Half Moon Bay State Beach

The Peninsula

Busy Half Moon Bay is bordered by this 4-mile-long, crescent-shaped beach. Stop by the park visitor center (open weekends only) at the parking lot to learn more about the beach's ecosystem and wildlife. For hikers and cyclists, the Coastside Trail runs along the eastern edge of the broad, sandy beach north to Pillar Point Harbor.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby The Peninsula attractions

1. Fitzgerald Marine Reserve

4.78 MILES

At Moss Beach, this marine reserve protects tide pools teeming with sea life. Walk out among the pools at low tide – wearing shoes that you can get wet –…

2. Rancho Corral de Tierra

6.02 MILES

Trails climb from Montara State Beach to access the undeveloped 4000-acre park of Rancho Corral de Tierra, part of the Golden Gate National Recreation…

3. Montara State Beach

6.67 MILES

About 5 miles south of the town of Pacifica, this wide-open crescent is a local favorite for its pristine sand. Inland the park encompasses McNee Ranch,…

4. Gray Whale Cove State Beach

6.92 MILES

This is one of the coast’s popular clothing-optional beaches. Park across the road and cross Hwy 1 very carefully to the beach. It's located just south of…

5. Pacifica State Beach

8.73 MILES

Getting a suntan or catching a wave are the main attractions at popular Pacifica State Beach, as well as at Rockaway Beach just north.

6. Coyote Point Recreation Area

10.32 MILES

Right on the bay at the northern edge of San Mateo, 5 miles south of San Francisco International Airport, this is a popular park and windsurfing…

7. CuriOdyssey

10.52 MILES

At Coyote Point Recreation Area, this innovative small museum has science and wildlife exhibits for kids and adults.

8. San Gregorio State Beach

11.01 MILES

With driftwood scattered on the sands near San Gregorio Creek, this mile-long beach where Spanish explorer Gaspar de Portolà camped in 1769 makes a pretty…