When it comes to luxury, there are typically only a handful of hotels that come to mind when planning a weekend escape to Half Moon Bay. If you are looking for a romantic getaway, a beautiful view with golf courses to explore and local wines to indulge in, you’ve come to the right place. In this post, we’ll walk through some of the best luxury hotels in Half Moon Bay.
Where Is Half Moon Bay?
Located only 45 minutes south of San Francisco and an hour from San Jose, Half Moon Bay is in between both cities. There is usually traffic coming from either city, so I advise you leave early to avoid the traffic.
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To get to Half Moon Bay from San Francisco, drive down Highway 280 South to Highway 1 until you reach the beaches at Half Moon Bay.
To get to Half Moon Bay from San Jose, hop on Highway 280 North to Highway CA-92 West, which will lead you right into Half Moon Bay.
Tip: To avoid traffic, a local secret is to head north onto Highway 280 to avoid Highway CA-92 altogether (depending on your route). Highway CA-92 is a one lane highway and takes an extremely long time to reach Half Moon Bay (trust me, I know). Head north on Highway 280 and cross over into Pacifica and drive down the coast. The views are amazing and totally worth the detour.
Getting To Half Moon Bay
If you’re flying into town, the nearest airport is the San Francisco International Airport, which about a half hour away from half Moon Bay, depending on traffic conditions.
If you’re coming from LA, you can drive up Highway 101 for a scenic route, or the I-5 for the quickest route. It typically takes around 6 hours to drive from LA to Half Moon Bay.
Recommended Read: The Best Stops On An LA to San Francisco Road Trip
Weather In Half Moon Bay
Half Moon Bay’s weather is a thing of its own. It never really gets below or above 60°F – ish.
It’s definitely not a bad thing as Half Moon Bay is an experience in itself. Don’t expect sunny LA weather when traveling to HMB.
The weather is pretty consistent and mild. I’d advise bringing a sweater or light jacket during your stay.
Spring and fall are usually quite clear in HMB with the warmest temperatures in the forecast. Winter is cool and crisp with some rain usually being in the forecast.
Visiting in the fall? Half Moon Bay is home to some amazing pumpkin patches and I highly recommend you check them out during your stay in the fall months!
Summer is typically foggy, but it usually clears up by midday. Even when it’s cloudy, Half Moon Bay is one of the most magical places in California and it feels so dreamy whenever I come to visit.
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What Does Half Moon Bay Have To Offer?
Half Moon Bay is the definition of natural beauty with its small-town charm. When you come to visit, you can explore championship courses, local dining, grey whale watching and surfing to say the least. You can also explore the redwoods by walking one of the many trails located throughout Half Moon Bay.
How To Spend A Weekend In Half Moon Bay?
There are so many activities to explore when in Half Moon Bay. You can do some of the following:
- Go for a walk on the beach
- Go Horseback riding at Seashore Ranch
- Hike the trails
- Go shopping on Main St
- Bike along the coast
- Have brunch at The Conservatory in The Ritz Carlton hotel
- Explore the beaches
Explore Next: San Francisco to Half Moon Bay Surfing Tour
What Is The Best Time To Visit Half Moon Bay?
Half Moon Bay is great all year round, but the best months to visit with the best weather are from April to September, with weather varying between 65°F and 80°F. The best time to visit Half Moon Bay for outdoor activities is from July to late September, with the best weather peaking in August.
Is Half Moon Bay Worth Visiting?
Half Moon Bay has one of the largest beach areas in the San Francisco area and is definitely worth the visit. In a picture perfect setting with small town charm, Half Moon Bay is the perfect destination to visit.
Luxury Hotels In Half Moon Bay
By far, the most popular destination and the best luxury hotel in Half Moon Bay is the Ritz Carlton, Half Moon Bay. It sits right off the Northern California coast with two beautiful championship golf courses for you golf enthusiasts out there.
The Ritz Carlton is one of the most well-known luxury hotel brands in the world. It is one of the best hotels to stay at in Half Moon Bay. With luxury spa services, tennis courts and bike rentals, this 5-star resort sits atop a bluff overlooking the Pacific ocean. With sandy beaches and beautiful golf courses on the estate, there’s no wonder this luxury resort is the best luxury hotel in half Moon Bay.
