Half Moon Bay loves their pumpkins. They have several pumpkin patches and they take so much pride in them. So their annual Art and Pumpkin Festival is something that they take a lot of pride in as well. The festival takes place every year some time in October. It is a two day event (on a weekend). Each day provides you with a lot of live entertainment. When I went, I think there were 2 or 3 different stages. There is a lot of great booths with local crafts, art, and food. And they have lots and lots of pumpkins. You can view all of the great pumpkins that have won contests, like the year's largest. They also have some carved pumpkins which are usually quite creative. It is a lot of fun and free to attend.
The only drawback is getting to and from Half Moon Bay and parking can be a turn off. I suggest getting there early to avoid the midday traffic surge. Because there are only a couple of ways to get into Half Moon Bay, the traffic can be horrible, so expect that. Parking can be a bit far, but the good thing is that they are so orgnized because they have been doing this for years.
"Unlike anywhere in the SF Bay Area"
There are a ton of small towns that line the coast around the area, but as a whole most people call the entire area Half Moon Bay. There isn't that an enormous amount to do on a regular basis, but it is worth a visit. Main Street/Downtown is lined with cute small town shops. You will run into your fair share of locals and tourists alike. There are some big corporate stores/restaurants, but most things are owner owned one of a kind. Two recent films have been made here, Memoirs of a Geisha and American Wedding because it is beautiful.
The annual surf competition called Mavericks happens every year here. The beach is one of the biggest draws of Half Moon Bay. And why not, the beaches here are absolutely beautiful. They don't allow bonfires on the beach so the sand is pretty clean. And the beaches provide a plethora of activities.
Half Moon Bay has many farms, flower shops, and other agricultural/horticultural shops. They sell top quality flora and fauna for a great price. They are big on their pumpkins and Christmas Trees. But even for your every day flower, it is a real treat to stop by the many shops that line Highway 92.
FreeCloud's new Half Moon Bay Page
Half Moon Bay is only 30 minutes drive due south from San Francisco. It is a beach area that the SF folks could stay away from SF and enjoy a quiet day at beach.
We drove to Half Moon Bay to have a dinner at the Moss Beach Distillery, which offers a spectacular view of the Pacific ocean.