The Weekender: Half Moon Bay

by Kasey Caminiti | December 8, 2017 1:30 pm

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[1], 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[2] 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[3]. 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[4], 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[5]. 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[6]. 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)


  1. The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon:
  2. Main Street Grill:
  3. Duarte’s Tavern:
  4. Downtown Local:
  5. Harley Farms:
  6. Rainbow Grocery:

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