Located approximately 45 minutes south of San Francisco, the Half Moon Bay Coastside is a vibrant coastal getaway ideal for outdoor spring adventures. With a temperate climate averaging 55 degrees, visitors can enjoy relaxing walks along gorgeous beaches, whale watching, a wellness retreat, and even hold baby goats at Harley Farms.
Below is a summary of what’s new along the Half Moon Bay Coastside. To plan a trip, visithttp://www.visithalfmoonbay.org/ and also download iCoastside to access information on the region’s cozy inns and luxury coastal resorts, renowned restaurants, farm visits, golfing, wine tasting, fishing, whale watching, surfing and much more.
Special Note: All locations are in Half Moon Bay unless otherwise noted.
TIS THE SEASON FOR…
Surfing: Mavericks Challenge Anticipates to Hold Event in January 2019
Mavericks is considered one of the challenging surfing areas in the world, attracting the most elite surfers to brave the waves for the Mavericks Challenge. For the first time ever, female surfers will be participating and competing for their chance to win the $130,000 cash prize. The 2018-2019 Mavericks Challenge window runs from Nov. 1, 2018 to end of March 2019 where 24 men and 10 women will surf on Half Moon Bay’s world-famous surfing spot Mavericks, located one-half mile off of the coast by Pillar Point Harbor. Before the contest starts, organizers monitor weather conditions and swell size in order to give competitors 48 hours notice to make their way to Half Moon Bay. Swells at Mavericks typically need to reach 30-40 feet in order for the contest to take place.
Whale Watching: It’s Gray Whale Season
The annual migration of the gray whale is currently underway, and Half Moon Bay is the perfect spot for witnessing the journey of these spectacular creatures. Beginning in January and running through the end of March, approximately 15,000 gray whales swim south from the icy waters of the Arctic to mate and nurse their young in the warm shallow lagoons along Magdalena Bay in Baja, California. The full round-trip migration from the Bering Sea to the Baja calving lagoons is approximately 10,000 miles, the longest known migration for any mammal. Gray whales move at a steady speed of about five miles per hour, and most can be spotted in an area that extends from the kelp beds (about 3/4 miles from the shoreline) out to the horizon. For those who like to plan ahead, March through early April is a great time to spot humpback whales as they begin moving closer to shore.
Here are two local companies that offer whale-watching excursions:
Baby Goats Arrive for Spring!
There’s nothing quite so reminiscent of springtime than a field full of baby goats chasing each other around. Make an idyllic day trip along the coast to the farming town of Pescadero where visitors can explore the restored Victorian barns of Harley Farms Goat Dairy and the quaint cheese shop, featuring their international award-winning farmstead chevre and many more delectable cheeses. Take a behind-the-scenes tour and meet the baby goats that romp around the grounds, or simply pop in for picnic goodies. For tour reservations, call (650) 879-0480 or visit www.harleyfarms.com.205 North Street, Pescadero, CA 94060.
– UPCOMING EVENTS –
January 26 & 27
Embark on an Elephant Seal Adventure
Morning Sessions – 8:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.; Afternoon Sessions – 1:30 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Enjoy a rare opportunity to spend an entire morning or afternoon viewing elephant seals at the peak of their breeding season. Visitors will meet with elephant seal researchers and learn from volunteer naturalists while having an amazing experience that will surely go down in the memory books. Seal adventures are co-sponsored by Coastside State Parks Association and California State Parks to raise money to support educational and interpretive programs at Año Nuevo and 14 other state parks and beaches along the San Mateo Coast. Cost is $75 per person (children three years or younger are free). Advanced reservations are required. For more information and tickets, visithttps://www.coastsidestateparks.org/seal-adventure.
January 27 & April 27
Mighty Gray Whale Watching Cruise
9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Join the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary and the Greater Farallones Association for an extra special chance to witness the peak of the mighty gray whale migration on a naturalist-led half-day cruise. This cruise will “join” the annual return migration of the gray whales through marine sanctuaries as they travel to and from the Arctic feeding grounds and Baja California breeding grounds. Learn about their natural history, their recovery from near extinction, and the survival challenges posed by their roughly 12,000 mile round-trip journey. Ages 10+ must be accompanied by an adult. Cost is $65 per person; registration is required. For reservations, contact Sara Heintzelman, firstname.lastname@example.org or (415) 530-5366.
