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Category Archives: Half Moon Bay Attractions

Why is the Half Moon Bay Harbor So Famous?

December 31, 2015 by Mill Rose Inn

Half Moon Bay HarborDuring your vacation to the beautiful Half Moon Bay, make sure you stop by the Half Moon Bay Harbor for incredible views and delicious meals. Between the avid fishing and beautiful sunsets, you can’t miss a visit to this incredible harbor.

About the Half Moon Bay Harbor

The Half Moon Bay Harbor, known as the Pillar Point Harbor, is well known for it’s beautiful views and fantastic restaurants. This protected harbor of refuge along the San Mateo County California Coast is a vital home to the commercial fishing industry, sport fishermen, and recreational boaters. With 369 berths, inner breakwater, and outer breakwater makes Pillar Point Harbor one of the safest harbors in the United States. On top of being a sport and commercial fishermen’s harbor, Pillar Point Harbor is also home to many events including the annual Mavericks surfing competition and Christmas boat decorating contest. If you’re looking to buy fresh fish from the harbor, feel free to call (650) 726-8724.

Top 5 Half Moon Bay Harbor Restaurants

  1. Ketch Joanne’s Restaurant & Harbor Bar
    With a long 30-year history serving delicious meals of generous portion and variety, Ketch Joanne’s Restaurant & Harbor Bar is a must visit when you’re exploring Pillar Point Harbor. Open at 7 am daily and serving food until 1 am, this is the perfect stop at any point in your day. On top of their extensive bar menu they also serve delicious dishes such as Joanne’s Cioppino and Creekside Smokehouse Fettuccine.
  2. Half Moon Bay Brewing Company
    This brewing company has a lot more to offer its visitors than just beer. While they serve an excellent selection of brews and even offer a brewery tour, Half Moon Bay Brewing Company also offers a full restaurant menu with many delectable dishes. From classic fish and chips to seafood fajitas and their Stuffed Supreme Chicken Breast, you’re guaranteed to enjoy your visit to the Half Moon Bay Brewing Company.
  3. Princeton Seafood Company
    As the most popular and arguably best seafood market in Half Moon Bay, Princeton Seafood Company has a lot to offer it’s guests. Whether you’re stopping by for a fresh catch to prepare dinner that evening, a bite to eat, or both, you’re guaranteed to enjoy your time. The Princeton Seafood Company Market offers overnight shipping anywhere, as well as in-person purchases. If you visit the Princeton Seafood Company Restaurant you’ll find delectable dishes such as their Pillar Point Prawns, Dungeness Crab Platter, and Camerone Tacos.  
  4. Flavor
    Flavor Restaurant in Half Moon Bay is perfect for those craving delicious comfort food. The co-owners both grew up in California with a taste for comfort food, which lead to their partnership in creating Flavor. From their perfect brunch menu to their amazing lunch and dinner options, there is never a wrong time to visit this excellent eatery.
  5. Barbara’s Fish Trap
    Since 1971 Barbara’s Fish Trap has been serving exquisite seafood to all of its visitors. This homey, casual, and simple restaurant may sound lax on their creations, but that could not be farther from the truth. Right on the harbor, you’ll get a beautiful view of the sunset as well as passing boats throughout the area.

After enjoying your visit to Pillar Point Harbor, head over to Half Moon Bay’s finest bed and breakfast, the Mill Rose Inn. Between the warm hospitality and meticulous attention to detail, you can’t go wrong with a stay at this award-winning Half Moon Bay B&B. For more information on things to do in Half Moon Bay, CA, make sure to download our free Half Moon Bay Vacation Guide. We look forward to booking your stay!

10 of the Best Bay Area Trails for Everyone

December 4, 2015 by Mill Rose Inn

One of the Bay Area TrailsEnjoy the beauty of Northern California by heading outside and taking advantage of the many Bay Area trails. From the gorgeous Half Moon Bay to the bustling San Francisco, the Bay Area has a lot of sights for everyone to see.

