Offering more than the usual surf and sand, Miramar Beach is a hidden gem within the Half Moon Bay Coastside. Here, you’ll discover a charming, tight-knit coastal community brimming with quaint beach homes, bohemian vibes, and plenty of activities to fill a weekend.
WHAT TO DO
A popular destination on sunny days, this pleasant patch of golden sand is the heart and soul of the local community. While most visitors are content to throw down a beach towel and luxuriate in the sun, others may appreciate strolling north to the aptly named Surfer Beach—where it’s fun to watch pros and beginners riding swells back to shore—or south to Half Moon Bay State Beach which offers picnic grounds and an informative visitor center.
California Coastal Trail
Backing Miramar Beach is an especially scenic stretch of this magnificent, statewide trail. The multi-use path bustles with pedestrians and cyclists as it meanders along the coast, offering a variety of natural surroundings and knock-out ocean vistas.
Pillar Point Harbor
Head one mile north along the California Coastal Trail, and you’ll reach the scenery and seafood of Pillar Point Harbor. The working harbor is usually teeming with colorful vessels returning from sea, and hawking fresh crab and seafood from the docks. You needn’t bring a hibachi grill to enjoy local seafood; the harbor’s main drag is lined with restaurants such as Sam’s Chowder House and Half Moon Bay Brewing Co. Plus, you can paddle the harbor’s protected, sea life-filled waters by renting a kayak or stand-up paddle board at outfitters such as Half Moon Bay Kayak Company.
WHERE TO EAT
Miramar Beach Restaurant
This wonderfully atmospheric mainstay features a sprawling oceanfront patio, and a racy history that extends back to the swinging days of Prohibition. Originally dubbed the Ocean Beach Hotel, the Miramar Beach Restaurant was founded as a speakeasy, slinging illegal hooch to revelers. Today, the offerings are more law-abiding with popular surf-and-turf items such as crab melts, shellfish-packed seafood paellas, and a grilled filet mignon with smoked tomato butter.
This popular, boho cafe serves as the de facto living room for the Miramar community with shiplap walls, book-filled shelves, and old pals catching up over coffee. Nab a seat on the multi-tiered front deck, and sip your cappuccino while gazing out upon the mesmerizing sea. Just don’t pass up the blueberry crumble muffins that are baked and delivered daily by a gifted neighbor.
The Douglas Beach House
Planning a shindig? This venerable, second-floor venue will dazzle your guests with front row views of the Pacific. The property is also home to the Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society, a world-class jazz venue with a peculiar name. The intimate venue has played host to household jazz names such as Stan Getz, Art Blakey, and Etta James, and every Sunday afternoon, it comes alive with live jazz, classical, and world music.
WHERE TO STAY
Situated steps from the sand, this stylish, waterfront inn offers 18 plush guest rooms with ocean views and—in nearly all rooms—warming fireplaces. Luxe amenities include an evening wine & cheese service, nightly dessert spread, and daily breakfast that you can have delivered to your room. If the sound of the sloshing tide doesn’t lull you to tranquility, a soothing body treatment in the onsite massage studio will.
With a Victorian-style home custom-built in 1995, this cozy B&B offers guests the best of both worlds with four guest rooms decked in traditional decor, and none of the downsides of older buildings (think insulated walls and floors that don’t creak). The caring owners are renowned for dishing up warm hospitality alongside hearty breakfast dishes such as eggs benedict and Belgian waffles.
Located on a pleasant stretch of Highway 1, this convenient property is a ten-minute stroll from Miramar Beach. Shipshape rooms are outfitted with travel necessities such as refrigerators, microwaves, and free WiFi. Plus, you’ll wake each morning to a hot meal served in the breakfast room.
Spacious guest rooms make this 27-room property an alluring option for travelers. Perks include free WiFi, complimentary breakfast, and in-room microwaves and refrigerators. Its central locale offers easy access to area attractions, and the beach is just a 10-minute walk away.
For more great places to stay in Half Moon Bay, check out our Lodging page and search for the lowest prices on all available rooms in the area.