Mill Rose Inn
Phone : 1 (650) 726-8750



Flowers abound at Filoli and the Mill Rose Inn

April 6th, 2017 by Mill Rose Inn

Sunken garden at Filoli

Filoli is home to many beautiful flowers.

If you’re a fan of flowers, a trip to the San Francisco Bay Area wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Filoli. A beautiful estate just a 20 minute drive from the Mill Rose Inn.

Built between 1915 and 1917, the historic estate is simply a delight to come see. The ornate, Georgian-style home that stands on the Woodside property is worth a visit for its old-world elegance. However, one could argue that it’s the surrounding gardens that are the most enchanting.

You are free to explore the property on your own or you can sign up for a guided tour. Either way you will be immersing yourself in all of the lovely colors and fragrances the place has to offer.

We believe the popularity of the estate speaks to the universal appeal of flowers.  Have you ever fantasized about escaping your fast-paced life to just relax in a garden? Nestled in the shade on a sunny day, birds chirping, water gently running through a fountain … This stuff is the material for guided meditation tapes for a reason. The gardens at the Filoli Estate and the Mill Rose Inn each evoke this sensual appeal — an ever-shifting bounty of color blooming a variety of graceful shapes.

Daffodils and tulips  are currently taking center stage in the garden at Filoli. Soon, however, it will all be about the roses.  At the Mill Rose Inn our garden is currently blooming with poppies, hydrangeas and jasmine. A beautiful display of color and scents. Of course, we’re known for our roses too.

In fact, did you know that when Terry and I were first establishing the Mill Rose Inn in the late ’70s we were told by a local nursery that roses don’t grow well on the coast? That we should consider other types of flowers? My European heritage brought me both the love of roses and persistence not to be deterred by this notion. So after doing our own research  on what types of roses might thrive in our coastal climate, we went ahead and planted our rose garden anyway.

My favorite rose is the hybrid tea rose. Here is one in our garden at the Mill Rose Inn.

Today our visitors often remark at how healthy our flowers look. Much of that can be attributed to their care as we have custom organic food prepared for us that results in shiny, healthy green leaves and large flower heads.

You may also notice that our flowers are even more vibrant than the ones you’ll find at Filoli. We have the fog to thank for that. A little more sun comes to Woodside than our coastal town, and the sun will bleach the flowers out a bit which lends them a more pastel-like hue. On the other hand, the addition of a little more sun also intensifies the flower’s perfume.

I love sitting out in our garden when I can to enjoy all the beautiful flowers.

A man named William Bourn and his wife Agnes are responsible for building the Filoli Estate. After the devastating earthquake and fire struck the Bay Area, many wealthy families moved from San Francisco to the peninsula to build their estates. Filoli is the only one of its era that still stands.

The name Filoli comes from the first two letters of the words Fight, Love and Live. William’s credo had been  “To fight for a just cause; to love your fellow man; to live a good life.”

The design came from a combined effort. William hired one man to design the estate and another to design the garden. He even hired  one woman whom he tasked specifically with selecting the various plants. All contributed to the style which emulates a Renaissance style with a California flair that can still be observed today.

Filoli is open to the public from February to October. You can book your tickets for Filoli online here but be sure you get there in enough time. Even though they close at 5 p.m., the staff will not let you in after 4:30 p.m., because there’s lots to see.

In addition to regular tours, Filoli offers a variety of special events from jazz concerts in the summer to holiday entertainment. You can learn more about the special events here.

After your stroll through Filoli, you can come back and luxuriate in our private jetted-spa. You could even spend a good portion of your day simply enjoying our garden — watching the world go by from under a gazebo.

outdoor spa


Finding hygge in Half Moon Bay and the Mill Rose Inn

March 7th, 2017 by Mill Rose Inn

Experience hygge at the Mill Rose Inn

Fireplaces, rich food and cozy nooks are what the Danish experience of hygge is all about. 

