Here are tips on how you can spend an inexpensive day on the Half Moon Bay coast.
1. Walk the Coastside Trail.
The Coastside Trail on the San Mateo County Coast goes from Half Moon Bay State Park at the Poplar Avenue Beach to Miramar Beach which is almost three miles. It is well-paved and accessible for walkers, joggers, strollers and bikers. There are many places that offer access to the beaches along the way and the ocean views are spectacular. There are also adjacent ocean trails if you want to explore. These beaches are seldom crowded. If you walk all the way to Miramar Beach, you can stop at the Ebb Tide Café that has an outside deck right on the ocean. And if you are interested in renting bikes, you can find The Bike Works, conveniently located at 520 Kelly Ave. one block east of Highway 1 in Half Moon Bay.
2. For a picnic lunch …
While there are many restaurants in Half Moon Bay and the surrounding area, you might consider shopping at the New Leaf Market at the junction of Highway 92 (San Mateo Road) and Highway 1. It has a deli with a nice variety of salads and sides as well as custom sandwiches. It also has a hot and cold “bar” with all kinds of food choices. There are many healthy snacks throughout the store including fresh organic fruits and vegetables.
3. To enjoy your picnic lunch, there are four beaches close to downtown. Francis Beach (also known as Half Moon Bay State Beach) is located at the west end of Kelly Avenue off Highway 1 and one block south of the New Leaf Market. This is the most developed beach with picnic tables and a campground. Venice Beach is also off Highway 1 on Venice Blvd. Dunes Beach is at the west end of Young Ave off Highway 1 and if you veer north after the ranger’s kiosk you will find Roosevelt Beach, the quietest and least busy of all the beaches. All have great ocean views.
4. Oceanview Driving Range
If you want something to do after lunch and if your choice for your picnic is Francis Beach, you will pass the driving range on your way to the beach. It’s a couple of blocks inland at 201 Kelly Ave. It is a small, family-owned and operated range and uncrowded. There is also a small putting green area.
5. To finish up your day, there are so many points of interest along the coast in the Half Moon Bay area and most are free. Some points of interest are the Half Moon Bay harbor, Point Montara and Pigeon Point Lighthouses, theFitzgerald Marine Reserve, Princeton Marsh, the James Johnston House and the Pescadero Marsh and Bird Refuge to name a few. You can get information on directions and hours for these and other points of interest at the Half Moon Bay Chamber website.