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Category Archives: Burleigh Murray Ranch State Park

Here Are 5 Amazing Hikes in Half Moon Bay

March 25, 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. 


The Best Places to Find California Native Plants

February 18, 2016 by Mill Rose Inn

A California Poppy, one of the many California native plantsSpend a portion of your Bay Area getaway finding and identifying some of the incredible California native plants.

About California Native Plants

There are over 2,000 native plants throughout the state of California that range from shrubs to annuals. Some of the most popular native plants include the California Redbud, Coast Live Oak, California Poppy (also the state flower), and the Chalk Dudleya.

Where to Find the Native Plants of California

There are plenty of places to find these unique plants all over the state. From organized establishments to the side of the road, during your California trip, you’re guaranteed to catch a glimpse of these special plants.


  • Yerba Buena Nursery
  • Acterra Wholesale Native Nursery
  • Bay Natives
  • C. H. Baccus
  • Capitol Wholesale Nursery, Inc.
  • Clyde Robin Seed Company
  • Common Ground Garden Supply & Education Center
  • Middlebrook Gardens


  • Regional Parks Botanic Garden
  • University of California Botanical Garden at Berkeley
  • Forrest Deaner Native Plant Botanic Garden
  • San Francisco Botanical Garden at Strybing Arboretum
  • University of California Santa Cruz Arboretum


Mill Rose Inn Gardens

For flower lovers everywhere, the gardens at the Mill Rose Inn, in Half Moon Bay, CA, are a must see. Whether you enjoy a midday stroll or take a dip in the intimate garden jacuzzi, surrounding yourself with the immaculate plant life will leave you with some incredible memories. With almost an acre of gardens to peruse, this delightful oasis is bursting with color year-round waiting to welcome visitors. The garden jacuzzi is placed under a tropical flower filled gazebo ensuring your time there will be incredible. With hundreds of perennials, annuals, and more than two hundred rose bushes, you will find yourself spending a lot of your time enjoying the views.

After an adventurous day exploring the Bay Area in search of native plants, come back to the Mill Rose Inn to rest and rejuvenate for another day on the town. Located in the cozy Half Moon Bay, everything you could need is right at your fingertips. The inn is close to the big city of San Francisco for convenience, but far enough away where you can enjoy a relaxing getaway far from the hustle and bustle. As you enter, you will notice valuable antiques and opulent decor throughout the inn creating an ambiance of relaxed elegance. Both of the innkeepers have a background in plants and would love to tell you about their personal favorite gardens and nurseries.

After an incredible night’s sleep, wake up to a delicious complimentary breakfast that will prepare you whatever the rest of your day holds. If you’re looking for more information on the area, make sure to check out the various things to do in Half Moon Bay, CA, by requesting our free Half Moon Bay, CA, Vacation Guide. For more information on things to do in the surrounding areas such as San Francisco tourist attractions, make sure to reference our blog. We would love to host you at the Mill Rose Inn and look forward to booking your stay.

6 of the Best Parks Near San Francisco

January 8, 2016 by Mill Rose Inn

Friends at a park near San FranciscoExplore the beauty of northern California by visiting the fantastic parks near San Francisco. From beaches to woods, you will be thrilled with the picturesque locations surrounding you.