We Americans could learn a thing or two from the Danes. For one, they sure know how to make a tasty pastry. The Danes are also well-known for having established a healthy work/life balance and for making the most out of life. In fact, Denmark continually ranks high in measurements of happiness. The country took the first place in the 2016 World Happiness Report. So where does all this happiness come from? Some attribute it to the country’s affinity for  a concept known as hygge (pronounced hoo-ga). Hygge is all about embracing the quaint and cozy aspects of life. Picture reading an engaging novel by the fireplace or drinking hot chocolate and playing board games with a small group of friends.

Hygge is about cozy wool socks and rich homemade foods, a kind of rustic comfort that delights the senses in a way that some more modern day conveniences such as texting and emails don’t. Candles are very hygge. So is coffee and cake.

Cookies can be very hygge.

Comfort food, such as our homemade  cakes and cookies are also very hygge.

Lately, we’ve been thinking about how hygge enters our own lives here at the Mill Rose Inn and in our coastal town of Half Moon Bay.

Naturally, we are fans of this cozy concept. We’re big on throw pillows, soft blankets and freshly baked goods. We even have homemade cakes and cookies available in our dining room at any given moment.

We’d argue that the town itself has a bit of a hygge leaning to it as well. The small town charm, easy beach access and ample open space  are all a throw back to simpler times.

The Coastside is also home to a variety of artists and artisans who take great pleasure in their work. Walk into the various shops and restaurants along Main Street and you’ll be treated to the products of local painters, chefs and jewelry makers. Many of the store owners like to carry the handiwork of their fellow Coastsiders. We’re sure they’ve likely drawn their inspiration from such a beautiful place.

How do you bring hygge to your life?

Hygge can be practiced in your own home, of course. However, if you’re looking for an adventure that still incorporates your favorite creature comforts, we might suggest a stay in Half Moon Bay here at the Mill Rose Inn. We just had  a lovely couple come and take advantage of our new celebration package . They said they were completely drained from their busy high tech jobs and just had to get away from it all.  They enjoyed a three-night stay at our cozy inn and remarked at how refreshed the felt after their stay. Couldn’t get more hygge than that.

If you’re interested in reading more on the topic, you can do so here.

Extend that Valentine’s Day Spirit With a Stay at the Mill Rose Inn

February 7th, 2017 by Mill Rose Inn

Extend that Valentine’s Day Spirit With a Stay at the Mill Rose Inn

Valentine's Day love every day, Terry & Eve

Courtesy Half Moon Bay Review

February is here and whether you’re eager for the romantic promise brought in by Valentine’s Day or are simply looking to escape another round of stormy weather — either mindset makes for a good opportunity to hold your loved ones close. Extend that Valentine’s Day Spirit With a Stay at the Mill Rose Inn!!

Though couples often like to do something special for the love-inspired holiday, here at the Mill Rose Inn you might say every day is like Valentine’s Day. We always go out of our way to make your stay here special and welcome your suggestions. Would you like a scattering of flower petals on your bed? Or one of our house-made desserts served to your room? We can handle that for you. In addition, each room comes well-stocked with a refrigerator filled with an assortment of complimentary beverages.
We pride ourselves on blending old-world European charm with modern-day conveniences.

For Terry and me, love blossomed in the horticultural department at City College of San Francisco where we met in 1970. We married a few years later and have happily shared our garden, home-cooked breakfasts and tasty treats with our many visitors from all over the world. We open our hearts and home to all who enter the Mill Rose Inn. A relaxing space we have lovingly created and tended to since 1980.

If you’re looking to extend the romantic feeling of Valentine’s Day, might we recommend you purchase a gift certificate for a memorable stay at the Mill Rose Inn? It can be for a friend or a family member for a special occasion or a future stay for yourself and your significant other. We would be happy to help you plan a romantic date night.

To sign up for a gift card you can go here. The gift certificates can be purchased and will be emailed the same day they’re ordered. They can be personalized with a card and can include additional offerings such as dinner, an on-site massage or time in our private jacuzzi. If you have any questions about the gift certificates, you can call us at (650) 726 – 8750. You can also email us at

Mill Rose Inn Room. Good for Valentine's Day or any day.

