Known as the “pumpkin capital of the world,” the Half Moon Bay Coastside truly comes to life during the fall and early winter season. Located approximately 35 minutes south of San Francisco, this charming region is home to the highly touted pumpkin weigh-off contest and the widely anticipated annual pumpkin festival, along with holiday celebrations and artisan fairs, fun outdoor adventures and delicious local food, beer and wine. The gorgeous seaside views along the Half Moon Bay Coastside provide the perfect backdrop for idyllic hikes and kayaking adventures, while the crisp evening air sets the mood for local holiday shopping along Main Street.

Below is a summary of what’s new along the Half Moon Bay Coastside. Visit www.visithalfmoonbay.org for everything needed to plan a visit including information on cozy inns and luxury coastal resorts, renowned restaurants, farm visits, golfing, wine tasting, fishing, pumpkin festivities, surfing and much more.

Special Note: All locations are in Half Moon Bay unless otherwise noted.


Cool Harbor Nights Car Show (free!)

The First Thursday of Every Month – 3 p.m. to Sunset

Car aficionados far and wide descend upon Pillar Point Harbor for Cool Harbor Nights, a coastal car and motorcycle show. Owners of classic cars, trucks, fancy motorcycles and hot rods have the opportunity to show off their pride and joy while providing a glimpse of early automotive and motorcycle technology. Many of the machines have taken years to create or restore. Families will enjoy the cruise down memory lane as they show their kids the vintage Mustang or hot muscle car just like they drove. Registered machines will be entered into a drawing for some fantastic prizes. The event is free and open to both exhibitors and spectators. Pillar Point Harbor on Johnson Pier, Princeton-By-The-Sea. For more information and/or to register as a participant, contact Mary Botham, (650) 726-2722, mary@coastalcarshow.com.

Barrel to Bottle Days

Sept. 22, Nov. 3, Nov. 10, & Dec. 8

Wine lovers can take part in a tradition known as “Barrel to Bottle” at La Nebbia Winery by bringing in their empty wine bottles and getting them filled with La Nebbia’s own wine. Guests can even bring in their own custom labels and La Nebbia will apply them to the bottle during the event, making for a fun conversation starter or a great gift. On September 22, refill bottles with a delicious red wine. On November 3, customers can indulge in a white wine, and November 10 and December 8 are once again perfect for red wine lovers. Barrel to Bottle pricing starts at $6 per 750ml bottle; 12341 San Mateo Road, (650) 726-9463, www.lanebbiawinery.com.

11th Annual Hand-Blown Art Glass Pumpkin Patch

Oct. 6-7, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Half Moon Bay Art Glass will transform the grounds of La Nebbia Winery into a glistening glass pumpkin patch featuring the work of glass blower Douglass C. Brown. This artistic installation will feature hundreds of one-of-a-kind glass pumpkins available for purchase, each one personally handcrafted by Brown, who works year round to create this spectacular display. La Nebbia Winery will be open for guests to partake in wine tasting and to purchase bottles of wine, while bocce ball courts will offer fun for everyone. For those who wish to create their own piece of art, HMB Art Glass is offering several classes year around. Classes start as low as $40 + tax for kids 6 years old and above. Ask for the “NewClient50” special rate for up to 50% off website pricing. La Nebbia Winery, 12341 San Mateo Road on Hwy. 92, (650) 283-5626, www.hmbartglass.com.

16th Annual Bernese Mountain Dog Day (free!)

Oct. 7, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Farmer John’s pumpkin patch is sponsoring the 16th Annual Mountain Dog Day! Last year, there were over 130 Bernese Mountain Dogs who visited Farmer John’s pumpkin patch. Berner friends will be accompanied by John’s Bernese, Miss Cora, along with her cousin Miss Chloe who will welcome their old and new pals. Farmer John will be ready to give hayrides for his furry friends. 800 North Cabrillo Highway, (650) 726-4980, www.farmerjohnspumpkins.com.

Fifth Annual Coastside Brewfest 

Oct. 20, 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Enjoy some of the best breweries on the West Coast at the Fifth Annual Coastside Brew Fest, hosted by Mavericks Community Foundation. Guests will enjoy unlimited tastes of their favorite brews from vendors such as Alpha Acid Brewing Company, Altamont Beer Works, Barebottle Brewery, Deschutes Brewery, Drake’s Brewing Company, East Brother Beer Co., Faction Brewing, Fort Point Beer Co. This year’s beneficiary is the Mavericks Coastside Foundation, and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to Coastside Hope. Tickets are $30 in advance or $40 at the door; designated driver tickets are $10. Tickets are available at www.coastsidebrewfest.com. 390 Capistrano Road, (650) 728-2739.

