Mill Rose Inn
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Enjoy the Beauty at Yerba Buena Nursery

August 24th, 2015 by Mill Rose Inn

The Yerba Buena Nursery, located at Pastorino Farms, is a wonderful place to see in Half Moon Bay if you are at all interested in agriculture, or perhaps have yourself a green thumb! Home to the largest collection of native California plants in the area, it is quite the spectacle. You’ll be hard pressed to find a great wealth of knowledge on the natural history of this region of California amongst even park rangers in the area.

Pastorino Farms is likewise a lovely place to visit, rounding out your trip to Yerba Buena Nursery nicely, especially if you are visiting during one of their special events!

California Native Plants at Yerba Buena Nursery

If you live in California and are a visiting the Half Moon Bay area briefly, don’t hesitate to head to the Yerba Buena Nursery to get some ideas for your yard and gardens at home. We guarantee you’ll learn some new things and certainly find inspiration for whatever ongoing projects you have. You can come and learn how to make your garden more like its natural landscape with native plants. Yerba Buena Nursery is also known for their beautiful designs and has taken the lead in their alternative lawn plans. If you’re looking for something stylish, this is absolutely the place to find it!

Pastorino Farms

Home to the Yerba Buena Nursery, Pastorino Farms is more than just a retail nursery for plants, cut flowers, and gifts, they are also an education center, a host of great events, and a wonderful place to go for some good old fashion fun! October is an especially fun time to visit as Pastorinos transforms into a pumpkin farm just in time for the Pumpkin Festival in Half Moon Bay.

More than just a pumpkin patch, you can also enjoy games, activities like hay and pony rides, crafts, and food! Another great thing about visiting in October are the educational tours offered. These one-hour docent-led tours will teach you how pumpkins, flowers, and other vegetables are grown. These tours run three times daily throughout the month, giving you even more reason to swing by Yerba Buena Gardens on your upcoming visit to Half Moon Bay. It is the perfect place to celebrate both Halloween and the harvest season!

If you happen to be here during the holiday season, Pastorino Farms is a great place to get decorating ideas or to get some of that holiday shopping done. With great gifts and seasonal plants, you’ll love their holiday cheer!


The harvest season is an ideal time to visit Half Moon Bay, not only for the Pumpkin Festival but also for all the other fruits of the land you can enjoy! There are bound to be countless fresh fruits and vegetables served at every restaurant, the grapes are being harvested, and the temperatures are incredibly perfect! Fall on the coast is known to be one of the sunniest seasons as well, so you can get plenty of beach time and hiking in!

For more ideas of things to do when in the area, check out this free Half Moon Bay vacation guide!

Get Excited for the Pumpkin Festival in Half Moon Bay

August 19th, 2015 by Mill Rose Inn

pumpkin festival in half moon bay

Photo Credit: Sarah Murray / Flickr

Half Moon Bay’s biggest event of the autumn is coming up! The Pumpkin Festival in Half Moon Bay will return for its 45th year this October 17th through the 18th. Each year Half Moon Bay becomes the World Pumpkin Capital as it celebrates the fall with a variety of festivities that include pumpkin showcases, arts, crafts, food, and live entertainment. The Half Moon Bay Art and Pumpkin Festival is a tradition maintained in the area similar to the Coastside Farmer’s Market that you have to participate in at least once in your life! At the Mill Rose Inn we love this yearly event and want to share some information about the Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival, one of the most fun things to do near Half Moon Bay, with you!

Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival History

Now in its 45th year, the Pumpkin Festival in Half Moon Bay began in 1971, which is also when the Main Street Beautification Committee was formed in Half Moon Bay. The original goal of the festival was to raise money for the restoration and revitalization of Half Moon Bay’s Main Street. Today, the festival still celebrates the bounty of the harvest season and the area’s many pumpkin patches. While the first Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival drew a crowd of about 30,000 people over the course of the weekend, today the downtown area sees scores more people during the festivities.

