By Will Reisman, @WillReisman
With SamTrans Route 294 now offering hourly service on the weekend, passengers travelling to Half Moon Bay will have even more opportunities to check out all the great attractions on the Coastside. Here is a list of just of some of the things to explore in Half Moon Bay and the surrounding areas:
Go to the Beach: Nestled on the Pacific Coast, Half Moon Bay’s most obvious appeal is its proximity to the ocean and wide swathes of pristine beaches. Half Moon Bay State Beach offers more than four miles of rolling dunes, where families can sunbathe, go fishing, take a dip in the waters or set up for daylong picnics. Along the perimeters of the beach are jogging and horse-riding trails, where fitness enthusiasts can get some exercise and adventure in before enjoying the confines of the beach. If one day on the shore isn’t enough the state beach also includes camping spots, where visitors can stay overnight on the edge of continental United States.
Browse Locally Made Art: Half Moon Bay offers an array of galleries featuring works of talented local artists. Many of the venues feature paintings of the rugged California coast, created by residents who make the seaside their home. Along with the impressive lineup of galleries, Half Moon Bay features the Coastal Arts League Museum, an institution that feature local artists specializing in paintings, sculpture, pottery and jewelry, among other mediums. The museum was founded in 1979 as a way of encouraging the Coastside artistic community to grow.
Check Out Devil’s Slide: Ten miles up the coast from Half Moon Bay lies Devil’s Slide, a rocky outcropping that showcases some of the most stunning views of the California coast. With the construction of the Devil’s Slide tunnel, the scenic area now features a hiking and biking trail on a stretch of land that formerly acted as Highway 1. The 1.3 mile trail is perched high above the Pacific Ocean, providing panoramic vistas and challenging workout opportunities. SamTrans Route 17 provides direct service from Half Moon Bay to the Devil’s Slide Trail.
Grab a Bite of Fresh Seafood: Unsurprisingly, Half Moon Bay is famous for its seafood restaurants. Perhaps the most high-profile eatery is Sam’s Chowder House, a restaurant specializing in authentic New England fare. With plenty of outdoor seating and views of the Half Moon Bay pier, the restaurant is a perfect place to kick back and relax, although patrons should be warned that the establishment is always busy and the wait for a table can be lengthy at times. Beyond seafood, Half Moon Bay also offers options for Italian, Mexican and for connoisseurs of nice tasty beverages.
Walk With the Dinosaurs: One of the more curious attractions in Half Moon Bay is Spanish Town, a gallery with ferocious looking metallic dinosaur sculpture displayed on the front lawn. Sitting next to the collection of T-Rexes and Triceratops are an assortment of other creatures, including birds, frogs, and of course, Wooly Mammoths. Come for the fearsome prehistoric monsters, stay for the cute puppy dogs.
Be an Old Man in the Sea: Still dream of making that once-in-a-lifetime catch? Half Moon Bay might be the answer to your wishes. The Half Moon Bay marina has numerous companies that specialize in deep–sea fishing, so you’ll plenty of opportunities to bag the fish of the century (or at least tell your buddies you did.) Most of the charter boats specialize in salmon and rock fishing, but they also come stocked with food and drinks, so even if you come home empty-handed, you can still enjoy a day out on the open water.
Support Local Theater: One of the gems of Half Moon Bay is the Coastal Repertory Theater, a local performing-arts venue that features volunteer stage actors. The 2016 season—the theater’s 30th year in existences—includes performances of “Big,” “Awake and Sing,” and “Enchanted April.” Talented actors showcase their considerable acting chops in this cozy venue, located on Main Street in Half Moon Bay.