Sports and Recreation
For a sedate ocean adventure, take a winter whale-watching cruise or a shallow-water fishing trip on board the Queen of Hearts (Pillar Point Harbor, 510/581-2628, www.fishingboat.com, adults $69, children $50, tackle rental $8–12, 1-day license $13, reservations highly recommended). Whale watching trips run January through April and cost a bit less than fishing trips on the Queen of Hearts. Deep-sea fishing makes for a more energetic day out on the Pacific, though Dramamine is often recommended.
You can fish for albacore tuna, rockfish, or salmon (if the season isn’t cancelled) with Huck Finn Sportfishing (Pillar Point Harbor, 650/726-7133, www.huckfinnsportfishing.com, tackle $5–14, 1-day license $12). This major outfitter offers eight boats for a wide variety of trips. Call for trip rates.
One of the coolest ways to see the coast is from the deck of a sea kayak. It’s good to be healthy and fit, but Many kayak tours with the Half Moon Bay Kayaking Company (2 Johnson Pier, 650/773-6101, www.hmbkayak.com) require no previous kayaking experience. For an easy first paddle, try the Pillar Point tour, the full-moon tour, or the sunset paddle. If you’re looking for a wilder ride, sign up for a kayak surfing class—you’ll learn how to catch waves safely in specially designed kayaks. Or if you’re serious about learning to sea kayak, HMB Kayak also offers beginner through advanced classes in closed-deck kayaks.
Some visitors see the wide cool beaches of Half Moon Bay and dream of watching the sun go down over the ocean from the back of a horse. Sea Horse and Friendly Acres Ranches (1828 N. Hwy. 1, 650/726-9903, www.horserentals.com/seahorse.html, daily from 8 a.m., $40/hour) offers one-hour, 90-minute, and two-hour guided tours that take you along the cliffs and down onto the sands at Half Moon Bay’s state beaches. Children over the age of five are welcome, as are riders of all ability levels.
The horses here are sedate rental nags who know the routes in their sleep, allowing their riders to sit back and enjoy the stunning views and the company of their fellow riders. Don’t expect much from the guides; they generally speak little English and simply ride along to be sure you stay safely on the horse trails.
After a long day paddling a sea kayak or reeling up rock cod, a nice massage or facial might sound just perfect. The Primrose Day Spa (630 Purissima St., 650/726-1244, http://primrosespa.com, daily by appointment) nods to its locale by offering pumpkin enzyme facials and body wrap treatments. You can choose any style of massage, classic facials and spa treatments, or an aesthetic treatment at Primrose.
© Liz Hamill Scott from Moon California, 2nd Edition