trail is a scenic trail that runs along the coast and offers beautiful views of the ocean. The trail is perfect for hiking, biking, and horseback riding.

Fishing: The beach is a popular spot for fishing, both from the shore and by boat. Visitors can rent fishing equipment or take a fishing charter to catch a variety of fish such as rockfish, halibut, and salmon.

Photography: The beach offers a variety of scenic views, making it a great spot for photography. Visitors can capture beautiful sunsets, crashing waves, and the natural beauty of the coast.

Half Moon Bay Beach Photos

What to Expect when visiting Half Moon Bay Beach

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When visiting Half Moon Bay Beach, visitors can expect a beautiful and scenic coastal setting with a wide variety of activities and things to do. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Weather: The weather at Half Moon Bay Beach can be cool and foggy, especially during the summer months. Be sure to bring warm clothing and a jacket, even on warm days.

Water Temperature: The water at the beach can be cold, even during the summer. Be sure to bring a wetsuit if you plan on swimming or surfing.

Beach Regulations: Fires are not allowed on the beach, but visitors can bring portable gas stoves or charcoal grills for cooking. Be sure to pack out what you bring in and leave the beach cleaner than you found it.

Surf Conditions: The beach can have strong currents and rip tides, so be sure to check the surf conditions before you go and to swim near a lifeguard.

Tide Schedule: The beach can be covered by water during high tide, so be aware of the tide schedule and plan accordingly.

Parking: Parking can be limited at the beach, especially on weekends and holidays, so it’s best to arrive early or consider using public transportation.

Amenities: There are restrooms and showers available at the beach, but they may be closed in the off-season or due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Nearby facilities: The nearby town of Half Moon Bay offers plenty of options for accommodation, food, and entertainment, making it a perfect spot for a weekend getaway or a longer vacation. Additionally, the beach is surrounded by a variety of restaurants, shops, and other amenities that visitors can enjoy.

Accommodation and Amenities near Half Moon Bay Beach?

Accommodation-wise, there is a range of villas and apartments available located close to the beach that caters to every kind of traveler. Amenities in the area also include restaurants, bars, and shops where visitors can shop for souvenirs or enjoy the local cuisine. Visitors who venture further afield will find plenty of activities such as golf, horseback riding, and sport fishing – so that everyone can have an unforgettable experience near this beautiful strip of paradise!

Things to Avoid

Half Moon Bay Beach in California is a beautiful destination, but there are a few things you should be aware of.

  • The water can get choppy, so it’s important to take safety precautions while in the ocean and check with the local lifeguards before swimming.
  • You should also be mindful of the wildlife that frequents this beach and observes it from a distance; though they may seem harmless, many animals, like seagulls or pelicans, could become agitated if provoked.
  • Finally, don’t forget that this beach is part of a protected national marine sanctuary, and respect any no-entry zones to ensure its conservation for years to come.

Keep these tips in mind when visiting Half Moon Bay Beach and enjoy your time!


If you’re looking for an incredible beach vacation experience, look no further than Half Moon Bay Beach in California. This breathtaking beach has everything you need to relax and enjoy yourself, from stunning white sand beaches to delicious seafood restaurants. Whether you’re visiting for a day or a week, be sure to check out all that Half Moon Bay Beach has to offer!

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Half Moon Bay Beach Map Direction.

Half Moon Bay Beach FAQ

$10.00 per vehicle

Visitors to Half Moon Bay Beach can enjoy the sand and surf for a small fee. When you arrive, you’ll find that parking facilities are conveniently available for use. The daily fee is $10.00 per vehicle, covering your entire stay at the beach.

Yes, this area is Dog friendly

Half Moon Bay Beach does allow dogs, but with some restrictions. Dogs are allowed on the beach, but they must be on a leash at all times. Some areas of the beach may have designated dog-friendly areas, but it’s best to check with the local authorities for specific rules and regulations.

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