Family Travel: Explore Half Moon Bay



Here’s a list of our favorite family spots:


Where to Stay:


Where to Dine:


It’s Italia in downtown Half Moon Bay is a gorgeous Tuscan-inspired restaurant serving Italian dishes, artful pastas, award-winning pizzas and my personal favorite, the gnocchi with roasted tomato cream sauce. Fun and lively signature cocktails include the Margaretta’s Margarita which comes with an optional pinch of chile powder.  401 Main Street, 650-726-4444.


Sam’s Chowder House serves a lobster roll that was named one of the “Top Five Best Sandwiches in America” by NBC’s Today Show. It was delicious, as was the jumbo prawns stuffed with Dungeness crab and wrapped in smoked bacon. The cliff side scenery is spectacular, especially at sunset. Don’t miss the organic, soft-served ice cream sprinkled with sea salt and drizzled with olive oil.  4210 N. Cabrillo Highway, 650- 712-0245.    


Half Moon Bay Brewing Company sits down the road from Pillar Point Harbor. We enjoyed a laid-back atmosphere. Menu standouts include Yucatan Ceviche and Ahi tuna poke, served with house-made tropical salsa, fried won tons and tortilla chips.  The Dungeness crab roll paired nicely with the Mavericks Rye Pale Ale. 390 Capistrano Road, 650- 728-2739.

Navio at The Ritz-Carlton recently re-opened after a million dollar renovation that showcases the incredible ocean view.   I enjoyed the Grilled Alaskan King Salmon with a curry leek fondue. My daughters both agreed that their macaroni and cheese warranted a five-star review. One Miramontes Point Road.  650- 712-7000.  


Where to Play:


La Nebbia Winery is located in the picturesque hills of Half Moon Bay and prides itself on producing complex, full-bodied red wines. Located behind the tasting room is a gorgeous backyard filled with picnic tables and  bocce ball courts.  12341 San Mateo Road, 650-726-9463.   


Half Moon Bay Art Glass is an art glass studio specializing in blown and sculpted forms of nature.  Owner and glass artist Douglass C. Brown also offers glass sculpting classes to novice and more experienced glass artists.  12341 San Mateo Road, 650-283-5626.   


Half Moon Bay Kayak Company helps you paddle your way through the dynamic and diverse environment of the protected Pillar Point Harbor or into the wild Pacific Ocean.  2 Johnson Pier, 650- 773-6101. 


Ritz Kids Camp provided an afternoon of adventures for my daughters that entailed tennis lessons, crafts and a fun-filled scavenger hunt.  Afterwards, we enjoyed a family golf lesson on Half Moon Bay Golf Links.  One Miramontes Point Road, 650- 712-7000.


Mavericks is one of the best spots in California for tide pool adventures.  Here you will see starfish, sea anemones, crabs and on occasion, an octopus! 


Sea Horse Ranch offers guided horseback adventures for the entire family regardless of skill level.  Your adventure takes you on seven miles of beautiful trails, through a creek and along the bluffs of Sunset Beach. 650- 726-9903.


Freelance writer Tina Swithin lives in San Luis Obispo with her husband and two daughters, ages 6 and 8. 

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