Your Guide to Bay Area Trails

  1. Half Moon Bay Coastside Trail
    Miles: 3.5
    Surface: Asphalt
  2. Purisima Creek Redwood
    Miles: 24
  3. Montara Mountain
    Miles: 7.5
  4. Berry Creek Falls
    Miles: 12
  5. Crystal Springs Reservoir Trail
    Miles: 13
    Surface: Asphalt, Dirt
  6. Devil’s Slide Trail
    Miles: 1.2
    Surface: Asphalt
  7. Sweeney Ridge Trails
    Miles: 3.9
    Surface: Asphalt, Dirt
  8. San Francisco Bay Trail
    Miles: 33.5
    Surface: Asphalt
  9. Centennial Way Trail
    Miles: 2.85
    Surface: Asphalt
  10. Crocker Park Recreational Trail
    Miles: 2.5
    Surface: Ballast, Crushed Stone
  11. Golden Gate Park and Ocean Beach
    Miles: 6.8
    Surface: Asphalt
  12. San Francisco Embarcadero
    Miles: 5.8
    Surface: Asphalt, Concrete
  13. Lands End Trail
    Miles: 2
    Surface: Crushed Stone, Dirt

Whether you’re looking for hiking trails in the Bay Area, Bay Area bike trails, or Bay Area dog trails, this guide has it all. All of the trails are located near one of the most beautiful Bay Area cities, Half Moon Bay. Nestled on the Pacific Coast between forested hills and some of the most magnificent coastlines in the world, you’ll find the charming community of Half Moon Bay, California. The city lies on the coast of San Mateo County, approximately half an hour south of San Francisco. Half Moon Bay boasts a year-round Mediterranean climate with daily temperatures ranging from 60 to 70-degrees. Visitors enjoy panoramic views while hiking, biking, horseback riding, golfing, or kayaking.

For guests who expect extraordinary personal service, warm hospitality and attention to detail, the Mill Rose Inn of Half Moon Bay is a destination not to be missed. This award-winning boutique inn is well-known for its lush garden with year-round color, comfortable rooms and suites, and decadent culinary treats. The inn is an easy five-minute walk to the local beaches, shops, galleries, and restaurants in the vibrant Half Moon Bay. The Mill Rose Inn invites you to relax and be pampered in the comfortable luxury of an English country garden by the sea. The innkeepers and their staff welcome you into a world of tranquility and romance.

When you stay at our romantic, luxury inn, a lavish gourmet breakfast will be delivered to your room, served in the dining room, or offered “al fresco” for you in either of our garden courtyards. You can take a walk in our delightful oasis that features hundreds of perennials, annuals, and more than two hundred rose bushes. A tropical flower-filled gazebo shelters our intimate spa. Prepare for ultimate relaxation and renewal in this setting. Our customized massages will melt away tension and stress. Our certified massage therapists are professionally trained, experienced, and are specialists when it comes to relaxation.

After an eventful day outdoors exploring the beautiful area around us, come back to the inn and relax. For more information about Half Moon Bay, CA, including delicious eateries, great shopping, and amazing accommodations, make sure to download our free Vacation Guide to assist in your planning. We look forward to booking your stay here at the Mill Rose Inn!

5 Fantastic Things to Do at the Año Nuevo State Park

November 13, 2015 by Mill Rose Inn

Elephant Seals at Año Nuevo State ParkAño Nuevo State Park in Pescadero, CA, is best known for the approximately 10,000 elephant seals who return yearly to breed. Not only does this state park offer this amazing opportunity to watch elephant seals in their natural habitat, but it also brings families from all over the world! On top of the amazing sights, Año Nuevo State Park weather is nearly perfect year round. Winter daytime averages rarely drop below 60 degrees leaving you with a perfect day exploring the beautiful scenery.

5 Things to Do at the Año Nuevo State Park

  1. Hike the Trails at Año Nuevo State Park
    Explore Año Nuevo State Park through its five different hiking trails including Año Nuevo Point Trail, New Years Creek and Steele Trails, Franklin Point Trails, and Whitehouse Canyon Trails.

