The Half Moon Bay Coastside is blessed with mild weather all year round.

While in winter it can be rainy, cloudy and windy, the temperature rarely dips below about 40°F. The weather can also change quickly, from foggy in the morning to sunny in the afternoon, so it’s easy to take advantage of even the briefest dry moments to explore and get outside for a hike or exploring tide pools at the beach. A few days stay means it’s more likely you’ll get at least some nice weather. And if it’s stormy, snuggle up in a room with an ocean view to enjoy mother nature’s show.

Stay

When heading to Half Moon Bay in cooler months, you may be spending a bit more time in your room so pick a spot that is comfortable and cozy. The Ocean View Inn Montara has suites with large decks and sweeping views of the ocean. Some rooms have fireplaces, and all have luxurious organic and spa infused bath shampoo, condition and lotions.

The Ocean View Inn in Montara, California
The Ocean View Inn in Montara, California

Another spot that’s perfect for winter stays is the Nantucket Whale Inn a sweet bed and breakfast set on a quiet end of Main Street in Half Moon Bay. Thanks to deluxe amenities such as whirlpool tubs, fluffy bathrobes and fireplaces, you may never want to leave.

Nantucket Whale Inn
Nantucket Whale Inn on Main Street, Half Moon Bay

The Cypress Inn on Miramar Beach is designed for relaxing and rejuvenating. Set between forested hills and the coast, the beachy rooms feature great views, terra cotta heated floors, jetted tubs and there is even a massage therapist on call.

Cypress Inn at Miramar
Cypress Inn at Miramar

Pamper

Slowing down and relaxing is enhanced with pampering. Head downtown to Garden Apothecary to stock up on premier skin and body care products, including botanist-formulated skincare products and drinking teas, infused with botanicals made locally using local ingredients. Another spot, Urban Sanctuary offers yoga wear, honeys, teas and candles for creating a soothing environment no matter where you stay.

Urban Sanctuary
Urban Sanctuary offers yoga wear, honeys, teas, candles, and more.

Drive

Just because the sky is grey, doesn’t mean you can’t get out and enjoy the day. Taking a drive is a great way to take in the natural beauty of the region and the incredible variety of scenery from grassy fields, to smashing waves and towering and majestic redwood groves. Take it slow on a drive that invite you to enjoy the meandering journey as much as the destination. One itinerary is to start at Pescadero State Beach and take the Pescadero Creek Road to Alpine Road to Page Mill Road. It’s a winding path that will take you from the ocean up through shady forests and into the foothills.

Purisima Creek Redwoods
Purisima Creek Redwoods Reserve

Another nice route is to take Stage Road to Hwy 1 to Tunitas Creek Road and up to the Purisima Creek Redwoods Reserve. Located on the western slopes of the Santa Cruz Mountains overlooking Half Moon Bay, head into the open space and you’ll meander amongst the redwoods, creeks, and lush ferns.

Picnic

Depending upon the conditions you may want to picnic outdoors or back in your room with a view. If you’re taking a scenic drive on Skyline Boulevard, stop by Thomas Fogarty in Woodside to pick up a few bottles of wine. The majority of their wines are made from their estate vineyards in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

The tasting room at Thomas Fogarty Winery
The tasting room at Thomas Fogarty Winery

A local favorite, The Barn offers terrific salads and high-quality burgers and sandwiches made from locally sourced ingredients. Another great pick for those in the know is Moonside Bakery in Downtown Half Moon Bay where you’ll find freshly made breads, pastries, sandwiches and wood-fired pizzas.

Ready to book your own perfect Half Moon Bay getaway? Head over to our lodging directory and see all of the options, from romantic inns and luxurious coastal resorts with breathtaking views to budget-friendly leading brand hotels, bed and breakfast inns & motels.

Amy Sherman is a local food and travel writer. She’s the author of Williams Sonoma New Flavors for Appetizers and Wine Passport Portugal and has written for food, travel and lifestyle publications including Afar, Food Network, Marin magazine, Fodor's and 7x7. After years of driving past Half Moon Bay on her way to and from UC Santa Cruz, she’s now happy to stop and fully enjoy its charms.