Cruise Down the Coast to Half Moon Bay

Half Moon Bay

Beach and seaside cliffs at Half Moon Bay California. Photo: Lynn Y/Shutterstock.

HALF MOON BAY, Calif. – A spontaneous and wonderful Daycation can be had by heading across the bay and over the hills to Half Moon Bay. Pack the car with the kids and dogs or simply a picnic basket and enjoy a spring day along the coastline. As you drop down Highway 92 towards the coast, don’t miss the Dinosaurs of Spanish Town, a roadside stop featuring huge metal dinosaur sculptures, fountains and a plant nursery. If you have little ones, check out Lemos Farm, where they have train and pony rides, the OK Play Corral and the Dig Zone Tractor.

Half Moon Bay

The Dinosaurs of Spanish Town are a popular roadside stop on the way to Half Moon Bay. Photo via Sandra C./Yelp.

The Beach
If you have older kids and/or dogs, head up Highway 1 from Half Moon Bay to Miramar Beach. It offers easy parking just steps from the beach, a half mile long off-leash area to let four-legged family members run and frolic in the waves, and mild waves for kids and parents alike to try out their boogie and body surfing skills. Bring a wetsuit if you plan to stay in very long since the water can be quite chilly. Wetsuit and board rentals can be found at Half Moon Bay Board Shop. If you did not bring a picnic lunch, walk over to the Miramar Restaurant overlooking the beach and coastline. They have a great menu and outdoor seating to soak in all the coastal goodness.

Horseback Riding
For the truly adventurous, head for Sea Horse Ranch for guided coastal trail and beach horseback rides on Half Moon Bay’s Poplar Beach. Rides are appropriate for all skill levels, including first timers and experienced riders. The minimum riding age is 7 years old and height/weight limitations apply. Online reservations are required. Sea Horse Ranch is one of the few places where visitors can ride along the California coastline and take in the amazing sights.

Half Moon Bay

Sea Horse Ranch provides guided coastal trail and beach horseback rides on Half Moon Bay’s Poplar Beach. Photo via Darrin M./Yelp.

Wine & Spirits
If you left the kids at home, there are plenty of locations where you can enjoy an adult beverage. La Nebbia, Barterra and Trojak Knier Wineries are all local favorites with tasting rooms open on Saturday and Sunday afternoons where you can taste their offerings and enjoy a picnic outside. Also, don’t miss out on trying the local craft vodka and gin at the Half Moon Bay Distillery. Tours and tastings are available daily.

If you go: Half Moon Bay is approximately 30 miles south of San Francisco along Highway 1. It’s accessible from the East Bay from Highway 92. For more info on things to do and upcoming events, visit Lemos Farm is located at 12320 San Mateo Road  (Highway 92) in Half Moon Bay. They are open weekends 9am-5pm. Find out about special events on the farm at Find Sea Horse Ranch at 1828 Cabrillo Hwy N, Half Moon Bay. Open from 8am daily. Closing times vary seasonally. To book a ride, visit

Your Town Daycations is a series featured in the print edition of Your Town Monthly. This article originally appeared in the April 2017 issues.