146th Anniversary Celebration Pigeon Point Light Station (free!)

Nov. 17, 1 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Perched on a cliff 20 miles south of Half Moon Bay, the 115 feet tall Pigeon Point Lighthouse and Historical Park is one of the tallest lighthouses in America and has been guiding mariners since 1872. During the 146th anniversary celebration, guests will enjoy live music, refreshments, face painting, native plant sales, a grounds tour, and more. From 5 p.m. – 7 p.m., the iconic First Fog Signal Building will remain open to show off the magnificent First Order Fresnel Lens. 210 Pigeon Point Road, Highway 1, Pescadero, (650) 879-2120, www.parks.ca.gov/pigeonpoint.

2018 Colony of Coastside Artists Open Studios (free!)

Nov. 17-18, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Art lovers will flock to the annual Open Studios for the chance to score that perfect piece of local work. Hosted by the Colony of Coastside Artists, nearly 40 local artists will open their homes and studios to the public for this once-a-year showcase of their work. Peruse and purchase paintings, drawings, sculpture, jewelry, hot glass, and much more. For more information, visit www.colonyofcoastsideartists.com.

The Mavericks Experience Tour (free!)

Sept. 9, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.

As September officially kicks off the big wave winter season, The Mavericks Experience will host a free guided tour hosted by Tim West, who has been surfing Mavericks and the surrounding coast for nearly 20 years. Stroll along the harbor trail from the Mavericks parking lot all the way out to the beach overlooking Mavericks as West explains the historical details about the harbor, community, and Mavericks. In addition, there will be a Q & A with Mavericks surfers of past and present who have either surfed in the Mavericks contest or are a major influence on Mavericks. Donations are recommended for the tour; proceeds go to the Half Moon Bay Surf Club. Mavericks Parking Lot (also known as Tide Pool’s Parking Lot on Google maps). For reservations, contact Tim West, timwest@mavericksexperience.com, (650) 727-4455.

45th Annual Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off (free!)

Oct. 8, 7 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Superstar Gourd Growing Greats and their hard-to-believe, titanic orange orbs gather for the Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off in the World Pumpkin Capital of Half Moon Bay. A special $30,000 bonus mega-prize will be awarded to any grower who breaks the world record at Half Moon Bay, considered the “Super Bowl of Weigh-Offs.” A host of veteran growers contend for the coveted title, the $30,000 world record prize and thousands in additional prize money. In a pay-by-the-pound system, the winner will take home a hefty $7 per pound for the champion mega-pumpkin. Superstar grower Joel Holland’s mighty 2,363-pound weigh-off champion mega-gourd obliterated a formidable field of heavyweight contenders in winning the 2017 Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off. The grand champion gourd (along with the top five overall) will be on display at the Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival on October 13-14. IDES Grounds, 735 Main Street, (650) 726-9652, www.miramarevents.com. Media Contact: Tim Beeman, (650) 726-3491, tim@miramarevents.com.

 48th Annual Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival (free!)

Oct. 13 & 14, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. 

Half Moon Bay celebrates its bountiful fall harvest and autumn splendor with a special weekend filled with enormous heavyweight champion pumpkins, four stages of blockbuster entertainment, the Great Pumpkin Parade, a bone-chilling Haunted House, harvest-inspired crafts, home-style foods, expert pumpkin carver Peter Hazel sculpting a monster 10,000+ pound pumpkin, photos with the grand champion mega-gourd, pie-eating and costume contests, pumpkin carving for fun, and so much more! With so much to see and do, visitors can use iPumpkin, the official mobile application of the Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival, to navigate their way through the festival. Main Street, (650) 726-9652, www.miramarevents.com. Media Contact: Tim Beeman, (650) 726-3491, tim@miramarevents.com.

3rd Annual Half Moon Bay Golf Links “No One Left Behind” Charity Golf Tournament

Oct. 28, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.

In an effort to support firefighters and their families that are dealing with cancer and to educate others on how to prevent and detect cancer as best they can, Cal Fire Locals 2881- which covers the area from San Mateo to Santa Cruz- has partnered with Half Moon Bay Golf Links to host an annual golf tournament fundraiser. Golf participants are paired up with a current or retired firefighter and are treated to a shotgun format tournament on Half Moon Bay Golf Links’ beautiful Old and Ocean courses – two of the most scenic public golf courses in California. Golf will be followed by a full barbecue lunch, a reception, and comments from the Command Leader. To register, learn about sponsorship opportunities, and get more information about the event, visit http://www.nolb-l2881.org/hmb/ or call (650) 464–2722. Half Moon Bay Golf Links, Two Miramontes Point Road. Media Contact: Bill Murray, (650) 712-2224, bmurray@hmbgolflinks.com

Night of Lights (free!)