When you arrive you’ll be treated to all the comforts of our cozy inn as well as the wonderful attractions that the city of Half Moon Bay has to offer. We are a short walk from a variety of shopping and dining opportunities in the historic downtown. You can also head to the Pacific Ocean which is another short walk away. Hike the bluff tops and dine in one of the town’s amazing restaurants.

Got engaged over the holidays?

The Mill Rose Inn can also serve as a beautiful and romantic wedding venue. If you’re looking for an intimate site to host your ceremony or reception you can learn about our services here.

Celebrate the Holidays in Half Moon Bay

November 20th, 2016 by Mill Rose Inn

Celebrate the Holidays in Half Moon Bay


The start of the holiday season is a very special time, a time to give thanks and be merry. At the Mill Rose Inn of Half Moon Bay it is a time of transformation. With the addition of delightful European holiday decorations, the Inn offers a magical experience for all to enjoy. The feelings of love and warmth fill the Inn during November and December. Relax and be delighted by our magnificent Christmas Tree. Cozy up by one of our many fireplaces and indulge with a delicious beverage, hot chocolate, holiday cookies, and other tempting treats. Showers of tiny white lights adorn all interior rooms and the gardens. For your celebration of the season, even the individual guest rooms have a small decorated tree and stockings hung from the chimneys with care in hopes that your company soon will be there.


As December fills the air the Mill Rose Inn will warm you up as the holiday chill comes your way. Enjoy the many enchanting holiday decorations as the Mill Rose Inn of Half Moon Bay is magically transformed into the most perfect escape from urban congestion to a rural winter wonderland. Loaded with charm and relaxing clean, fresh air, and the ocean nearby, the Mill Rose provides true detox as well as a total mental work-break.

In December, the first Friday holds the annual ‘Night of Lights’, an old-fashioned holiday event in our historic Main-street downtown area. With a parade, tree lighting ceremony, shops, refreshments, and live music, it is fun for the entire family. Have a chance to do holiday shopping, cut down a Christmas tree, and take in a myriad of month long local activities. Dungeness Crab season opens mid-November and boats in Half Moon Bay Harbor are lit up with colorful Christmas lights. On December 15 in nearby Ano Nuevo in Pescadero are guided tours of Elephant seal activities are highly recommended.


Mill Rose Inn Wedding Rather Than a Beach Wedding

August 21st, 2016 by Mill Rose Inn

Why have a Mill Rose Inn Wedding rather than a Beach Wedding?

mill rose inn wedding

Half Moon Bay is a wonderful area for everyone to visit, especially on your special Mill Rose Inn Wedding. Nestled between the coast and the redwood forest, Half Moon Bay is a classic romantic getaway. Enjoy a picnic on the beach and take view a beautiful sunset, or take in an early morning hike in the heavenly redwood forest where crystal clear creek waters show you of the natural wonders of the world.

The Mill Rose Inn is located in the heart of Half Moon Bay and offers a luxurious, intimate, and indulgent atmosphere where lovers and guests alike lose themselves in English country gardens. The owner and innkeeper Eve Baldwin, will help coordinate your wedding. With over 30 years of helping couples create and personalize their wedding day and host receptions, wedding couples can be assured that they can relax and enjoy their special day.

The weather in Half Moon Bay can be unpredictable. Tents and other accommodations at the Mill Rose are offered if the forecast is less than perfect. The Mill Rose Inn is a short distance to the beach for a visit. You can go to the ocean-side to take some wedding photos, or shop and dine in our delightfully picturesque downtown. Street parking plentiful in front of the inn, and if the wedding party is of a larger size the Mill Rose is a wonderfully short distance to other hotels.

There is no better place to create and cherish everlasting memories of your most timeless and unforgettable Mill Rose Inn wedding. Celebrate from day to night surrounded by beauty, twinkling lights, and nighttime glow.

