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The Perfect Weekend

The journey is part of the appeal of visiting Half Moon Bay. The drive along Highway 1 allows you to take in breathtaking coastal vistas that beckon multiple photo stops. Time slows down when you arrive in the sleepy seaside community of Half Moon Bay. You’ll spend days soaking up the fresh ocean air on coastal trails, kayak excursions and the golf greens. In the evenings, enjoy drinks by the fire pits at The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay and let the ocean’s waves wash away your worries.

Day

1

MORNING
  • Coastal Views.

    Highway 1 is one of America’s most iconic drives. Half Moon Bay sits about 30 miles south of San Francisco and 40 miles north of Santa Cruz. The stretch of road that lies between offers jaw-dropping views of jagged cliffs and rolling green hills. Pack your camera and be prepared to pull over at least a few times to snap photos of the dreamy view.

  • Pizza for Breakfast.

    Drive to historic Main Street for breakfast at Moonside Bakery & Café. The menu has the usual suspects — omelets, pancakes, breakfast burritos — but the local go-to is the breakfast pizza created with their own dough and cooked in the hardwood-fire pizza oven.

MIDDAY
  • Surf’s Up.

    Meander the Mavericks Cliff Trail, a 2.5-mile walk that overlooks the beach and a world-renowned surf spot. Even on a low-swell day, you’re bound to catch a glimpse of surfers hanging 10 or even migrating whales.

AFTERNOON
  • Beer with a View.

    Relax in the afternoon with a pint at Half Moon Bay Brewing Co. The craft brewery pulls pints of styles ranging from IPA to Kölsch, and the patio is dotted with fire pits (it’s also dog-friendly). Lunch on beer-steamed prawns and the Dungeness crab roll. Each month the social-minded brewery hosts a speaker series that tackles topics ranging from politics to environmental issues. 

  • Tee Off.

    Bay Area golf fanatics make day trips just to play the two championship courses at The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay. Set along picturesque coastal bluffs, the historic parkland-style Old Course is dotted with cypress trees and the 18th hole overlooks the ocean. The Ocean Course offers more of a challenge as well with an ocean view from every hole.

EVENING
  • East Coast Meets West.

    Inspired by New England-style seafood restaurants, Sam’s Chowder House, has a straight-from-the-sea menu of oysters, lobsters, fish and chips, and a highly lauded lobster roll that has been called one of the five best sandwiches in America. Choose to cozy up fireside in the dining room or by a fire pit on the patio. The desserts are made on-site. Save room for the Straus Organic soft-serve. The vanilla-chocolate swirl is a staff favorite.  

Day

2

MORNING
  • Paddle Alongside Seals.

    Stop by Granola’s Coffee House for a coffee or a healthy smoothie, like the Blue Avocado (blueberries, spinach, flaxseed, banana, avocado and almond milk) then bundle up for a kayak adventure. Half Moon Bay Kayak Co. rents kayaks and stand-up paddle boards, and it’s not unusual for the bay’s resident wildlife — otters dolphins, and seals — to swim up right next to your kayak.

MIDDAY
  • Decadent Brunch.

    San Francisco is often heralded as America’s top food city, but the Bay Area’s best brunch is found at Navio in The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay. Seatings start at noon and reservations are a must. With options ranging from caviar, sushi and dim sum to made-to-order omelets and a carving station, it’s easy for your eyes to be bigger than your stomach. Treat your meal like a tasting menu; course one should include mimosas and bites from the raw bar. Expect to spend two hours or more savoring every bite as well as the dining room’s stunning ocean views.

AFTERNOON
  • Wildlife Hike.

    Lace up your hiking boots and explore the Coastside Trail in Half Moon Bay State Beach. The path runs parallel to the ocean, with multiple access points to popular beaches like Venice Beach. Bird lovers should bring their binoculars. Blue herons, red-winged blackbirds and red-tailed hawks are frequently sighted on the trail.

  • Find Serenity.

    Relax post-hike at The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Half Moon Bay, where the Redwood Forest Ritual will take you on a journey that stimulates your senses and revitalizes your soul. Using a variety of indigenous earthy herbs and wood blends, this ritual will leave you feeling grounded, complete and restored.

EVENING
  • Sunset Dining.

    Score a table on the waterfront deck at Miramar Beach Restaurant and time your reservation to catch the sunset. This popular spot serves super-fresh seafood dishes, like the signature crab and shrimp linguine.