    The Año Nuevo Point Trail is a 3-4 mile hike, round-trip. On this trail, you can see much more than just the elephant seals. The trail begins near the Marine Education Center and theater, which used to be the cattle barn and horse barn of the Steele Ranch. About 400 feet beyond the starting point you’ll come across the 5-ton remnant of the Point Arena’s hull. After meeting with the New Years Creek Trail, you’ll hike above an earthen dam that is home to many endangered species such as the red-legged frog. Following the earthen dam, you’ll see the beauty of Cove Beach. The natural preserve section of the trail is only accessible with a valid permit or during a guided tour.

    The New Years Creek and Steele Trails are considered connector trails, but they offer much more than just that. On the New Years Creek Trail, you may be able to catch a glimpse of the California quails who call the northern end of the trail home. With beautiful scenery and a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean, don’t miss out on this trail. The Steele Trail is rather short but takes you past the historic Dickerman-Steel house.

    The Franklin Point Trails include Franklin Point, Whitehouse Creek, Atkinson Bluff, and Cascade Creek Trails. Franklin Point Trail winds throughout dunes to a secluded beach while the Atkinson Bluff Trail connects Franklin Point to Whitehouse Creek and Cascade Creek. Crisscross your way through a now-rare coastal prairie habitat by hiking both the Whitehouse Creek and Cascade Creek trails

    Finally, the Whitehouse Canyon Trails will provide you with a beautiful walk through the redwoods.
  2. Surf at Cove Beach
    This beach stretches 1 mile from the Año Nuevo cliffs to the San Mateo/Santa Cruz county line. Visitors to this beach come for a multitude of reasons from a world-class surf break to seeing the different types of local animals.
  3. Get Married at Año Nuevo State Park
    With all of the surrounding beauty, this would be a perfect place to profess your commitment to the one you love. If you are interested in getting married in Año Nuevo State Park, you will need to obtain a permit by emailing
  4. See the Elephant Seals at Año Nuevo State Park 
    The elephant seal’s breeding season begins when the males arrive in December. After about 4 to 6 weeks after the seal pups are born, they will start to molt their black fur coat to reveal a shiny silver coat. For more information on the elephant seals, make sure to check out the park website.
  5. Take Guided Walks at Año Nuevo State Park
    Finally, if you are not adventurous or just prefer a guided walk over a hike, be sure to make a reservation. From guided seal walks to other specialty walks, Año Nuevo State Park has you covered.

After an enjoyable day at Año Nuevo State Park, come back to Mill Rose Inn and relax. Located in beautiful Half Moon Bay, we would love to host you. After a great night’s sleep you will receive a gourmet breakfast delivered right to your room. For more information about Half Moon Bay make sure to download our Vacation Guide.

Photo credit: benketaro / Flickr

What is the Best Half Moon Bay Fish Market?

October 29, 2015 by Mill Rose Inn

Half Moon Bay Fish Market

While visiting the California coast, it is necessary to get a fresh fish meal. The coast, and Half Moon Bay, in particular, is full of amazing eateries that serve the best, freshest fish either prepared for you or caught right from the water ready to be your dinner that evening. Whether you like fresh halibut, or you prefer shrimp there are plenty of Half Moon Bay fish markets with delicious seafood for you!

The Best Half Moon Bay Fish Market

There is nothing better than a meal cooked with the freshest ingredients. Head on over to one of the best Half Moon Bay fish markets in the area guaranteed to give you the supplies needed for the delicious meal you have planned.

Princeton Seafood Company Market and Restaurant

Since 1979, Princeton Seafood Company Market and Restaurant has been one of the leading places to pick up fresh seafood for locals. Originally beginning as a fish wholesale company, business starting booming which evolved into the full-service seafood marketing and restaurant we all know and love today. With old family recipes and local flavors, Princeton Seafood Company remains one of the best in all of Half Moon Bay. Princeton Seafood is located on Pillar Point Harbor. Visit their website for days and hours of operation or call them at (650) 726-CRAB (2722).

Half Moon Bay Fish Market

As one of the most popular fish markets, Half Moon Bay Fish Market offers an abundance of seafood options. They are open Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. They are located at 99 San Mateo Road, Half Moon Bay, CA, and you can reach them at (650) 726-2561.