For more information on weddings and special events at the Mill Rose Inn, please visit this link: Mill Rose Inn Weddings

6 of the Best Places for Half Moon Bay Seafood

April 12th, 2016 by Mill Rose Inn

Half Moon Bay Seafood


With so many mouthwatering Half Moon Bay seafood options, it is hard to choose favorites. The Pacific Coast offers a unique variety of seafood appetizers and entrees, from market-fresh crab to shrimp and salmon sandwiches to grilled entrees. Half Moon Bay seafood comes in many forms, and here are some of the best places to find them!

Half Moon Bay Seafood Market

A top-rated location for Half Moon Bay seafood is the Half Moon Bay Fish Market. This seafood distribution and catering service has fresh shipments of Half Moon Bay crab, Half Moon Bay oysters, Half Moon Bay salmon, and more. The market hosts a full variety of fresh seafood cooked onsite in a steaming crab pot. You will be guaranteed the best prices here, compared to local restaurants.

Sam’s Chowder House

Voted best seafood in the Bay Area, Sam’s Chowder House in Half Moon Bay serves authentic New England style seafood platters. Whether you dine at the restaurant or at the traveling Chowdermobile, you will have access to the house specialties. These include a shrimp scampi and linguini, seafood risotto, fried shrimp with anchor steam beer batter, and jumbo prawns stuffed with blue crab and wrapped in smoked bacon. Is your mouth watering yet?

Cowboy Fishing Co.

Located on Main Street, Cowboy Fishing Co. Brews & Bites has some of the best Half Moon Bay seafood options. While the food is local, fresh, and sustainable, the Cowboy Code will bring you a revived form of antiquated hospitality. Pair on-tap brews from Half Moon Bay Brewing Company, Dogfish Head, Green Flash Brewing Company, and more with seafood bites like smoked salmon crostini with goat cheese and outlaw fish tacos served with sweet and tangy slaw. Fresh catches include Cowboy’s specialty of crab as well as salmon, cod, tuna, and halibut.

Flying Fish Bar & Grill

Halfmoon Bay Seafood is served in a delectable variety of lunch favorites at Flying Fish Bar & Grill. Starters include crabby-cheesy bread, cod ceviche, prawn nachos, and shrimp cocktails. Fish and chips comes in multiple pairings, and you can select from scallops, prawns, calamari, halibut, or a combination. The fish tacos and seafood wrapps are popular, while the crab melt, ahi tuna steak, and salmon BLT sandwiches are popular Half Moon Bay seafood favorites.

Barbara’s Fishtrap

Serving Half Moon Bay seafood since 1971, Barbara’s Fishtrap has both a take-out and dine-in selection. If you’re planning on spending a day on the go, the take out window is a prime option. The full menu includes award-winning clam chowder, specialties of coastside calamari, fish and chips, or scallops tempura, and sandwiches that range from fish of the day to baby bay shrimp, dungeness crab, or a salmon burger. If you aren’t feeling fishy, go for the chicken tenders, surf burger, or garden salad. You can also get a glass or bottle of house wine or a beer to go.


For coastal comfort food, Flavor is a great Half Moon Bay seafood dining option. Flavor serves weekend brunch along with lunch, dinner, and drinks, making it a great option for a lazy mid-morning stop before exploring Half Moon Bay. The brunch menu includes dungeness crab cakes, smoked salmon, chicken and waffles, French toast, and a seafood scramble as well as traditional favorites.


5 Engaging Events at the San Mateo County History Museum

April 6th, 2016 by Mill Rose Inn

museum goer


The San Mateo County History Museum is not only a historical archive but also an interactive experience. The museum archives feature a history through books, photographs, maps, newspapers, and records. The Sanchez Adobe then gives a glimpse of life before the Gold Rush. The historic Woodside Store then takes you back to shopping in 1880, while Encore Books on the Square has over 30,000 used copies for browsing. It’s always a good time to take a step into the past and visit the San Mateo County History Museum, but these upcoming events are extra incentive!

