Mill Rose Inn
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Category Archives: Holidays

Celebrate the Holidays in Half Moon Bay

November 20, 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.


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


A Few Ways to Enjoy Pillar Point Harbor

October 31, 2014 by Mill Rose Inn

Pillar Point Harbor

Pillar Point Harbor


When you’re staying with us at the Mill Rose Inn you don’t want to miss the chance to see the historic Pillar Point Harbor. Just a ten minute drive from the inn, the Harbor is a notable West Coast attraction for many reasons. It’s a great addition to a day at the water as it is just steps from a beautiful beach and delicious oceanside restaurants. After you’ve filled up on our memorable breakfast in the garden-side dining room, head to Pillar Point Harbor and take in the sites.

Charter Boat Tours

The United States Coast Guard charters numerous boat tours from Pillar Point Harbor. Catch a boat to do some fishing or whale watching. Or maybe you’re more interested in a coastal tour of the the harbor to learn about what makes it the safest harbor on the West Coast. Take this opportunity to learn about the harbors natural history of its marshes and diverse species. Learn about the historic fishing industry where crabbing and salmon fishing are still large markets.


Fishing it the obvious option at the harbor. You can charter a boat or fish right off the pier. Pillar Point also has world famous surf. It is the home of the annual invitation only Mavericks Surf Competition every winter when the big waves come. It is a spectacle worth witnessing if you happen to be in town to catch it. The dates are rarely confirmed until the last minute as they depend completely on the weather. There are plenty of boat rentals as well if you’d prefer to get out on the water in a sea kayak.

Fish Market

Enjoy a largely lost tradition at Pillar Point with the dockside fish sales. Buy fish fresh from the water and directly from the fishermen. It doesn’t get much better than that. Call the Fish Phone for information about what is being sold. Of course you can catch your own as well. Or just come witness the hustle and bustle of this age-old tradition from the beach. It’s a window into the world before supermarket fish counters.

Boat Lighting Ceremony

It’s worth planning a trip around the holidays just to catch this annual tradition. Come see the boats light up to celebrate the season on December 13th, for the 27th annual Boat Lighting Ceremony. Gain a different appreciation for nautical life as vessel silhouettes reflect off the Pacific. Bring something warm to drink, and head across the street to the Half Moon Bay Brewing Company afterwards to try some local beers and delicious food.


The Pillar Point Harbor is an experience you don’t want to miss. It’s rich history and traditions are a unique American cultural experience and a great contrast to the nearby urban centers of San Francisco and San Jose. When you’re visiting us at the Mill Rose Inn you won’t want to miss the chance to enjoy this California treat. Come wash the salt water off your body in our hot tub, and get cozy in your room with a warm drink and a great movie after a day on the water.

Do Your Christmas Shopping in Half Moon Bay

October 27, 2014 by Mill Rose Inn

Christmas Shopping in Half Moon BayBelieve it or not, the holiday season is upon us and Christmas is just around the corner.  If you hate searching for gifts each year, then turn a dreaded chore into a relaxing getaway and do your Christmas shopping in Half Moon Bay while you stay at Mill Rose Inn.  Half Moon Bay is full of unique shops that are ideal for finding that perfect gift for everyone on your list! If you’re ready to start a new holiday tradition, plan your stay at the Mill Rose Inn and take a look at our guide for shopping in Half Moon Bay this Christmas.

Spanish Town

For the gardner on your list, Spanish town has a large collection of garden art, fountains, plant containers, antique doors, vases, stoves, and outdoor sculptures.  It’s also a major attraction because of the giant metal dinosaur, Buddha, and giraffe sculptures that inhabit the property.


Abode is a great Half Moon Bay shopping locale for those in the market for elegant yet unique home decor.  This shop specializes in home accessories, furnishings and art. Their excellent selection has been described as “carefully curated.”

Luz Luna Imports

This Half Moon Bay shopping location offers unique handmade items with a purpose.  Luz Luna Imports supports women’s cooperatives around the world and sells only fair trade products.


For that eclectic friend on your list, pay a visit to Tokenz. A staple for shopping in Half Moon Bay for 20 years and you can easily find a unique gift among the store’s many treasures. Merchandise includes crystals and beads, incense, jewelry, Aboriginal items and much much more.

Posh Moon

Posh Moon offers a selection of California made clothing and accessories.  They also have a great collection of unique French jewelry.


Goldworks on Main Street offers a large selection of jewelry perfect for gift giving.  If you’re on the hunt for custom, designer or estate jewelry for someone on your list, Goldworks is a great place to stop by during your Christmas shopping in Half Moon Bay.

The Paper Crane

The Paper Crane has printing presses in the back of a shop full of cards, stationary and gifts.  Personalized stationary, letterpress paper goods and more are available at this charming store.


No matter where you go shopping in Half Moon Bay this holiday season, be sure to book a room at the Mill Rose Inn.  Surrounded by lush gardens that colorfully bloom all year round, our Half Moon Bay bed and breakfast is the epitome of a classic California Inn.  Our beautifully furnished and elegantly decorated guest rooms and suites are the perfect place to unwind after a day of shopping or exploring Downtown Half Moon Bay and the Coastside.  Relax by the fireplace (all but one of the rooms have them) in your room or in the sitting room, stroll the gardens, soak in the Garden Jacuzzi, or schedule a massage in our Rose Grotto for some extra pampering.  Whatever activities your days include, when you stay at Mill Rose Inn, you’ll have a relaxing getaway that will take the stress out of this part of the holiday season!