Events at the Pumpkin Festival in Half Moon Bay

Preceding the festival on Sunday, October 12th, a screening of “Rise of the Giants”, a new documentary about giant pumpkin growers, will be screened at Cameron’s Inn Outback. Then the customer “kick off” event, the Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off, will mark the official start of the weekend! Pumpkins of more than 1,000 pounds compete to find the biggest in the land! In addition to the Weigh-Off there is an exciting schedule of events during the Pumpkin Festival in Half Moon Bay. The events include the Great Pumpkin Parade (showcasing the winning weigh-off pumpkin), a costume contest, pie eating contest, Pumpkin Run/Walk on the Coastside Trail, and live entertainment on several stages.

Activities During the Pumpkin Festival in Half Moon Bay

Along with the contest events at the Pumpkin Festival in Half Moon Bay, there are other activities to participate in. Arts and crafts from local, national, and even international artisans will available for purchase, with a special locals section that will provide you with the opportunity to support the community while discovering one-of-a-kind crafts and art like glass blown pumpkins made by Half Moon Bay glass blowing artisans. There will be a large variety of pumpkin flavored and infused food and beverages including the stand-by pumpkin pie and pumpkin ale. You’ll never be bored or hungry when you visit the Pumpkin Festival in Half Moon Bay.

When you come to a local event like the Pumpkin Festival in Half Moon Bay, the Mill Rose Inn is the ideal place to stay. Located in the heart of Half Moon Bay, you’ll be close to the action – whether it’s for a festival or just a weekend getaway. Our Half Moon Bay bed and breakfast has luxurious and elegant accommodations with modern amenities to keep you in the utmost comfort during your stay. You can truly indulge while at the Mill Rose Inn, either with a massage, a soak in our garden jacuzzi, or a stroll through our amazing gardens. We’ll make sure your time in the area is unforgettable.

For other ideas of things to do in Half Moon Bay while here, check out free Half Moon Bay Vacation Guide!

The Best of the Restaurants Near Half Moon Bay

August 13th, 2015 by Mill Rose Inn

restaurants near half moon bay

Photo Credit: Ben Husmann / Flickr

Located not an hour south of the amazing foodie destination of San Francisco, California, Half Moon Bay has the privilege of being influenced by the city’s great food culture – and it shows in the many wonderful restaurants near Half Moon Bay. Whether you are looking to explore the tastes of local seafood at the best restaurants in Half Moon Bay for seafood, experience the farm to table movement so famously embraced in Northern California (with a meal or a visit to the Coastside Farmer’s Market), or just want a comforting meal by the ocean, you’ll love what the restaurants near Half Moon Bay have to offer. Be sure to explore our exhaustive list of restaurants in Half Moon Bay CA.

Restaurants Near Half Moon Bay


  1. Barbara’s Fishtrap – This coast side classic serves many house specialties on their extensive menu of fresh fish straight from the Princeton Harbor. Half Moon Bay has long been known as a fishing port and promises visitors the treat of the lastest catch straight from the sea.
  2. India Beach – One of the newest restaurants near Half Moon Bay, India Beach is restaurateur Babu Singh’s latest Bay Area establishment. Known for their mouth-watering clay oven-baked dishes, this is a wonderful option for Indian food in the area and will be both affordable and authentic.
  3. Flavor – Serving up the ultimate California comfort food, this is the perfect place for a great meal on the water if you happen to be hanging out around Pillar Point Harbor. With and ocean view patio, you’ll thoroughly enjoy your yummy meal at Flavor.  
  4. Half Moon Bay Brewing Company – One of the staple restaurants near Half Moon Bay, both for their delicious and upscale take on the typical bar menu, their craft beers, and the sweeping ocean views, the Half Moon Bay Brewing Company is a must when you are looking for a meal in the area. Located just out of town, it’s the perfect bike ride up the Coastal California trail for lunch or dinner.
  5. Chez Shea – Known for the eclectic menu featuring local organic food, Chez Shea offers flavors from around the world in their quaint little dining room perfect for a romantic night out.
  6. Moss Beach Distillery – This is a historic ocean view dining room and, therefore, one of the best restaurants near Half Moon Bay for both the food they offer and the ambiance that accompanies it. Come take in a delicious meal or grab a cocktail on the patio, and don’t forget to ask your server about the Moss Beach Distillery ghost!
  7. Sam’s Chowder House – Don’t forget about Sam’s Chowder House for the premier fresh seafood dining experience among restaurants near Half Moon Bay. Grab a seat at the bar, in the dining room, or on the oceanfront patio, and see what the fisherman have caught today on this fresh-as-can-be menu. After your meal take a walk on the beach just steps away from your seat.