Straight From the Water

Nothing says fresh fish more than buying it directly from the man or woman who caught it. With Dungeness crab season just around the corner, you’ll want to make sure you’re prepared to get the best seafood available in Half Moon Bay.

Pillar Point Harbor

As one of the only places where you can buy fish directly off of the boat, Pillar Point Harbor is one place you can’t miss. Boats are typically docked from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and product varies each day. Before you head out to the harbor, give the harbor office a call for a message about what is on sale that day. They typically have everything from halibut to rock cod and even tuna. Prices vary depending on your choices and the season, but generally run less expensive than an established store. After picking up your choice from the harbor, head over to Princeton Seafood Company where they will clean and fillet your new purchase. While you’re at the harbor you might as well enjoy everything they have to offer. From whale watching or even fishing for your own catch, Pillar Point Harbor will keep you busy all day.

After visiting Princeton Seafood Company or Pillar Point Harbor, come back to the Mill Rose Inn to rest for the next eventful day ahead of you. Get a great night’s rest and enjoy our complimentary breakfast. The gourmet Half Moon Bay breakfast is delivered to your room, served in the dining room, or offered al fresco in either of our garden courtyards. The menu includes fresh juices, fruit, French pastries, homemade bread, crepes, omelets or quiche, and your choice of beverages. Complete your trip by checking out our Vacation Guide with all of the best information on what to do, what to eat, and where to stay in Half Moon Bay!


How to Celebrate a Fantastic Half Moon Bay Christmas

October 24, 2015 by Mill Rose Inn

Half Moon Bay ChristmasChristmas is such a wonderful time of the year filled with family, friends, and joy. There is no better way to spend your holidays than with a beautiful Half Moon Bay Christmas! With gorgeous weather and merry events, this will be one holiday season you’ll remember forever.

Half Moon Bay Christmas Events

Santa’s Tree Farm and Village

Since 1972, Santa’s Tree Farm and Village has been delighting families of all ages with their festive 487-acre choose and cut Christmas trees. With six different species of trees to choose from, you and your family will be able to find the perfect tree for your living room this Christmas. With every tree purchase, you can enjoy complimentary hot cider and candy canes as you make your way over to Santa’s Village. Santa’s Village offers both free and paid activities for the whole family to enjoy. At no cost, you can enjoy a festive puppet show, visit with Santa, meet and greet with the various characters around the village, and walk through the Sleigh Bells Gift Shoppe. For a small fee, you can attend Storytime with Mrs. Claus while you’re sipping a hot apple cider, receive a personalized letter from Santa and work along the elves at the Christmas Stocking Decoration Station. You may also join in on the What’s Behind the Tree “Treasure Hunt,” play putt-putt with Rudolph and Frosty, and board The Santa Express. There is so much to do at Santa’s Tree Farm and Village that you could stay a whole day! They are open from November 22nd through December 24th. Make sure to check their website for update events.

Lemos Farm

Starting the day after Thanksgiving, Lemos Farm turns into a magnificent winter wonderland of fun. Here you can hop on their Hay Ride and browse their Christmas tree field to choose the perfect tree for you and your family. For a quicker trip through the field, board the Choo-Choo Train, which adds a festive touch to your holiday. Lemos Farm also has a pony ride, a play town, and a petting zoo. To check out the prices of all their activities, including unlimited passes, visit their website.

Night of Lights

On December 4th from 6-9 p.m., head to Half Moon Bay’s downtown to see the magical Night of Lights. Night of Lights is a good, old-fashioned holiday event hosted each year on the first Friday in December. View all of the trees decorated with sparkling lights and stay out late shopping, as many of the stores have extended hours for all of your holiday shopping needs. Don’t miss the tree lighting ceremony at Mac Dutra Park, the Parade of Lights down Main Street, and the carolers and musical entertainment.

Where to Stay for Your Half Moon Bay Christmas

Enjoy everything Half Moon Bay has to offer during Christmastime with a stay at the Mill Rose Inn. With lavish holiday decorations, you will feel right at home while enjoying Half Moon Bay Christmas. To learn more about Half Moon Bay while you’re planning your visit, make sure to download our free Vacation Guide where you’ll find all of our favorite activities, eateries, and more!