This waterfront 4 star hotel would be the perfect vacation destination if your are looking for spa treatments, sandy beaches, walking trails and nearby restaurants. With a convenient location surrounded by restaurants and Pillar Point Harbor, this resort and spa is less than 20 minutes from downtown Half Moon Bay.
Luxury Hotels In San Francisco
If you are looking for more options when it comes to luxury hotels, these hotels also made the list for 4 and 5 star hotels to explore.
This charming 5-star luxury boutique hotel is less than an hour from Half Moon Bay, situated in downtown San Francisco. Featuring luxurious accommodations such as a fitness center, complimentary wireless internet access, turndown service, and more, this luxury mansion is considered one of the best luxury hotels in San Francisco.
Located in the heart of San Francisco lies one of the most luxurious hotels with an amazing ocean view out into the bay. Guest rooms are spacious and lots of special events are hosted at this venue.
Hotel guests can enjoy luxury residence service such as in-room massages, in-suite washer and dryer, car services and more. If you are looking to explore the best of the San Francisco Bay area as well as Half Moon Bay, this luxury 5-star hotel may be an excellent choice.
Beaches To Explore In Half Moon Bay
During your visit to Half Moon Bay, be sure to check out some of the best beaches this quaint coastal town has to offer.
Located at the end of Poplar Street in Half Moon Bay, Poplar Beach is one of the most popular beaches in HMB due to the beach being dog-friendly. Horseback riders are often seen on the beach with their horses and lots of families tend to enjoy this beach.
Access to the beach can be a bit tricky, with a steep descent down to the beach. Make sure to bring sturdy shoes to hike down to the bluff.
Miramar Beach is a hidden gem that lies within Half Moon Bay. This beach is popular on sunny days, and the locals enjoy spending time relaxing on the beach or going for a stroll.
Backing Miramar Beach is the amazing California Coastal Trail, which has a scenic stretch of the coastline. This trail is perfect for cyclists, runners, walkers, or those who just wish to enjoy the natural beauty of the California coast.
Gray Whale Cove State Beach
Also known as Devil’s Slide, Gray Whale Cove State Beach is located between Pacifica and Montara, CA. This beach doesn’t allow dogs and is known for its steep cliffs that drop abruptly into the Pacific ocean.
There is a steep trail that leads down to the ocean and a small picnic area on the bluff above the sand. Gray whales can also be seen migrating close to the shore. This is definitely a beach you’d want to check out!
Montara State Beach
Situated less than 20 minutes from Half Moon Bay, Montara State Beach is a mile-long beach that sits north of the San Mateo County coast. This breathtaking beach is known for its scenic beauty with stunning sculpted sandstone cliffs that make this beach unforgettable.
It’s the perfect location for taking photos and spending time with your loved ones.
Also known as Venice Beach, Dunes Beach sits along sandstone bluffs. This beach is perfect for accessing the Half Moon Bay Coastal Trail, which runs north through south just behind the parking lot of the beach. It’s the perfect place for walking, running and biking with scenic views of the coast throughout the trail.
The pathed trail extends through the entire coastline of Half Moon Bay from Pillar Point to Redondo Beach.
Know Before You Go: Use caution when next to the bluff as it is eroding and coming down in chunks in some areas.
Located between Francis Beach and Venice Beach, Elmar Beach is a part of the Half Moon Bay State Beach. If you are looking for solitude, this is the place to be. Less crowded than the other beaches, Elmar offers peace, serenity and calm.
Swimming is ill-advised as the water is very cold and there are strong rip currents.
To access Elmar Beach, you can walk or bike the Half Moon Bay Coastal Trail at Venice Beach or Francis Beach to gain access to this secluded beach.
As the southernmost beach in the Half Moon Bay State Beach, Francis Beach is perfect to spend a day at the beach with a nice picnic in tow or setting up at the grill to barbeque. There is a nice grassy park area and the beautiful sandy beach below is perfect for sunbathing and walking along the beach.
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