There is absolutely no way you will go hungry while visiting with all these amazing restaurants near Half Moon Bay, and we’ve really only begun to uncover the extensive dining options. Eating in Northern California is always a treat and a motivation for many visitors to this portion of the coast long known for valuing food. There are so many Half Moon Bay restaurants to try, you’re always guaranteed a great meal here!

For more ideas of things to do while in the area, check out this free Half Moon Bay vacation guide!

Mavericks Half Moon Bay is a Surfer’s Dream

August 5th, 2015 by Mill Rose Inn

mavericks half moon bay

Photo Credit: Dennis Yang / Flickr

Surfing is one of Half Moon Bay’s most popular pastimes, and not just for the kids or the local water lovers, but in the winter months it becomes a hotbed for professionals from around the world. Mavericks Half Moon Bay is one of the most famous swells on the entire globe, and home to the epic Titans of Mavericks surf competition each winter. Whether you are yourself a professional surfer or aspiring to compete on this level, spending some time out on the waters of Mavericks Half Moon Bay is practically a prerequisite to entering this world of great waves.

Where and What is Mavericks Half Moon Bay?

This famous wave is found about a mile off the coast of one of the area’s most popular surfing spots for wave riders, Pillar Point. During the winter months the Mavericks wave is known to rise up to 60 feet high, and can be so ferociously explosive that it can actually be recorded on the Richter scale. While it is one of the world’s most celebrated swells, it is inevitably one of its most treacherous as well, having taken the lives of many people throughout the years. Half Moon Bay native, Jeff Clark, was the first person to surf the big wave in 1975, just a high schooler at the time. While out surfing with some friends, he noticed the wave offshore and made a plan to swim out and hit it. He has been surfing Mavericks every year for the past 40 years.

Titans of Mavericks

Titans of Mavericks Half Moon Bay takes place sometime within the season, which opens January 1st and runs through March 31st. In the preseason, hopeful competitors head to the area to show off their skills with the hopes of being one of the 24 finalists chosen to compete during the official showdown. Competitors are watched closely by the C5, as the judges are known, during the preseason months and are judged according to a list of criteria.

The C5 is concerned with more than just fitness and skill, but also dedication to the Mavericks wave and the ability to understand its makeup and, ultimately, on their character. The mavericks compete under very strenuous conditions and the judges need to be sure their heart is in it for the right reasons. Are you involved in the community? Do you have good rapport with the other big wave surfers? Basically, are you an upstanding citizen who, in case of emergency, will respond in a predictable manner? These are incredibly important questions to answer before allowing someone to compete in such a high-stakes race.

Mavericks has been rightfully feared since its discovery, attracting only surfers who are truly up to challenge after decades of experience in the water, many of whom have earned the title Titan of Mavericks Half Moon Bay. If you are capable of competing on this level, start gearing up for another great season of surfing off the Northern California Coast. If you love surfing but your skill is more intermediate, considering coming to witness the breathtaking competition, and hitting the waves elsewhere in the area. They are still great waves!

If you’re looking for other things to do while visiting the area, check out this free Half Moon Bay vacation guide!

4 Reasons to Escape from San Francisco to Half Moon Bay

July 30th, 2015 by Mill Rose Inn

san francisco to half moon bay

Half Moon Bay is the perfect country escape from Northern California’s biggest city. Getting from San Francisco to Half Moon Bay is a quick and easy trip down the beautifully dramatic coastline. If you live in the city and are in need of a quick jaunt from it, be it for a day trip or to whisk away for a weekend after a hectic week. This quaint coastal city is the ideal retreat from San Francisco with its abundant options for outdoor activities, its quiet and laid back atmosphere, and the beautiful surroundings offering a sense of serenity you just won’t find around the city. Whether your need for a getaway is urgent or not, consider making the trip from San Francisco to Half Moon Bay.

