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The Weekender: Half Moon Bay

Your guide to getting cozy at this coastal California hamlet

Take respite from tech-driven San Francisco with a weekend in the rustic, coastal hamlet of Half Moon Bay, situated just south of the city. Ahead, our guide to unwinding in and around town.

Where to Stay:

What’s better than bundling up around a bonfire when temperatures begin to drop? Doing so on the bluffs of the Pacific Ocean as the sound of bagpipes echoes. At The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon, you can set this scene. Here, accommodations include suites complete with oceanfront views and fire pits – perfect for indoor-outdoor indulgence.

The bluffs at Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay

At the resort’s 13-treatment room spa, your stress will melt away thanks to treatments like the Roman mineral bath and pumpkin body peel. Ask about the secret spa menu, an ever-rotating mix taking inspiration from the hotel’s woodsy environs.

Located in the pumpkin capital of the world, the Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay’s three dining options offer an elevated take on the pumpkin spice craze, with pumpkin soup with pumpkin seed brittle and curry oil and more. Not a fan of the flavor? Go for the chilled seafood platter, the braised short ribs, or Neapolitan pappardelle ragu.

Where to Eat: 

For an all-American breakfast, mainstay Main Street Grill offers dishes like sourdough French toast and eggs Benedict with bacon and avocado.

Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay


Located in the adjacent one-stoplight town of Pescadero, the James Beard Award-winning, family-run Duarte’s Tavern. A must-visit since 1894, the eatery has perfected perennial, off-the-menu favorites like half-cream-of-artichoke, half-green-chile soup and crab melts, plus desserts like olallieberry pie and, of course, pumpkin pie.

Also, peek your head into Downtown Local, a coffee shop that’s carefully curated with relics from the past.

Global Cuisine Series at the Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay

What to do:

While in Pescadero, take a tour of goat dairy farm Harley Farms. Home to 200 alpine goats, the farmstead makes four types of cheese including ricotta and formage blanc, sold only at the farm and at San Francisco’s Rainbow Grocery. The secret ingredients, says owner Dee Harley, are the “ocean, fog, and salt air.” Harley has converted the property’s historic barn to a shabby-chic venue for farm-to-table dinners, and for weddings and events upon request.

Goats at Harley Farms (credit: @travelbymeredith)