There are many beautiful beaches in Northern California, and that includes the beaches of Half Moon Bay. Half Moon Bay offers a long stretch of beautiful shorelines, spectacular marine protected areas, and picturesque settings for sunbathing, fishing and picnicking.
Without further ado, here’s our list of beaches to drop by, relax and explore.
1. The Half Moon Bay State Beach
The Half Moon Bay State Beach is four-mile long stretch of sun, sand and protected beaches in the state of California. From north to south, this broad beach comprises Roosevelt, Dunes, Venice, and Francis Beaches.
The Half Moon Bay State Beach is a popular place for sunbathing, fishing and picnicking. It’s an ideal place to take your family for a little R&R. For those who want to be one with nature a little longer than a day’s visit, there is a campground that provides accommodation. For more information about the campground availability and rates, please click here.
2. Poplar Beach
For the dog lovers, Poplar Beach is the place to be with your furry best friend!
Located at the end of Poplar Street west of State Route 1, Poplar Beach is a ‘POPuLAR’ dog park in Half Moon Bay. The entry to the beach area can be a little steep, just wear the right kind of shoes or slippers if you’re planning to go there.
Dogs should be on-leash and the beach is close to a residential area so there are no fireworks or beach fires allowed. Poplar beach is open until sunset and is free to the public.
3. Pescadero State Beach
The Pescadero State Beach is a mile-long shoreline with sandy coves, rocky cliffs, tide pools, fishing spots and picnic facilities. Pescadero means “the place to fish” in Spanish and it is indeed a great place to go fishing. Take note though that a California State fishing license is required.
Unlike the Poplar Beach, dogs are prohibited here at all times. Visitors are also asked to refrain from removing shells, driftwood, and other natural beach features.
Across the highway is Pescadero Marsh Natural Preserve, a popular spot for bird watchers and other naturalists. The Reserve is a refuge for blue heron, kites, deer, raccoons, foxes and skunks.
4. Gray Whale Cove State Beach
Gray Whale Cove State Beach is also known as the ‘Devil’s Slide’ for its surrounding cliffs that drop abruptly into the Pacific Ocean.
This is a small but beautiful white sand beach that is a bit secluded, great place to go sunbathing especially on the months of April and May. There is also a small picnic area on the beach but beach fires are not allowed. Dogs can be brought but must strictly be on a leash.
5. Pomponio State Beach
Located 12 miles south of Half Moon Bay on Highway 1, Pomponio State Beach showcases miles of gently sloping, sandy beaches at the base of high sandstone bluffs.
This coastal strip is open to the public on a day-use basis. There are picnic and parking facilities available and awesome hiking trails.
Camping and dogs are strictly not allowed here.
6. San Gregorio State Beach
San Gregorio State Beach includes a protected, driftwood-strewn estuary at the back of a wide, sandy beach – with grassy bluffs along the coast. This beach has been identified as potential nesting habitat for the endangered (official status “threatened”) Western Snowy Plover and the estuary is home to many birds and small animals.
Dogs and camp fires are prohibited on the beach at all times.
7. San Gregorio Nude Beach
Not to be confused with San Gregorio State beach, San Gregorio Nude Beach is located north of the main beach and is a private property. It is the country’s oldest nude beach.
Since the area is privately-owned, there is an admission charge and a parking fee. There are driftwood structures near the beach and if you see a T-shirt hanging on a pole, it means the site is “occupied.”
The two-mile stretch of soft sand, caves cliffs, and driftwood is great for surf fishing, tide pooling. Swimming is not recommended in the vicinity.
If it’s your first time to stay at a nude beach, please take some time to read this Nude Beach and Topless Beach Etiquette guidelines.
Need a place to stay in Half Moon Bay? Come and stay with us here in Harbor View Inn. Located right across the street from the beautiful California Coast and close to many attractions in Northern California, this is the Half Moon Bay hotel for you! Enjoy the breath taking view of the Pacific Ocean near Pillars Point from every suite, comfortable single king, single queen and double queen rooms, a free continental breakfast each morning before you go out on your adventure, and more!
For online reservations, click here. You may also call us at (800) 886-6997.