4 Reasons to Escape from San Francisco to Half Moon Bay

  1. Quiet Half Moon Bay – Sometimes the hustle and bustle of the big city gets to be too much and having a close by place to escape to is crucial to thoroughly enjoying your urban lifestyle. The fact that getting from San Francisco to Half Moon Bay is an incredible asset to life in the city, as it makes that much needed day or weekend of peace incredibly accessible, without the burden of travel. The drive from the city is less than an hour!
  2. Surfing in Half Moon Bay – If you love to get in the water with your board but get tired of driving through the busy city to Ocean Beach where you can swim out into the Pacific, pack up your gear and head south for a weekend of two-a-days. Internationally famous for its huge waves, get a room at the Mill Rose Inn for the convenience of getting to the sea in no time at all. When you’re not in the water you’ll be right downtown for the convenience to its charming attractions as well.
  3. Hiking and Biking – Maybe you’re looking for alternative places to get in your weekend hikes, runs and bike rides, in which case the Half Moon Bay area is ideal. Again, you can stay downtown and enjoy the beautiful San Mateo County scenery while you hike through the hills, run along the coast, or tackle one of the gnarly mountain biking trails.
  4. Golf at the Ritz – Known as one of the absolute best golf courses on the Northern California coast, book yourself a few tee times over the weekend and enjoy this gorgeous spot overlooking the ocean. If you love a challenging game of golf, you won’t be disappointed by the quality of the links at the Ritz.

Making the trip from San Francisco to Half Moon Bay is always worth it, no matter how long you plan on staying. If you’re just looking to get a breath of fresh air out of the urban jungle, the drive alone through the rolling hills or along the coast, will do you well. If you can manage to steal a weekend away, definitely check the availability at the charming bed and breakfast right downtown, the Mill Rose Inn.

When you make the trip from San Francisco to Half Moon Bay check out this free vacation guide full of great things to do while there.

10 Fun Things to Do Near Half Moon Bay

July 24th, 2015 by Mill Rose Inn

things to do near half moon bay

Photo Credit: Ed Schipul / Flickr

Every inch of the Northern California coast is worth exploring, and if you have the time we certainly recommend you spend some of it driving up and down the coast and checking out all the great little towns and dramatic coastlines. If you happen to stop through this corner of the region, you will be quick to notice that there are many fun things to do near Half Moon Bay that will not only keep you entertained but will surely entice you back to explore yet more of the great activities. This quaint California town is full of a variety of pastimes from hiking and fishing, as well as more artsy and foodie fun to have.