San Mateo County History Museum Upcoming Events

Maritime Day

April 16, 11am-4pm, Free

The 11th Annual Maritime Day is being held in conjunction with the San Mateo County STEM Festival. For the event, the San Mateo County History Museum will celebrate the Charles Parsons’ Ships of the World exhibit. This exhibit features 24 historic ship models on display that were hand-crafted by Charles Parsons over the course of several years. At the April event, there will be information on local maritime history as well as crafts to participate in. You will be able to built your own model ship, make a lighthouse, learn how to tie knots used on ships, design a signal flag, and make a nautical bracelet. All these activities lead back to the early 1850s, when ships were one of the best ways to get to California!

Old Woodside Store Day

May 1, 12-4pm, Free

The San Mateo County History Museum will be hosting a special family day at the onsite Old Woodside Store. You will be able to travel back in time to the 1880s and learn the history of the store as well as redwood logging activities in San Mateo and the surrounding area. There will be some hands-on activities, such as making rag dolls, using a two-man saw, and participating in contests. Local band 27strings will be playing some bluegrass tunes for the event!

Free First Fridays

May 6, June 3, July 1, 10am, Free

For every first Friday of the month, admission is free at the San Mateo County History Museum! You will be able to explore the museum and receive a general tour starting at 2pm. This hourlong tour led by museum staff will highlight long-term exhibits. Meet in the Rotunda beforehand!

Human Trafficking Awareness Day

May 14, 10:30am-4pm, Free

There will be a rally, art exhibitions, and fair trade vendors at Courthouse Square and in the San Mateo County History Museum for this event. The benefit is meant to raise awareness about the issue of human trafficking through the museum’s Courthouse Docket series. The presentations given are based on the museum’s exhibit Land of Opportunity: The Immigrant Experience in San Mateo County. The panel discussion will be “Human Trafficking in San Mateo County: What It Is and how You Can Help in Prevention and Rescue.” A reception will follow the discussion.

An Old Fashioned Fourth

July 4, 10am-4pm, Half-Price Admission

The Fourth of July is a great time to celebrate, and the San Mateo County History Museum will be hosting holiday crafts from the past, ice cream-making, and archive film-showings. You will also be able to watch the Redwood City parade from the San Mateo County History Museum. Be sure to represent America by wearing red, white, and blue!

Some History at Mill Rose Inn

Mill Rose Inn has some rich history of its own. The 1900s cottage was contracted in 1980 and converted into a bed and breakfast. The interior and floral design pair with the gardens and landscaping. Meanwhile, antiques, watercolors, opulent decor, and period furnishings keep with the historical nature of the inn. After touring the San Mateo County History Museum, escape to this elegant seaside retreat to continue enjoying some California history. 

5 of the Best Beaches Near Half Moon Bay

April 1st, 2016 by Mill Rose Inn

Beaches Near Half Moon Bay


There are some breathtaking beaches near Half Moon Bay, from glorious Pacific Coast sunset views to a variety of terrains great for hiking. Whether you’re looking to picnic, adventure through nature, or lounge in the sun, here are 5 of the best beaches near Half Moon Bay.

5 Beaches Near Half Moon Bay

Half Moon Bay State Beach

When it comes to beaches near Half Moon Bay, you can’t get much closer than Half Moon Bay State Beach. These four miles of sandy beaches are an oasis for sunbathing, fishing, and picnicking, as well as camping. Located within the parameters of the Half Moon Bay State Beach are some popular coastal beaches near Half Moon Bay. These include Venice Beach, with refreshing outdoor showers, sun-dazed gulls flying above, and waves lapping the shoreline as well as Francis Beach with secluded cliffs, picnic tables overlooking the water, and a campground. Dunes Beach is also included, with sandstone bluffs and the beach’s namesake dunes. These are all great beaches for Half Moon Bay picnic spots! The Coastside Trail runs along the eastern edge of these beaches, providing a great biking or hiking trail, while a designated horse trail is also available.

