Bay Area families know Half Moon Bay as the pumpkin capital of the West, where thousands of pilgrims make their annual journey in search of the ultimate Halloween jack-o’-lantern. Since 1970 the Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival has featured all manner of squash cuisine and crafts, as well as the Giant Pumpkin weigh-in contest, won recently by an 875-pound monster. A Great Pumpkin Parade, pumpkin-carving competitions, pie-eating contests, and piles of great food pretty much assure a good time for all.

Pumpkins aside, Half Moon Bay is a jewel of a town, saved from mediocrity by diverting its historic Main Street well away from the fast-food chains and gas stations of Highway 1. The locals are disarmingly friendly, actually bestowing greetings as you walk along the rows of small shops and restaurants.

Then, of course, there are the 4 miles of golden crescent-shaped beach, one of the prettiest in all of California; bustling Pillar Point Harbor, launching point for whale-watching and deep-sea-fishing trips; and myriad hiking and biking trails along the coast and into the redwood forests. Combine this with an array of commendable accommodations and restaurants and you have the perfect ingredients for a peaceful weekend getaway.

~ Matthew Poole

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  • Submitted On : 30 Mar 2016