6 Things to Do in Half Moon Bay

  1. Hiking in Half Moon Bay – While not the part of Northern California that is covered with the famed redwoods, there are plenty of places around Half Moon Bay where you can find groves of these gorgeous trees. Check out Big Basin State Park and Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, both of which have numerous trails to explore.
  2. Fishing – There are many opportunities to get out on the water in the area, especially if you love fishing. Whether you’re a seasoned sport fisherman, or want to get out and learn some tricks of the trade, one of the area’s expert captains will be happy to take you out on a charter or fishing trip. To get a feel for the local fisherman scene head to Pillar Point Harbor where you can see all the fishing boats and even buy some catch right off the boat.
  3. Coastside Farmer’s Market – With locations in both Half Moon Bay and the town just north, Pacifica, the Coastside Farmer’s Market is a great place to get a feel for the area’s rich agricultural community, and commitment to eating locally and organically. You can also find lots of great local gifts to take home with you!
  4. Fitzgerald Marine Reserve – If the underwater world is of any interest to you, the tidal pools at the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve will blow you away! Check their website for information on the tide schedules so you know when to visit to get the best view of the thousands of rare species living in this unique and protected habitat.
  5. Half Moon Bay Brewing – One of the best things to do in Half Moon Bay is simply to eat. For such a small town, it has an impressive culinary scene, and Half Moon Bay Brewing fits right into that mix. Serving delicious American comfort food and, of course, their house brews which range from classic staples to seasonal treats.
  6. Hit the Beach! – Being right on the coast, one of the most natural things to do in Half Moon Bay is to head to the beach. While the temperatures here are never scorchingly hot, and the water never quite warms up, the beaches are a fantastic place to spend some time outside. You may even catch one of those warm days where laying on the beach in a suit is certainly called for.
  7. Go Horseback Riding – During the summer months (and much of the rest of the year), the weather in Northern California is perfect for horseback riding! Experience Half Moon Bay’s beautiful scenery galloping on horseback along the endless coastline or riding among grassy meadows on cliffs overlooking the ocean.
  8. Visit Half Moon Bay Downtown – Just because you’re looking to be near Half Moon Bay doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be in it! Stroll through the historic downtown to find the hidden gems of local antiques and scrumptious Californian food. Shop the latest fashions, grab something to eat at a local hot spot, and stop by all the visitors’ must-see sites.
  9. Go Kayaking – A Pacific coast bay known for its giant surf, massive whale migrations and plethora of seaside restaurants serving up some of the best fresh seafood, it’s hard to avoid ocean-centered activities like kayaking when you visit. There are many ways to enjoy the water, and kayaking in Half Moon Bay is a favorite among visitors and locals alike.
  10. Visit Pigeon Point Lighthouse – Whether you’re looking for a nice place for a morning walk, a great beach to hang out on for a day, or to learn something about the area’s history, a visit the Pigeon Point Lighthouse will fulfill your desires.

For more ideas of things to do in Half Moon Bay, download this free vacation guide!

How to Learn Beautiful Half Moon Bay Glass Blowing

July 17th, 2015 by Mill Rose Inn

half moon bay glass blowing

Photo Credit: Nan Palmero / Flickr

Half Moon Bay has long been known as a creative community full of artisans and craftsmen whose local products are collected around the country. Half Moon Bay Art Glass owner, Doug Brown, is yet another talented community member sharing his trade both by selling his beautiful art, as well as offering weekly classes that are known for providing a fun and fascinating activity here on the Northern California Coast. If you’re looking for a Half Moon Bay glass blowing experience, Dough Brown is definitely who you want to indulge that desire with. Known especially for his glass blown pumpkins – a popular theme due to the famous Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival – you can also learn to make other decorative home pieces, as well as useful items like glasses.

Half Moon Bay Glass Blowing Classes

Classes are typically offered on the weekends, and participants must be at least 12 years of age. Younger children are welcome to attend and learn the process though they must be supervised. Classes run for about two hours and start with a group lesson of the entire glass blowing method, after which each attendee gets one-on-one instruction while they blow their own piece of art, which they get to take home. Projects can be picked up the following day, or shipped to you for an added fee. Here are the classes offered regularly:

  1. Pumpkin Classes
    Students can either make a 2-inch or 4 to 5-inch glass pumpkin, choosing exactly what they want it to look like. This is a beginner level class.
  2. Memory Ball Classes
    A memory ball is a mostly clear glass ball that you can fill with whatever treasures you like, be it sand and seashells from one of Half Moon Bay’s beaches, your change, or corks.  This is also a beginner course.
  3. Paper Weight Classes
    Students get to choose between making hearts, star fish or clams in this fun small project class for beginners.
  4. Tumbler Classes
    This intermediate level class is for people who have some experience blowing glass as you’ll be making something functional not decorative. Choose the shape, size, and color of your very own drinking vessel.
  5. Jelly Fish Lamp Classes
    Another one of Doug Brown’s specialties is the jelly fish lamp. These beautiful pieces of art are wonderfully decorative, and are certainly an intermediate project as you will be making a body and up to six separate tentacles. You will walk out with a simple and gorgeous light fixture.
  6. Glass Blowing and Wine Tasting
    Located on the property of La Nebbia Winery, Half Moon Bay Art Glass is a great place to come for an outing in the area where you can have some creative fun, as well as taste some delicious local wines. It’s a great deal!