Photo credit: Wonderlane / Flickr


Where is Princeton by the Sea?

September 28, 2015 by Mill Rose Inn

princeton by the sea

Photo Credit: Martin Stein / Flickr

Princeton by the Sea is a lovely little, unincorporated community just north of Half Moon Bay and adjacent from the famed Pillar Point Harbor. Though the Mavericks Surf Competition is typically attributed to the town of Half Moon Bay, it is in fact held in Princeton by the Sea, meaning that this sleepy little community of under 300 residents is quite the tourist attraction during the winter months of massive waves. Surrounded by farmland on two sides, and the commercial fishing harbor on a third, when the surfers aren’t in town this sleepy seaside town is a wonderfully relaxing place to visit while in Half Moon Bay.

Where is Princeton by the Sea?

The quaint Princeton by the Sea is only 35 highway miles south of San Francisco, and less than five miles up the coast from downtown Half Moon Bay. It is the ideal place to stop for a beer or seaside lunch if you’re heading south from the city on Route 1. Princeton by the Sea proper is home to numerous attractions like restaurants, harbors and surf spots that are often attributed to Half Moon Bay as well, so there are plenty of things to do in this quiet town.

What is There to Do in Princeton by the Sea?

As an unincorporated community, many of the village’s addresses are attributed to Half Moon Bay. Princeton by the Sea is where you’ll find famous local haunts like the Half Moon Bay Brewing Company and Barbara’s Fishtrap. The Brewing Company is known throughout the Bay Area for its local craft brews of both year-round staples and seasonal treats. Barbara’s Fishtrap is one of the best places to get a fresh off the boat seafood meal, and is literally a stone’s throw from the fishing dock. The famous Mavericks wave is also technically in Princeton by the Sea, which is one of the main reasons that this once very sleepy little town now has multiple hotels and restaurants to serve the influx of guests in town during the big wave season.

What is Mavericks?

Aside from being Princeton by the Sea’s biggest attraction, Mavericks is a world class surf wave that hosts an annual competition. 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. He has been surfing Mavericks for the past 40 years.

The competition, now known as Titans of Mavericks, 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.

For more ideas of things to do while visiting the Half Moon Bay area, download this free Vacation Guide!

How to Really Enjoy La Nebbia Winery

September 18, 2015 by Mill Rose Inn

la nebbia winery

Photo Credit: d_kocharhook / Flickr

Northern California is known as wine country throughout the world. While Half Moon Bay isn’t in Napa Valley, there are many winemakers producing exceptional wines with grapes from the famed valley to the north and other regions in the area. Being such a culinary-centered town, every Half Moon Bay winery is a great addition to the food and beverage scene here, and make for great things to see while visiting.

La Nebbia Winery, located in the hills above Half Moon Bay, is a no exception in the quality of wine they produce, and the pleasant experience they offer. Whether you’re a wine connoisseur or just enjoy the occasional glass with dinner, you’ll love exploring this small establishment and their great knowledge about the age-old craft of making wines.

The History of La Nebbia Winery

La Nebbia Winery production dates back to 1934 when John Gemello brought his winemaking expertise of Italy to the Santa Clara Valley in California and produced fine red wines with locally grown grapes. In the 70s that same winery was relocated to Half Moon Bay and renamed Obester Winery. The Gamello label was expanded to produce Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Sangiovese and sparkling wines. As the millennium turned over, so did the winemaking at this winery. Kendyl Kellogg returned to Gemello’s roots, renaming the winery once again to its current name, La Nebbia Winery, and producing those full bodied reds inspired by the motherland.