Dec. 7, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Night of Lights is an annual old-fashioned holiday event hosted in downtown Half Moon Bay on the first Friday in December. Visitors will enjoy trees decorated in dazzling lights while doing some holiday shopping in the unique coastal shops. The event features a tree lighting ceremony in Mac Dutra Park, a Parade of Lights down Main Street, carolers and musical entertainment, roasted chestnuts and activities for the kids. For more information, visit www.visithalfmoonbay.org/local/night-lights. Main Street. Media Contact: Charise McHugh, (650) 726-8380, charise@hmbchamber.com


 Seasonal Bounty Awaits at Local Farmer’s Markets

Shoppers can enjoy this season’s fresh, local produce available at the Half Moon Bay Coastside Farmers’ Markets:

  • Coastside Farmers’ Market at Shoreline Station in Half Moon Bay. Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. through December 21, coastsidefarmersmarkets.org.
  • Pescadero Grown Farmer’s Market. 350 Stage Road, Pescadero. Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. through October, pescaderogrown.org.

Dungeness Crab Season Opens

The highly anticipated Dungeness crab season officially opens in mid-November. Visitors can get their crab fix at Pillar Point Harbor, where fresh crab can be purchased from commercial boats. Call the Fish Hotline (650) 726-8724 or visit http://fishlineapp.com for more information about which boats are selling and what is available. For those looking for a real hands-on experience, schedule a trip on the Huli Cat to catch your own crustacean feast. Huli Cat, Pillar Point Harbor, 1 Johnson Pier, (650) 726-2926, www.hulicat.com.

 Pick-Your-Own Pumpkin Patches

An autumn visit to the pumpkin fields around Half Moon Bay is a popular annual tradition for many families. Spread out along Highway 92 and Cabrillo Highway (Rt. 1), visitors will

discover pumpkins in a wide variety of colors, shapes and sizes in beautiful rural settings. Below is a selection of local pumpkin farms open to visitors:

  • 4- C’s Pumpkin Patch– at this pumpkin patch, visitors can enjoy rows of pumpkins while also enjoying pony rides, train rides, slides and a petting zoo. 12371 San Mateo Rd., (Hwy 92), (650) 726-9614.
  • Arata Pumpkin Farm – in addition to pumpkins, this family-friendly farm features pony rides, a haunted barn, a petting zoo, a hay maze, and more. 185 Verde Road, (650) 726-7548, www.aratapumpkinfarm.com.
  • Farmer John’s Pumpkin Farm – life-long farmers Farmer John and his wife Eda grow more than 60 varieties of pumpkins and squash. Visitors can also check out an authentic Native American teepee and take a ride on a vintage tractor. 850 North Cabrillo Highway, (650) 726-4980, www.farmerjohnspumpkins.com.
  • Lemos Family Farm – this family farm specializes in year-round activities for children such as pony rides, train rides, a petting zoo, bounce houses, goat yoga, and more. 12320 San Mateo Road, (650) 726-2342, www.lemosfarm.com.
  • Pastorino Gifts & Plants – this family-run farm boasts hayrides, train rides, ponies, pet and feed farm animals, and giant slides. On the weekends, families can enjoy a haunted house and face painting. 12391 San Mateo Road, (650) 726-6440, www.pastorinofarms.com.
  • Tom & Pete’s Produce – celebrating more than 50 years since its inception in 1964, guests can visit this landmark produce stand to purchase pumpkins throughout the month of October. 270 Main Street, (650) 726-7500.


Strong Start for Best Western Hotel – Cameron’s Inn Opening

Opened on July 20, visitors have a new place to stay at the 46-room Best Western Plus-Cameron’s Inn, adjacent to fun and family-friendly English-style pub Cameron’s Pub. The hotel is perfect for a relaxing getaway with easy access to the beach and nature trails. Hotel amenities include a full complimentary hot breakfast, exercise room, business center, laundry room, and a 24-hour front desk equipped to direct guests to their excursions throughout Half Moon Bay. The hotel is conveniently located nearby a variety of restaurants, shops, and key area attractions that will keep hotel guests busy and entertained during their stay. 1410 South Cabrillo Highway. For more information, visit http://www.cameronsinn.com.  