Half Moon Bay glass blowing attracts many creative and tactile types to the area. If you have an interest in rustic crafts, this is one you definitely want to do, and where better than in the beautiful setting of the coastal hills of Half Moon Bay? If you’re looking for other things to do while in the area check out this free vacation guide.

How to Enjoy Half Moon Bay Sportfishing

July 2nd, 2015 by Mill Rose Inn

The San Francisco Bay Area is the perfect destination for real fishing adventures, especially if you head down the coast to the wee port town of Half Moon Bay, California, where the fishermen are experienced and a lot of fun. Whether you’re looking for a deep sea salmon fishing experience, or rather the chance to go crabbing for the first time, the local anglers are always itching to get new people out on their rigs for a day of great bonding at sea doing some good old fashioned Half Moon Bay sportfishing!

Hera are some of the best companies that will take you out on the water to do some Half Moon Bay sportfishing.

Half Moon Bay Fishing

This is a one-stop shop for Half Moon Bay sportfishing with a store stocked full of rods, reels, bait, and tackle, as well as offering a number of fishing trips. Leading guided tours for salmon, rockfish and, of course, tuna, come experience these wild west coast waters with a staff with unsurpassed knowledge of both fishing and the local coastline. You won’t come back empty-handed with these pros!

Riptide Charters

For a small charter experience or a private corporate trip, Riptide is your spot for an owner operated experience right out of Pillar Point Harbor. While they will gladly take you out for Half Moon Bay sportfishing, they also do recreational trips for whale watching, nature trips and eco-tours, as well as the moving burials at sea where they charter mourning people out to scatter the ashes of loved ones.

Queen of Hearts

Step aboard this local famous 50-foot sportfishing vessel known mostly for shallow water fishing between Montara and Ano Nuevo. No matter your level of experience these experts can teach complete beginners while simultaneously offering new challenges for people who have spent more time on the water. Join Capt. Bob Ingles on the Queen of Hearts for a day of shallow water fishing or whale watching!

Huli Cat

The Huli Cat offers a unique fishing experience in that they are expert hunters of Humboldt Squid, also known as the Jumbo Squid, which are often only found around 1,000 feet deep. They have been known to reel in squid weighing up to 80 pounds and reaching 12 feet long!

New Captain Pete

This is a 53-foot charter boat captained by Dennis Baxter who has nearly four decades of experience in Half Moon Bay sportfishing. Trips aboard the New Captain Pete include a heated cabin and separate heads for men and women to facilitate the catching.


Half Moon Bay sportfishing is a great pastime if you’re hoping to get out on the water while visiting the Northern California coast. Not only will you get to catch some fish, but you’ll also get to witness some of the area’s wildlife, maybe even a few humpback whales that hang out in the bay. If you are planning a trip to Half Moon Bay this free vacation guide is a great resource to figure out which of all the great things to do in the area you want to tackle.

4 of the Best Bay Area Hiking Trails

July 1st, 2015 by Mill Rose Inn

bay area hiking trails

Photo Credit: btwashburn / Flickr

The San Francisco Bay Area is known for its scenic splendor, which undoubtedly contributed to its being settled by Spanish explorers in 1776. Europeans then spread throughout the entire area, some chasing land to live off of, and others business opportunities in a new booming American city.

Now one of the most populous region in the entire country, it continues to be recognized for its stunning beauty and preservation of public lands where both locals and visitors can appreciate the natural beauty on one of the many Bay Area hiking trails. Whether you’re on a family vacation and need a trail that is amenable to all ages, or are an avid hiker and want a strenuous way to spend a whole day, you’ll find it among the hills, mountains and bluffs of the Bay Area.