Top 6 Best Parks Near San Francisco

  1. Burleigh Murray Ranch State Park
    In 1938, the state of California purchased this park with the intention to share this historic ranch property in the hidden, pristine valley south of Half Moon Bay. If you’re seeking solitude, a rich assortment of wildlife, and groves of mature eucalyptus, this is one of the state parks near Half Moon Bay you must visit. The property of this park extends from Higgins Purisima Road to Skyline Boulevard. During your visit, feel free to take advantage of  their hiking trail that consists of the old ranch road winding throughout the property alongside Mills Creek.
  2. McNee Ranch State Park
    Also known as Montara State Beach, this is a favorite location for guests who want to explore the beach’s tide pools or go surfing. Montara Mountain, also called McNee Ranch, is part of the park and a northern spur of the Santa Cruz Mountains. This park tends to hold many events throughout the year such as hiking the surrounding trails. Make sure to visit their website for the monthly planned activities.
  3. Edgewood Park & Natural Preserve
    Famous for their incredible wildflower displays each spring, Edgewood Park and Natural Preserve is located with easy access to Interstate 280 and Edgewood Road. This Park features 467 acres of woodlands and grasslands which provide endless hiking and sightseeing opportunities. Near the entrance of the park you will find three drop-in family picnic areas, an amphitheater, restrooms, and a meadow area.
  4. Muir Woods
    Known as “a tree lover’s monument,” Muir Woods is named after John Muir who coined it’s other name. Open daily throughout the year, John Muir Redwoods near San Francisco is one of the best national parks in California and one of the most beautiful national parks near San Francisco. While walking through the park, take notice to the natural looking caves in some of the redwood trees. These were caused by fires which hollowed out the tree trunks, leaving a cave behind. While some of the burn marks and caves may look new, the last fire in Muir Woods was 160 years ago.
  5. Golden Gate Park
    Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, CA, is well-known and a desired destination for many of California’s visitors. As the third most visited park in the United States, there is a plethora of things to do here. From their gardens to the carousel and museums to the aquarium, there is plenty to do in this park to fill your day with splendid activities.
  6. Mission Dolores Park
    Also known as Dolores Park, Mission Dolores Park in San Francisco, CA, encompasses nearly 16 acres and is one of the most popular state parks near San Francisco. A visit to this park will bring you lush green lawns with plenty of shade from the nearby palm trees, a playground, sport recreational fields and courts, a dog park, and a clubhouse. Many local events are held here throughout the year so make sure to check their calendar.

Whether you visit a park in Half Moon Bay or San Francisco, you are guaranteed to see some beautiful sights. After an eventful day exploring the surrounding area, come back to the Mill Rose Inn in Half Moon Bay to relax. With fabulous accommodations and a gourmet breakfast in the morning, you’ll be ready to go to explore even more the next day. For more information on things to do in Half Moon Bay, CA, make sure to request our free Half Moon Bay Vacation Guide.

Take a Stroll Through Burleigh Murray Ranch State Park

June 25, 2014 by Mill Rose Inn


Burleigh Murray Ranch State ParkThe natural beauty of Half Moon Bay, California is breath taking. The Mill Rose Inn knows how special the area is and wants to share the beautiful of Half Moon Bay with our guests. We love recommending favorite places to experience the areas picturesque nature. If you want to experience one of California’s true wonders, a stroll through Burleigh Murray Ranch State Park is a must!



This hidden treasure in the hills of Half Moon Bay is a wonderful piece of history of California. The Burleigh Murray State Park dates back to the mid-1800’s when Robert Mills, an Englishman, acquired the land in a valley in the east foothills of Half Moon Bay. Mills built a house, dairy barn and outbuildings on the land. Although the Ranch is located in a secluded valley, it is still close to Half Moon Bay.


Start your stroll at the Park’s trail and make your way towards the prized historic structure, the barn. The building is also know as an English bank barn and is extremely rare in the United States. Unfortunately, time has taken its toll on the ranches buildings, however, visitors can still experience what life must have been like centuries ago. The 1-mile walk to the barn offers a picturesque view of the valley. With two stories, the barn was built along side of the hill allowing both floors to be opened at ground level. The ground floor kept dairy cows and the upper floor stored hay that was dropped down to the cattle. The barn was originally 200 feet long and could hold 100 cows but a 35-foot section was removed in the early part of the last century. The rusted farm machinery, stonework and a 1930’s ranch house add to the rustic scenery.


Continue your stroll across the creek from the Barn to the farmhouse, which today is used as a residence building by the State Park personnel. The house was built in the 1920’s, replacing a Victorian-style house that had burned down. The old but beautiful structure is a prime example of the early 1900’s ranch style architecture.


Across from the house is an old orchard where apples, cherries plums and other fruit use to grow. Many of the fruit trees are still alive but badly overgrown. A program, by Park Champions Program, was launched beginning a volunteer program to restore and maintain the Burleigh Murray Ranch orchard.



Trees like eucalyptus scatter the side of the trail and frame the creek, the barn and the other historic buildings. A beautiful scene to experience! The State Park is also a favorite spot for birdwatchers. Many species of birds are attracted to the Mill Creek’s dense habitat.



As you’re planning your stroll through Burleigh Murray Ranch State Park, don’t forget to book your stay at Mill Rose Inn. Our Half Moon Bay bed and breakfast has elegant rooms and suites that are each comfortably appointed with luxurious decor and furnishings. Plus, your stay includes a delicious gourmet breakfast each morning so you’ll have the energy to take on the adventures of the day. For a truly exceptional trip to Half Moon Bay, look no further than the Mille Rose Inn.




Photo courtesy Emily Mills.