The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay

The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay provides a magnificent backdrop for the perfect coastal California vacation. Whether roasting s’mores in a terrace fire pit, relaxing on the bluff after a spa treatment, or enjoying a much-needed getaway, this stunning retreat offers a selection of packages and special offerings:

  • New Bonfire Hour

Take in the famous California sunset at The Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay’s new Bonfire Hour. While cozying around the communal fire pits at Ocean Terrace, guests can savor a special menu of bonfire-inspired culinary specialties and wrap themselves in a blanket handmade from local artisan company, Nipomo (available for purchase). Guests can sip a beverage from the new “The Ocean Terrace Beverage Cart” complete with signature cocktails, beer, wine, and hot cocoa while enjoying an interactive ‘Fireside Chat’ with local experts about wine, technology, surfing, and more. Bonfire Hour will take place every Thursday through Labor Day from 7 p.m. to sunset on the Ocean Terrace. Fireside Chat on select dates. 

  • Discover Half Moon Bay Package

Enjoy overnight accommodations for two nights in a Coastal, Ocean View or Terrace Fire Pit Room, a visit to Purisima Creek Redwood Preserve, a gourmet picnic basket lunch for two, a glass blowing class for two at Half Moon Bay Art Glass, and a $100 resort credit. Valid through March 31, 2019. Starting at $1,075 USD per night.

 One Miramontes Point Road, (650) 712-7000, www.ritzcarlton.com. Media Contact: Shelly Auyeung (650) 712-7007, shelly.auyeung@ritzcarlton.com. 


The Half Moon Bay Brewing Company

The Half Moon Bay Brewing Company is a local favorite and hotspot for visitors to come together to celebrate handcrafted beer, friends, and fun. This fall, there are a variety of celebrations and special offerings to enjoy the season:

  • Brews & Views – Half Moon Bay Brewing Co.’s monthly, or bi-monthly, free speaker series discusses everything from environmental issues and economic development to social change and politics. In addition, part of the proceeds benefits the Cabrillo Education Foundation. From September-October (6 p.m.-8 p.m.), guests can enjoy discussions from affordable housing to learning about how Birdman Bats became the official bat of Major League Baseball.


  • Mid-September – Pumpkin Harvest Ale Released- The new Pumpkin Harvest Ale will be released. This full bodied Amber Ale is made with locally grown Sugar Pie pumpkins that are roasted with a special blend of spices and added to the brew kettle resulting in a subtle pumpkin pie spice flavor, balanced by a biscuit maltiness.


  • October 10, 6 p.m. – Harvest Dinner at Mavericks Event Center- Half Moon Bay Brewing Company’s annual Harvest Dinner is back. It will feature produce exclusively from local farmer John “Farmer John” Muller and brew master James Costa’s hand-crafted beer. Tickets ($80) – purchase here.
  • October 27, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. – Halloween Party – Guests of all ages are welcome to enter the annual costume contest, which awards prizes for a variety of categories including most original costume, best group costume, scariest costume, and cutest costume. Contest is at 8pm; live music by Key Lime Pie from 7-10pm.

390 Capistrano Road, (650) 728-BREW (2739), www.hmbbrewingco.com. Media Contact: Mary Oldham, (650) 728-2739, mary@hmbbrewingco.com.

Pasta Moon’s 15th Annual Vin Italy Wine Tasting Extravaganza

Oct. 20, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. or 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Sip 75+ wines from all of Italy’s 20 wine tasting regions at this wine tasting extravaganza. As per tradition, Richard Poncini of Cooking for Friends will be presenting his roasted suckling pig alongside a sumptuous array of seasonally inspired antipasti. For tickets, visit www.pastamoon.com. 315 Main St. C, (650) 726-5125.

