Half Moon Bay
To this day, the coastal city of Half Moon Bay retains its character as an ag town. The locals all know each other, and a spirit of community and cooperation pervades. Locally grown crops include pumpkins, strawberries, artichokes, and stinky-at-harvest-time brussels sprouts.
Small family farms grow many other vegetables and fruits as well. Half Moon Bay enjoys a beautiful natural setting, and earns significant income from tourism, especially during the world-famous Pumpkin Festival each October.
The best way to get to Half Moon Bay is to drive. Half Moon Bay sits on Highway 1 about 45 minutes south of San Francisco. Drivers can take the Great Highway down to Highway 35 (aka Skyline Blvd.) in Pacifica and catch Highway 1 from there.
An alternate route is to take I-280 from either the north or the south, then turn onto CA-92 west. This two-lane state highway goes over the Santa Cruz Mountains that separate the Valley from the coast. Because it’s the major truck route over the hill, it can get jammed up even on weekdays, but it’s worst on sunny summer weekends when everyone on the Peninsula wants to hit the beach.
Parking in downtown Half Moon Bay is usually a fairly easy proposition. Except, of course, if you’re in town for the Pumpkin Festival, when parking is a nightmare of epic proportions; your best bet is to already be staying in town with your car safely stowed in a hotel parking lot before the festival.
© Liz Hamill Scott from Moon California, 2nd Edition