50th Annual Farm Day: Celebrate Hardworking Local Farmers
11 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Agriculture is Half Moon Bay’s premier industry, and each year residents gather to celebrate the hardworking farmers who contribute so much bounty to the area at Farm Day. Started by the late Coastside farmer Mel Mello, local farm families come together for this special event to create a delicious lunch utilizing local produce. Many awards such as the Dolores Mullin “Like a Rock Award,” the Glenn Ashcraft Chamber Community Service Award, and “Farmer of the Year” are given to patrons who serve their community and make Half Moon Bay a better place. IDES Hall, 735 Main Street. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.visithalfmoonbay.org/local/farm-day or contact the Half Moon Bay Chamber, (650) 726-8380. Media Contact: Krystlyn Giedt, (650) 726-8380, email@example.com.
Coastal Wildflower Day and Earth Day Festival
10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Celebrate the area’s abundant spring wildflowers at Coastal Wildflower Day at Half Moon Bay State Beach. This festival features family-friendly games and activities, native plants for the garden, and nature walks. Participants can also enjoy live music, a hula dancing demonstration, local artists selling their work, and a food truck for a picnic lunch. For those looking to landscape their yards with drought tolerant plants, there will be opportunities to tour the state beach native plant nursery and gardens, seek advice from native plant specialists, and purchase plants to take home. Half Moon Bay State Beach (Francis Beach parking lot), 95 Kelly Avenue. Admission to the festival is free, but there is a $10 fee for parking. Both beaches can also be accessed by walking or biking along the Coastside Trail. For more information, visit https://www.coastsidestateparks.org/cwd. Media Contact: Ellen Tjosvold, (650) 726-8814, Ellen.Tjosvold@parks.ca.gov.
29th Annual Pacific Coast Dream Machines Show
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Known as the “Coolest Show on Earth,” Half Moon Bay’s spectacular 29th Annual Pacific Coast Dream Machines Show will showcase a collection of more than 2,000 motorized mechanical marvels from the 20th and 21st centuries. Among the mesmerizing displays is the line-up of the world’s coolest cars of every era and style including model-T fire engines, vintage buses, and custom motorcycles. Special events include the synchronized firing up of engines by Bob Senz’ Big Cacklefest, magnificent skydiving performances, electrifying four-rider freestyle motocross stunt shows, historic military aircraft, vintage buses, and many more. Enjoy monster trucks, uni-motorcycle drag racing, and even take a thrill ride in a helicopter. Kids and families will love the zip-line, waterballerz, rock climbing wall, ultra-thrilling bungee jump, and the amazing amusements in the Super Duper Kidz Funzone. After a long day of celebration, grab some food and kickback with drinks from Half Moon Bay Distillery, Half Moon Bay Brewing Company, Half Moon Bay’s Barterra Winery, and Longboard Margarita Bar, while listening to live music, all benefiting the Coastside Adult Day Health Center. Half Moon Bay Airport, 9850 N. Cabrillo Highway (Hwy 1). Admission is $25 in advance for adults ($30 at the gate) and $15 in advance for ages 11-17 and 65+. Free for kids 10 and under with paying adult. For more information, call (650) 726-2328 or visithttp://www.miramarevents.com/dreammachines. Media Contact: Tim Beeman, (650) 726-3491,firstname.lastname@example.org.
– WELLNESS –
Wild Precious Life Wellness Retreat at The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay
On April 11-14, The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay will host the Wild Precious Life Wellness Retreat, where for two days and three nights, guests will gather for self-exploration and revitalization via a series of intimate workshops, thought-provoking exercises, and body treatments. Activities and workshops will be led by wellness experts Lucy and Mary Firestone of Wild Precious Life who lead retreats around the world for those seeking catalysts for positive, expansive change. The weekend will feature guest speakers including Jennifer Freed, Ph.D., M.F.T., an author and psychological astrologer, and one of the most sought-after alignment experts and international best-selling author, Lauren Roxburgh. The weekend of renewal begins with a welcome reception on Thursday evening, followed by a full day of insightful teachings on Friday, starting with a reflective walk along the beach. On Saturday, the revitalization and self-discovery continues with a Dream Analysis Workshop, Breakout Sessions, regenerating Spa Treatments and more. Guests will feel rejuvenated and rested arriving at the Farewell Dinner on Saturday evening. Starting at $3,000 per three-night stay for one guest (a three-night stay is required). For more information or to reserve, please visithttp://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/california/half-moon-bay/offers/wellness-retreat. One Miramontes Point Road, (650) 712-7000, http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/california/half-moon-bay. Media Contact: Shelly Auyeung, (650) 712-7007, Shelly.Auyeung@ritzcarlton.com.