Here Are 4 Great Bay Area Hiking Trails to Check Out While in the Area

  1. Devil’s Slide Trail
    Locate on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the Devil’s Slide Trail is a multiuse paved path for hikers and bikers alike in Half Moon Bay. Stretching just 1.3 miles, it is an out and back trail that is a segment of the California Coastal Trail. It is spotted with convenient amenities like bike racks, drinking fountains, and restrooms.
  2. Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park
    This park in Santa Cruz County is south of Half Moon Bay and is known or an easy 4.7-mile loop through redwoods with about 700 feet in elevation change. It is a mostly shaded trail and takes the average hiker about 2-and-a-half hours to complete.
  3. The Waterfall Loop at Big Basin State Park
    Also in Santa Cruz County is the coveted Big Basin State Park which is home to this epic 11-mile waterfall loop that is known as much for its stunning views and numerous waterfalls, as well as its difficulty. The elevation changes throughout this mountainous hike add up to about 200 feet, and the average hiking time is about 6 hours. Be sure to pack plenty of supplies for this day in the redwoods.
  4. Memorial Park
    Located in San Mateo County alongside the more well known Pescadero Creek Park, Memorial park is home to a beautiful 5-mile loop trail. This well-graded dirt track is a great place for beginners and although it gains about 800 total feet in elevation, there are no steep climbs. The entire loop should take about two-and-a-half hours and is abounding in beautiful views of both the valley and the ocean below as it is perched on the mountains in their midst.

This handful of Bay Area hiking trails barely scratches the surface of all the wooded and coastal areas to be explored in this Northern California haven for natural wonders. Visitors should definitely opt for seeing the gargantuan redwoods while here, as well as taking in the coastal cliffs so emblematic of the romantic setting in the small towns like Half Moon Bay plotted up and down the seaboard. If you are looking for other activities to enjoy while in the area check out this free vacation guide full of ideas.

Where to Enjoy the Best Half Moon Bay Surfing

June 25th, 2015 by Mill Rose Inn

Covering miles of Pacific coastline, Half Moon Bay visits are characterized by time on these wavy waters, be it on a kayak, chartered boat or, of course, a surf board. Half Moon Bay surfing is world renowned, as it is home to one of the most epic swells that has been discovered, attracting professionals from all around the world during the winter months, who come to catch a big one and go down in history. Aside from this famous wave, known worldwide as Mavericks, Half Moon Bay also accommodates many levels of surfing skill along its coast, from beginners to pure first-timers. If you’re visiting the area and have always wanted to try surfing, Half Moon Bay is your spot.

Half Moon Bay Surfing Lessons

There are numerous opportunities in the area to take surfing lessons and even sign up for more extensive camps where you can learn the basics, or further develop your skills with the instruction of professionals. Open Ocean Surfing is a highly recommended surfing school in the area, with lessons lasting 1.5 to 2 hours, and all you need to bring is a wetsuit. Open Ocean is hosting summer camps all summer long, and all ages are welcome to sign up for a whole week, or even drop in for just a day. If you’re a french speaker traveling to Half Moon Bay, Sea, Surf & Fun offers the town’s first ever French classes in surfing.


Most of the surf schools will supply you with a board to use, but not all of them have wetsuits for you, in which case you can check out one of the many local surf shops for rentals. If you aren’t planning on taking a lesson and just want to get out on the water in a new place, you can also rent a board from Mavericks Surf Shop, Half Moon Bay Board Shop or Cowboy Surf Shop. You can also pick up some Half Moon Bay surfing memorabilia to remind you of the area’s epic waves.

Titans of Mavericks

If you are a sports enthusiast or particularly love surfing, you will probably want to try and catch this famous surfing competition featuring talent from around the world. During the winter months when the swell is known to expand, surfers get on the water to hit this epic surf about a half-mile out from the shore that was discovered by a local surfer back in the 1960s. Now big wave surfers show up in the area for the chance to make the cut to compete while they are at the whim of the weather as to when the competition will happen, or if it even will.


If you’ve always wanted to give surfing a go, don’t shy away from the challenge, but seize the day and tackle a new adventure. Half Moon Bay is a beautiful place made for memories, and you won’t be able to avoid it when you visit. If you’re looking for other things to do while in the area, check out this free vacation guide.