La Nebbia Wines

La Nebbia’s tasting room is open daily from 10 AM to 5 PM. A classic five-wine flight is a mere ten dollars and comes with light snacks, as well as the complementary glass to take home. Guests are encouraged to bring a picnic and enjoy the beautiful outdoor area with bocce ball. If you would like to tour the winery you can do so by appointment only, so be sure to call ahead. Here are some of the wines you can taste and buy when you visit La Nebbia Winery

White Wines

  • 2009 Chardonnay, Sonoma County
  • California Sparkling Wine
  • 2012 Sauvignon Blanc, Central Coast
  • 2012 Riesling, Santa Ynez Valley

Red Wines

  • 2010 Merlot, Paso Robles
  • 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
  • 2011 Pinot Noir, California
  • 2012 Zinfandel, Lodi

Dessert Wines & Ports

  • 2013 Orange Muscat
  • 2013 Black Muscat

Barrel to Bottle at La Nebbia Winery

Keeping to this winery’s tradition of engaging the local community as they make their delicious wines, La Nebbia Winery offers Barrel to Bottle Days throughout the year. People are welcome to come with their empty jugs and bottles and fill them up with premium wines at an economical price. There are still 3 days left to enjoy this great treat this year, so try to catch them on November 7th for white wine, or November 14th and December 5th for red wine. Enjoy a tasting while you’re there!

La Nebbia Winery is a stable foodie establishment in Half Moon Bay and is sure to round out your eating and drinking experience nicely while you are in the area. Aside from their delicious wines, they are also located on a beautiful property that is a treat to enjoy when you visit.

For more ideas of things to do while here, download this free Half Moon Bay Vacation Guide!

Have You Visited the Half Moon Bay Distillery?

September 1, 2015 by Mill Rose Inn

half moon bay distilleryIf you’re a sucker for craft cocktails and small batch spirits, you’ll love spending time in Half Moon Bay where people like the artisans at the Half Moon Bay Distillery are serving their community only the best. Whether you’re a mixed drink kind of person, or want to sip something neat to really experience the subtle flavor notes and to feel of it in your mouth, you’ll be in awe of the premium spirits behind the bar at the Half Moon Bay Distillery. If you’re less concerned with the specific spirits or fancy cocktails and are just looking for a charming spot on the water to spend your cocktail hour, again, you won’t find any place better in the area than the Half Moon Bay Distillery.

About the Half Moon Bay Distillery

Owners Ulli and Caesar Bisono found themselves united in their lives for finely distilled liquors via very different life paths. Ulli is Austrian born and raised and grew up drinking the equivalent of American moonshine – fruit brandy from the Alps. Liquor taxes were oppressively high in Austria, which led most people to distill their own spirits, which has become a fine art over the generations. Ulli brings those generations of experience and love for the art of distilling to the Half Moon Bay Distillery, where her husband compliments her passion with his own roots in the Dominican Republic. While his romance with spirits began with the native rums, he quickly grew to love whiskies and gins as well. This dynamic duo has a great talent for the finicky craft of distilling, and you’ll never be disappointed by a spirit they produce.

Half Moon Bay Distillery Products

  • Purissima Vodka is the first top-shelf product that the Half Moon Bay Distillery has begun to distribute to bars and retailers throughout the Bay Area. This 100 percent grain vodka is made from scratch, by hand and completely on site. Named for the town of Purissima, one of the earliest settlements along this stretch of coast, the town is known for becoming a ghost town after the river flooded in the 1920s. It is said to be haunted to this day.
  • The Harvard Avenue Gin is a 90 proof small batch gin released in May of 2015. Call or email the Half Moon Bay Distillery if you want to get your hands on their limited stock of this delicious earthy gin.

Visit the Half Moon Bay Distillery

Located out at Pillar Point Harbor in Half Moon Bay, the distillery is well worth the visit when you are in the area, whether fancy spirits are your thing or not. The great views, friendly atmosphere, and delicious drinks are enough to keep people coming back, connoisseurs or not. Each month the Half Moon Bay Distillery features their cocktail of the month so when you’re stopping by be sure to look for the latest concoction.


The Half Moon Bay Distillery is among the most highly recommended food and beverage establishments in the area. For more ideas of places to get the best meals and drinks in Half Moon Bay, check out this free vacation guide!

Enjoy the Beauty at Yerba Buena Nursery

August 24, 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 19, 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!