– CULINARY NEWS –
Half Moon Bay Welcomes New Abalone-Focused Restaurant – Pillar Point Fish House
Opening in January 2019, Tom Ebert of American Abalone Farms will open a restaurant and seafood market, Pillar Point Fish House, that will present a menu focused on abalone along with Dungeness crab, oysters, sea urchin, and other wild and farmed seafood. Although selling wild-caught abalone is illegal in California, Ebert grows all of his products on his farm and harvests them for three years to grow to market size. Inspired by Hog Island Oyster Farm in Tomales Bay, the two-story space at Pillar Point Harbor will be a raw bar and seafood market with tanks of live seafood downstairs and an upstairs dining room that will offer a full menu. Chef Eric Dema, who most recently worked in New England restaurants and was a cook and consultant in San Francisco restaurants, plans to serve fresh abalone as sashimi, ceviche and fritters, grilled over a salad, and in chowder or in a po’boy, in addition will include regional dishes like artichoke soup, Cioppino, and whole cracked Dungeness crab. The restaurant will serve lunch and dinner. 260 Capistrano Road, (650) 560-0318, http://pillarpointfishhouse.com
Celebrate, Fundraise, and Dine at It’s Italia
This upcoming spring season, It’s Italia is excited to welcome new programming to promote the local community and the surrounding area of Half Moon Bay. The San Francisco-style trattoria and pizzeria will spotlight two themes for the months of February and March – Celebrations, Weddings, and Rehearsal Dinners (February) and Community Events, Celebrations, and Fundraisers (March). For the month of February, guests can see their events come to life by reserving an intimate rehearsal dinner in the Fireplace Courtyard, or reception in the inside dining room area, and many more. Some highlights include special menu offerings, wine and mixology tastings, and pairing dinners. In March, It’s Italia will showcase their partnerships with local schools and charities by offering pizza classes to kids throughout the community and inviting philanthropic organizations to the restaurant’s fun-filled “Celebrity Bartender Nights” where local charities can host events to help raise awareness of their causes and a “celebrity” bartender is showcased by the restaurant to create tasty concoctions for guests to enjoy. 401 Main Street, (650) 726-4444,https://www.itsitaliarestaurant.com. Media Contact: Betsy Del Fierro, (650) 726-4444,email@example.com.
Feast on Delicious Seafood and Wine at Sam’s Chowder House
Award winning authentic New England style seafood restaurant, Sam’s Chowder House announces a special four-course dinner series perfect for seafood and wine lovers. Based on the freshest seasonal ingredients, Executive Chef Lewis Rossman customizes the menu to ensure each course is perfectly paired with delicious wines from the featured wineries. Previous menus have included California King Salmon Carpaccio with radish, preserved lemon and farm egg, Half Moon Bay Halibut roasted “a la planta” with chanterelle mushrooms, local Giusti Farms fava beans and pea tendrils and mouthwatering Chocolate Pot de Crème. Guests should hurry to save their dates for the following wine pairings: January 30: Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery, February 27: Bonny Doon Vineyard with special guest, founder Randall Grahm, and March 27: Wagner Family of Wine.Click here to purchase tickets. Tickets start at $100 per person. 4120 Cabrillo Highway N., (650) 712-0245, www.samschowderhouse.com. Media Contact: Laurie Glynn, (650) 712-0245,firstname.lastname@example.org.
Celebrations and Discussions with The Half Moon Bay Brewing Company
The Half Moon Bay Brewing Company is a local favorite and hotspot for visitors to come together to celebrate handcrafted beer, friends, and fun! For the upcoming season, the craft brewery is featuring a variety of celebrations and discussions that will keep the new year fun and engaging:
- Brews & Views – Half Moon Bay Brewing Co.’s free speaker series, Brews & Views, discusses everything from environmental issues and economic development to social change and politics. From January-April (6 p.m.-8 p.m.), guests can enjoy discussions from learning about the future of independent bookstores and booksellers to watching a movie screening about America’s higher education system. Part of the proceeds benefits the Cabrillo Education Foundation.