Wine and Dine “Mullins Fresh Catch” at Mullins Bar & Grill

Every Friday and Saturday night 

With indoor-outdoor seating and views of the Pacific Ocean, Half Moon Bay Golf Link’s Mullins Bar & Grill is the perfect spot for pre- and post-round refreshment. Wine and dine every Friday and Saturday night with Chef Roberto Rodriguez’s new “Mullins Fresh Catch.” For the freshest seafood, Chef Rodriguez visits the harbor each week and works with Morning Star Fisheries to pick out the best available. Each week he’ll create a new recipe where guests can experience the bounty of the Coastside and taste creative dishes such as a saffron seared salmon served with fresh asparagus, and lemon zest risotto. Half Moon Bay Golf Links, Two Miramontes Point Road, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019. Media Contact: Bill Murray, (650) 712-2224, bmurray@hmbgolflinks.com

–SPA –

Ultra-Luxe Treatment at The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay

Guests of The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay can now experience the latest edition to the resort’s Secret Spa Menu, the Rodeo Facial. The ultra-luxe treatment was created exclusively for the resort by Linda Ross, one of the most sought-after skincare specialists in Beverly Hills. It begins with a gentle cleansing foam, followed by a microdermabrasion scrub that results in softer, luminescent skin and enhances absorption of beauty products. A protein and vitamin-rich skin tightening mask is then applied, stimulating blood flow to the surface of the skin and encouraging cell regeneration. In addition to containing organic essential oils that enhance elasticity, the Nobel-Prize winning ingredient, Epidermal Growth Factor, is featured in an anti-aging cream applied next. A propolis and royal jelly cream caps off the luxurious experience to promote healing and deter aging. The Rodeo Facial is available on The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay’s Secret Spa Menu for $350 (80 minutes), exclusive of tax and gratuity. One Miramontes Point Road, (650) 712-7000, www.ritzcarlton.com. Media Contact: Shelly Auyeung (650) 712-7007, shelly.auyeung@ritzcarlton.com.


Half Moon Bay’s Historic Jail Transforms Into Local Museum

As the oldest remaining public building in Half Moon Bay, the historic jail recently reopened as a museum home to artifacts, informative displays, and docents eager to share their knowledge of coastside history. Officially opened on July 19, visitors can walk into one of the two cells and experience incarceration circa the early 20th century and learn not only about the history of the one-room jail, but about the first inhabitants of the region – the Ohlone Indians – or the Portola expedition, which passed through the area. The museum offers extensive information into major time periods of coastside history including the Gold Rush, Prohibition era, and World War II. Open on weekends from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. 511 Johnston Street, near the corner of Kelly Avenue, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019, (650) 726-4468

Half Moon Bay Opens Cutting-Edge Library

After roughly two years of construction, the Half Moon Bay’s new library finally opened on August 18. Boasting 22,000 square feet of space and two floors, the new library is three times the size of its predecessor. Most of the space is dedicated to books of all varieties and an expanded media collection. The library provides more than 20 desktop computers, and residents can check out laptops for a week at a time from a vending machine. A makerspace is equipped with sewing, embroidery and button-making machines, a 3D printer, robots, and an HTC virtual reality system. As the first net-zero energy building in San Mateo County, the new library can generate its own energy sources. The second floor is home to quiet rooms that can be used for anything from studying to business meetings, and a dedicated space for the library’s literacy and tutoring programs. A new community room attached to the library can accommodate up to 100 people, and features a catering kitchen and accordion wall that can split the room in two. The library is open Monday-Thursday from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m., Friday from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. 620 Correas Street, (650) 726-2316, halfmoonbay@smcl.org.

 Kick Back to Live Music in Half Moon Bay

The Coastside is home to unique, atmospheric venues for live music, from historic roadhouses to sleep cocktail lounges. Visitors can stumble upon an intimate jazz club hidden inside an old beach house to finding reggae in an 1879 blacksmith shop-turned saloon. For the new season of concerts this fall, see the schedule of upcoming live music events – https://www.visithalfmoonbay.org/discover/live-music.

About the Half Moon Bay Coastside

The Half Moon Bay Coastside is a charming seaside respite located approximately 35 minutes south of San Francisco. Nestled between the Santa Cruz Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, this breathtaking region consists of four distinct areas – the North Coast, Half Moon Bay, the South Coast and the Redwood Region. Featuring the best of Northern California all in one place, visitors will enjoy miles of white sandy beaches, redwood forests, a historic downtown filled with local artisan shops, beautiful state parks, fields of wild flowers, and trails along ocean bluffs and mountain ridges as far as the eye can see. A sampling of activities includes horseback riding on the beach, farm fresh dining, shopping, biking, hiking and world-class golfing and surfing.

For more information on visiting Half Moon Bay, visit www.visithalfmoonbay.org, download Half Moon Bay’s free app iCoastside or call (650) 726-8380. For the latest news on the area, visit www.visithalfmoonbay.org/articles, join us on Facebook @VisitHalfMoonBay, follow us on Instagram @ visithalfmoonbay and Twitter @VisitHMB, plus check us out on YouTube www.youtube.com/user/visithmb.