Redondo Beach

Semi-secluded Redondo Beach is a hidden gem off the beaten path. Frothy waves crash against the shore, while tall cliffs rise in eye-catching rock formations just feet from the water at high tide. Away from the crowds at Half Moon State Beach, this is one of the more quiet and quaint beaches near Half Moon Bay. The dirt lot at the end of Redondo Beach Road is the place to park, but you will face the looming cliffs above the beachfront. To access the sand, take the accessible dirt trail until you find a sloped path down the shore. The seclusion and peaceful sound of the waves will bring you ultimate relaxation. This is a dog-friendly beach near Half Moon Bay as well, so let your furry friends tag along for some beach breezes and coastal explorations.

Cowell Ranch Beach

Of the beaches near Half Moon Bay, Cowell Ranch Beach is great for seal spotting. There are two pocket beaches with access to trails on the bluffs. Seal Beach, which is south of the overlook, is a harbor seal protection area, closed to the public. However, you can spot the lounging seals along the rocks and sands from a distance. The northern beach is accessible by a staircase, which leads to a secluded sandy cove great for spending the day in your own little beachy nook tucked away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Poplar Beach

When looking for beaches near Half Moon Bay to visit, you can’t miss Poplar Beach, which is a favorite for families, dog owners, and horseback riders! The beach is owned by the city of Half Moon Bay and has plenty of space to share. There is a steep trail down to the shore from the parking lot, but once on the soft sand, you will be able to walk in both directions and comb for shells. Dogs are welcome, and the often gentle waves are great for some pup swimming near the shore. Horses are allowed on the beach, which makes this an ideal location for a romantic sunset horseback ride.

Surfer’s Beach

Looking to catch some waves at one of the beaches near Half Moon Bay? Grab your board and head to Surfer’s Beach off Highway 1, which is ideal for people watching as well as for surfers and boogie boarders alike. Build some sandcastles before hitting the surf, or watch the locals hang ten while you lounge onshore. There are also tide pools here, great for finding sea critters with the kids!

Stay By the Shore at Mill Rose

Take your time basking the sunshine, breathing in the salt air, and letting the sun rays seep into your skin. Then after a rejuvenating day at one of these beaches near Half Moon Bay, come back to Mill Rose for more coastal views in a luxurious seaside setting.

Here Are 5 Amazing Hikes in Half Moon Bay

March 25th, 2016 by Mill Rose Inn

Hikes in Half Moon Bay

The California weather offers year round opportunities for outdoor activities. Enjoy the fresh air and explore the area and what the natural environment has to offer from sandy beaches to redwood forests. If you’re looking for some amazing hikes in Half Moon Bay to embark upon during your stay at Mill Rose Inn, these 5 spectacular trails are at the top of the list!

Purisma Creek Trail

The Purisma Creek Trail in the Redwoods Open Space Preserve overlooks Half Moon Bay from the slopes of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Ancient redwoods, a flowing creek, and lush greenery, berries, and wildflowers are all views along this trail. The Coast Redwoods are simply spectacular to stand beside, making this one of the most awe-inspiring hikes in Half Moon Bay. These trees are the tallest in the world, growing up to 360 feet (36 stories) and one of the oldest in the world, with the oldest known tree at age 2,200. That goes back quite a few generations!

Mavericks Cliffs Trail

One of the easier hikes in Half Moon Bay is the Mavericks Cliffs Trail, a 2.5-mile walk along the cliffs overlooking the beach. Beautiful ocean views will stand out from your height on the cliffs, while seals and other ocean life may make appearances near the harbor along the rock pier. Mavericks is known for its huge surfing competitions, so you’re bound to see someone catching a wave below on swells that can get up to 80 feet high!

Half Moon Bay Coastside Trail

The Coastside Trail in Half Moon Bay State Park offers incredible ocean views, access to multiple beaches along the route, and wonderful nature viewing opportunities. One of the most popular hikes in Half Moon Bay, this trail runs parallel to the Pacific Ocean along what once was the Ocean Shore Railroad. Red-tailed hawks, red-winged blackbirds, and blue herons frequent the trail for you birdwatchers out there, while equestrian trails and beachfront properties will also catch your eye. The paved trail from the Half Moon Bay State Beach Visitor Center is a great place to start, stretching two miles in total. A branch-off trail will give you access to Venice Beach, while the main trail merges into Mirada Road and leads to the Miramar Beach Restaurant, which is a brilliant spot to watch the sunset while dining with ocean views.