- San Francisco Beer Week 2019 – This year, Half Moon Bay Brewing Company is kicking offSF Beer Week 2019 as the official brewery for the Coastal Beer from the Bay Area Brewers Guild collaboration of the brew – Kölsch. Beer lovers will enjoy this Kölsch style ale with Admiral Pilsner Malt, Hallertau Blanc, and Galaxy hops with a touch of Kaffir Lime (available on tap and in 16 oz cans). Guests can meet with the brewers and enjoy a tasting on February 1.
- 2019 NFL Super Bowl Viewing Party – Football fans can gather at Half Moon Bay Brewing Company to watch on all screens the must-watched 2019 NFL Super Bowl on Sunday, February 3. Happy hour will be available until kick-off. Doors will open at 10 a.m.
390 Capistrano Road, (650) 728-2739, https://www.hmbbrewingco.com. Media Contact: Mary Oldham, email@example.com.
The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay Welcomes Back The Global Cuisine Series 2019
Returning for its third year, The Global Cuisine Series at the iconic The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bayis a decadent weekend retreat offered once a month exclusively to members of Ritz-Carlton Rewards, Marriot Rewards, and SPG Rewards. The one-night package features an overnight stay in a Coastal View Room, an intimate hands-on cooking class with the famed chef for up to 18 guests, followed by a wine-paired luncheon where guests have a unique opportunity to get to know the guest chef, and a $100 resort credit per night, along with the resort fee and valet parking per night. In addition, the guest chef will showcase two signature dishes on the Navio tasting menu in collaboration with Chef de Cuisine Jason Pringle for Friday and Saturday nights, along with a pop-up station at Navio’s acclaimed Sunday Brunch (Guests may opt to reserve these experiences separately from the package). The Global Cuisine Series package will be offered on the Marriot Moments and SPG Moments website where rewards guests will be invited to bid points to win this exclusive package. For more information on the line-up, go towww.ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/california/half-moon-bay/dining/events/global-cuisine-series. One Miramontes Point Rd, (650) 712-7000, http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/california/half-moon-bay. Media Contact: Shelly Auyeung, (650) 712-7007, Shelly.Auyeung@ritzcarlton.com.
– GRAND OPENINGS –
Predatory Plants Celebrates Grand Opening in Half Moon Bay
Half Moon Bay native Joshua Brown has been collecting carnivorous plants since seventh-grade and in college, the collection lived in a terrarium under his dorm-room bed. After leaving his job in Microsoft, Brown decided to launch a business of selling his collection of plants in 2008. With much success in online sales, Brown expanded his company by opening a shop, Predatory Plants, in his hometown of Half Moon Bay on the Pastorino Farms strip of nurseries in late October. Since the grand opening, the shop has been developing quickly and the interest in carnivorous plants is growing around the country, especially with young people. Brown breeds the plants himself behind his new Half Moon Bay store, where he has access to some 17,000 square feet of greenhouse space. Some top sellers for Brown include the Cape Sundew Carnivorous Plant, Venus Fly Traps, and his specialty the Nepenthes. In the future, Brown plans to eventually set up permanent installations in the store offering a glimpse of these plants in their natural habitat and in a home, and an adjoining space will regularly host carnivorous plant-related classes. Brown and his staff are always eager to share their knowledge and passion for carnivorous plants with customers in person, and aspiring and experienced enthusiasts are encouraged to check out Predatory Plant’s website and social media. For more information, visit https://predatoryplants.com/. Open Friday- Sunday from 11 am – 4pm. 12511 San Mateo Road, (650) 720-5195, firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Half Moon Bay Coastside
The Half Moon Bay Coastside is a charming seaside respite located approximately 35 minutes south of San Francisco. Nestled between the Santa Cruz Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, this breathtaking region consists of four distinct areas – the North Coast, Half Moon Bay, the South Coast and the Redwood Region. Featuring the best of Northern California all in one place, visitors will enjoy miles of white sandy beaches, redwood forests, a historic downtown filled with local artisan shops, beautiful state parks, fields of wild flowers, and trails along ocean bluffs and mountain ridges as far as the eye can see. A sampling of activities includes horseback riding on the beach, farm fresh dining, shopping, biking, hiking and world-class golfing and surfing.
For more information on visiting Half Moon Bay, visit www.visithalfmoonbay.org, download Half Moon Bay’s free app iCoastside or call (650) 726-8380. For the latest news on the area, visitwww.visithalfmoonbay.org/articles, join us on Facebook @VisitHalfMoonBay, follow us on Instagram @ visithalfmoonbay and Twitter @VisitHMB, plus check us out on YouTubewww.youtube.com/user/visithmb.