A sunset over the ocean while you’re walking on the beach with your sweetheart is high on the list of those searching for romantic experiences. The Half Moon Bay Coastside has the ideal atmosphere for paramours—whether there’s an ocean view or not. From digging your toes in the sand to enjoying coastal cuisine to relaxing in a cozy home-away-from-home, there’s romance all around.
The region won’t make it easy for you to decide where to lay your head, because there is a wealth of romantic escapes to choose from. The boutique, 10-room Seal Cove Inn sits on a bluff above the Pacific Ocean and overlooks a lush garden. The Inn at Mavericks, with its 6 suites in Pillar Point Harbor, offer a front-row view of the serenity of harbor life. For more luxe harbor living, the Oceano Hotel & Spa and Beach House Hotel get you not only close to the water, but to harbor restaurants and shops, too. The Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay perches on the bluffs at the south end of town, and is an ideal place to be whatever the weather.
Many of the beaches from Montara to Pescadero are ideal for strolling, picnics, lounging with a blanket, or merely watching the waves. Picturesque Gray Whale Cove State Beach is sheltered by steep cliffs. Montara State Beach, Fitzgerald Marine Reserve and Mavericks Beach are popular with tide-pool seekers. Surfers Beach blends into the quartet of Roosevelt, Venice, Dunes and Francis Beaches that make up the Half Moon Bay State Beach. Popular Beach and Redondo Beach stretch farther south, and beyond lie Cowell Ranch State Beach, San Gregorio State Beach, Pomponio State Beach, Pescadero State Beach, Pebble Beach, and Bean Hollow State Beach.
Coastside parks include the mighty redwoods, delicate ferns, and rushing creeks of the Purissima Creek Redwoods Preserve. At Butano State Park, 17.5 miles of trails weave through a varied landscape—from oak woodland to coast redwood and evergreen forests.
Starlight paddle trips with Half Moon Bay Kayak Company let you view the silvery moonlight in the wake of a kayak, and listen to the distant barking of California sea lions as you enjoy an evening tour of Pillar Point Harbor.
Another way to spend quality time with your love is by sharing a meal. Start at Cork Wine Bar at The Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay, which features Vintner Series wine tastings and expert sommeliers to help you navigate more than 5,000 bottles of wine. Stay in the same building with dinner at Navio, where you can enjoy elegant seafood dishes while gazing out at the ocean. Another place to dine with a view is La Costanera, with its contemporary Peruvian cuisine. Right between the two on the coast is Sam’s Chowder House, with its outdoor lounge chairs that let you slow things down a little. Escape into the mountains and walk among the vineyards at Thomas Fogarty Winery on a guided tour, or just hang out in the tasting room to enjoy local wines.