Blufftop Coastal Park

Nestled between Half Moon Bay State Beach and Wavecrest is Blufftop Coastal Park, a coastal prairie with sweeping views. As far as hikes in Half Moon Bay go, this one has trails for a variety of activities from bicycling to horseback riding. Monterey cypresses grow along the creek bed bank, forming a dividing line between Wavecrest and Blufftop, while the inverted flatbed rail car that is Seymour Bridge connects them. Steep descents are slightly challenging but not difficult, and bird watching is prime, from Kingbirds and Loons to Pelicans and Gulls!

Burleigh H. Murray Ranch

The Burleigh H. Murray Ranch is located in a beatufiul, historic barn and farm setting. The surrounding trails are peaceful and calm inside the valley, away from the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean. Pick blackberries as you hike, and gaze upon magnificent Eucalyptus and alder trees. Rolling hills and grassland lead up to the bubbling creek and a picnic location. The stone work around the barn will bring you back to a rustic era, while the quiet landscape allows you to fully relax.

Relax After Your Hikes in Half Moon Bay

After participating in these hikes in Half Moon Bay, come back to Mill Rose Inn and soak your aching muscles in the garden jacuzzi. Then crawl into your comfortable bed, open the windows, and listen to the sea as you fall asleep. 


Why Burleigh H. Murray Ranch is Definitely Worth a Visit

March 15th, 2016 by Mill Rose Inn

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Dating back to the mid-1800s, the Burleigh H. Murray Ranch was donated to the state of California in 1979 and is now preserved as a natural environment and piece of history. It serves as a local timepiece of the past, standing almost the same as it did over a century ago. The California Department of Parks and Recreation still owns the land today, and the historic ranch is open to the public for self-guided touring and exploration.


There is a main house, unique dairy barn, and surrounding outbuildings that make up the Burleigh H. Murray Ranch. The dairy barn definitely stands out, designed by pioneer Robert Mills to look like those of the English Lake Country where he was raised. This “bank barn” is unlike any other in the state of California. It has two stories and is built hillside, so that both floors can be open at ground level. Just across the creek is the farmhouse, which was built in the 1920s as the replacement for a Victorian-style house that burned down.

History of Burleigh H. Murray Ranch

Robert Mills was an Englishman who traveled to California during the famed Gold Rush. He acquired land in the foothills of Half Moon Bay, and there constructed a house, dairy barn, and outbuildings against the hillside. Mills and his descendents leased the land to ranchers for over a century until Mills’ grandson and heir Burleigh H. Murray died in 1978. Murray’s father was a successful dairy farmer on the land, raising sheep and cattle and putting the land and structures to proper use. Named in his honor, the Burleigh H. Murray Ranch was put on the National Register of Historic Places in 1989, 100 years after its construction began.

Burleigh-Murray Ranch Trail

An old ranch road winds its way beside Mills Creek for a mile up to a 1930s bungalow as the premier hiking trail. Access is granted from the ranch entrance off Higgins-Purisma Road, where parking is available. The path traverses through groves of old eucalyptus, red alter, and buckeye trees until reaching the prominent barn and wooden water tank. It then continues through a narrow valley between hills, finally fading away into the dense undergrowth. The trail is a favorite spot for not just outdoor exercise and scenic sightseeing but also for birdwatching. Many unique species are attracted to the creekside habitat, and native plants such as red flowering currant, twinberry, salmonberry, and woodland wildflowers can be observed. Be sure to bring your camera and take some beautiful pictures of the rustic farm and any nature you can spot along the trail.

Ranch to Inn

Located just a 15 minute drive away from Burleigh H. Murray Ranch is Mill Rose Inn. Head from the ranch toward the beach and stay at this beautiful seaside bed and breakfast in Half Moon Bay, which offers amenities such as a flower garden Jacuzzi and gourmet breakfast each morning. For more to do in Half Moon Bay and surrounding areas, download Mill Rose Inn’s free vacation guide!