Night of Lights in Downtown Half Moon Bay

October 14, 2014 by Mill Rose Inn


Night of LightsWith all of the fall attractions in Half Moon Bay (also known as the Pumpkin Capital of the World) people sometimes overlook the charms of the winter holiday season.  The hometown of the Mill Rose Inn is full of charm no matter what time of year you visit, and the temperate climate makes it an ideal place to get into the holiday spirit without having to deal with snow and slush.  So if you’re looking to get away from the cold without losing the festive atmosphere, you should consider heading west for a Half Moon Bay Christmas.  We’ll help you relax and enjoy all that our area has to offer with personalized service and the utmost in cozy and comfortable accommodations.  One of the most special parts of the season is the Night of Lights. One night each year the residents of town comes together to make merry and spread cheer, and visitors are more than welcome! With decorated trees, a parade, and plenty of holiday shopping, Half Moon Bay’s annual Night of Lights is a holiday event not to be missed this season!


About the Night of Lights

Night of Lights is a good old fashioned holiday celebration held in downtown Half Moon Bay each year.  The event typically takes place in early December, making it an ideal way to kick off your holiday season.  The night includes a bevy of festivities bound to get even the biggest Scrooge into the spirit of things. Night of Lights, as the name would suggest, features some of the best light displays in the area.


The ceremonial tree lighting ceremony will kick off the celebrations, followed by a light parade down Main Street with decorated floats and vehicles showing off their holiday finest.  Decorated and beautifully lit trees will also be present throughout the downtown area as you browse the shops that will be open late especially for the event.  That makes the Night of Lights the perfect time to find that unique gift for someone special.  Carolers and other musical entertainment as well as seasonal food will also be available.  It truly is the ideal way to start off your December! And if you’re fond of Christmas lights, you might also want to attend the Harbor Boat Lighting Festival, where the boats in Pillar Point Harbor will be lit with hundreds of twinkling lights to create an unforgettable scene on the water.

Best of all, this year, the parade will be passing right by the Mill Rose Inn, so you don’t even need to leave our place to enjoy the festivities!

Where to Stay When Attending the Night of Lights

If you’re coming to Half Moon Bay for the Night of Lights, other special event, or just a weekend getaway, there is no better place to stay than the Mill Rose Inn. Our bed and breakfast offers maximum comfort and pampering in a luxuriously elegant setting.  Our rooms and suites are each individually decorated and furnished for a personal feeling, but all feature amenities that will definitely make you feel like you’re treating yourself to a sumptuous getaway.  When you stay with us, you get personalized service and attention and each morning you’ll be treated to a full gourmet breakfast. For an amazing stay in Half Moon Bay, the Mill Rose Inn awaits you!





Photo credit: Jayshiao/Thinkstock

The James Johnston House Holiday Boutique

October 7, 2014 by Mill Rose Inn


Johnston HouseHalf Moon Bay, California might be known as the Pumpkin Capital of the World during the autumn, but there is something just as special and charming about the Mill Rose Inn’s home town during Christmastime as well.  The James Johnston House is a historic house and museum situated on a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean just outside of the Half Moon Bay city limits. Known as the White House of Half Moon Bay, the home is an iconic symbol of the area and is full of history to explore during a visit.  During November, people flock to this landmark to enjoy the James Johnston House Holiday Boutique. This two-weekend event is a fundraiser for the foundation that supports the house’s restoration and upkeep. The event provides visitors a superb opportunity to see the historic home dressed in its Christmas finest, sample delicious foods, and purchase gifts and decor from local and regional artisans as well as items from Half Moon Bay’s best loved stores.  Read on to find out more about this treasured Half Moon Bay landmark and what to expect at the James Johnston House Holiday Boutique!



James Johnston House History and Information

To understand why visiting the Johnston house during the holiday season is so special, you might want to start out with a bit of a history primer on the home. Since construction began in 1853 until today, there have been periods of prosperity of the historical site and years where the building fell into disrepair.  In its early days, the house served as a landmark for ships as it is visible from the ocean and is even included on some coastal charts from the 1800s.  Mining businessman James Johnston built the house for his family and many believed it was modeled after their former home.  The Johnston House is a classic New England saltbox design, with two stories at the front of the house and one in the back.  Today, the house is open to visitors the third Thursday of each month and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.



Holiday Boutique at the Johnston House

For many locals and visitors, a visit to the James Johnston House Holiday Boutique is the perfect way to kick off the holiday season.  Guests shop and tour the home at the same time, putting them in the Christmas spirit.  During this time the house will be decorated with beautiful seasonal decor and each room features a christmas tree.  Local and regional artists will be displaying and selling their wares, local shops will have selections of items as well.  Whether you want holiday decorations, gourmet food, handmade jewelry, or that perfect gift you didn’t even know you needed, the James Johnston Holiday Boutique delivers on all fronts.



Where to Stay When You Visit the James Johnston House

Now that you know a bit about the James Johnston House Holiday Boutique, you should start planning your trip now! When you come to Half Moon Bay for all the holiday celebrations this winter (or any time of year for that matter!) be sure to book a stay at the Mill Rose Inn.  Our romantic Half Moon Bay bed and breakfast exudes elegance and offers rooms with luxurious pampering and modern amenities that will keep you in the utmost comfort during your stay.  And while there may be a winter chill in the air where you live, the gardens at the Mill Rose Inn are always full of colorful blooms to enjoy.  Of course, your stay includes a full gourmet champagne breakfast each morning, which is the perfect way to start out a day enjoying all of the great things Half Moon Bay and the Coastside has to offer! We can’t wait to have you with us soon!



Photo credit: Sanfranman59 via Wikimedia Commons