Half Moon Bay Downtown – Best Things to Do

After a day of hiking, horseback riding, playing with your dog at the beach, or kayaking in Half Moon Bay, if all you want to do is spend a few hours eating your way through, re-fueling with perfect gelato or relax with a glass of wine, spirit or beer, there are plenty of things to do in Half Moon Bay to cater to your needs.

I generally go there with my family. This last trip was with cousin’s family that visited from North Carolina. Their two kids and my toddler had such great time at the beach and the downtown.

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Things to do in Half Moon Bay Downtown

No trip to Half Moon Bay can be complete without stopping at Half Moon bay downtown. After all, we all need to grab a bite. It’s not all restaurants here, there are really fun things to do even for kids. Let’s take a tour of Half Moon Bay downtown.

Half Moon Bay downtown

Half Moon Bay Bakery

If you are looking for a quaint little place to grab one of the best pastries in the area, you have come to the right place. Half Moon Bay bakery, has it all.

The shop is pretty small inside, but you can sit outside ion the Main street where there are tables. A reasonably priced bakery with a wide variety of options to choose from.

Here are some of the things I have personally tried and can vouch for:

  • The Pesto Artichoke Bread is so yum for those who want something savory.
  • Half Moon shaped chocolate chip cookies
  • Great breakfast burritos and coffee
  • Napoleons

This 1908 built bakery does have some things that they are very popular for and run out every day. You have to get there early in the morning to get your share of their popular ones. The napoleon is one of them.

The napoleon here is so delicious make with custard, whipped cream, and fruit between layers of puff pastry. Something to try at least once, even if you are watching your diet.

Half Moon Bay downtown Bakery

Coffee Shops

Half Moon Bay downtown is sprinkled with quaint coffee shops like Half Moon Bay bakery, Cafe Society and Moonside Bakery and cafe. Even in a hot July summer, the weather near the beaches suddenly turn cold and gloomy. Just yesterday (July 22nd, 2019), I went to the beach with family and kids and in no time, it started cooling down by 4PM.

Kids started complaining that it’s cold and the adults wanted a cozy place to grab a warm drink as the kids got their hot chocolates.

Wine and Cheese

If you are in bay area, don’t think Napa is the only place for wine and cheese. There are some amazing wines waiting to be tasted at Half Moon Bay downtown as well.

If you are out on a date or a girlfriends getaway, Half Moon Bay Wine & Cheese Company is a must stop over.

Even on a crowded day, they will always make room for locals and travelers alike. Their wine selection is one of the most extensive ones I have seen. For a reasonable price, you get a few pours of variety of wines that cater to your taste. They listen to you and learn about your preference and pour those perfect ones.

Try their coconut cheese and Toma. They have a great variety of snacks to pick from to pair with the wine.

Half Moon Bay wine and cheese

Gulino Gelato

The owner Jean-Paul will welcome you with his unique rotating flavors. Every day you go, you are guaranteed to have absolutely unique flavors like Strawberry basil, tomato basil etc., He makes the all the creamy frozen treats fresh everyday with fresh ingredients.

The fruit flavored gelato are actually made with real fruits and they taste heavenly and creamy with a smooth texture. If there is one thing you want to eat at Half Moon Bay downtown, that would be the Gulino Gelato.

Dining in Half Moon Bay Downtown

Half Moon Bay downtown has few different restaurants that are rated highly by the locals. My usual is Pasta Moon and nothing can go wrong with your order at Pasta Moon.

Consistently great tasting Italian fair to be enjoyed with the family when you are in Half Moon Bay.

With more than 30 years in service, these guys know a thing or two about Italian food and your taste buds. Check it out to taste it for yourself.

Pasta Moon

Cottage Industries Handcrafted Furniture

For some handmade furniture wander into this beautiful furniture store in Half Moon Bay downtown. The place has some amazing, unique furnitures that are made locally in the US to decorate any home.

I love visiting this place every opportunity I get and inspired to organize my space. This place is pricey for sure. But there is a reason for it.

These are not disposable furnitures. It is pure craftsmanship that is meant to be handed down through generations.  Each and every piece here is a real master piece that your grandchildren can enjoy with high quality for generations to come. Think of them as investment pieces.

Boutique shops

What’s a downtown without a boutique shop after all ?

The Posh Moon

This french inspired boutique is run by mother and daughter, they are always there to welcome you to the cute little shop that will transport you to Europe.

Not everybody is into boutique clothing as they tend to be more expensive than the usual stores. There is a reason for it. These guys are not mass producing them. So, obviously you can’t expect a competitive price. But, most of the times, it’s a unique and statement pieces that you go to boutiques for and the Posh Moon is guaranteed to deliver that.

Crow’s Nest

This high end boutique is all you need for some self love, provided your wallet is fat. Even if you are not going to buy anything, I recommend walking into the store to have a look and see what its all about.

Truly inspiring collection of clothes, jewelry, accessories and bath needs. And welcoming owner and staff who will answer all your questions.

Half Moon Bay downtown

Coastside Books

Are you missing the days when you could walk into a cute bookstore, browse through the books, read a few pages, talk to the store keeper and ask questions ? Do you hate shopping at Amazon for books ? You have found yourself a place at Half Moon Bay downtown.

They always seem to have a fun collection of cards, socks, games, books and novelties. Even if they don’t have the books you want, they will order and have it delivered to the store that you can pick up. Remember those days ?!

Half Moon Bay bookstore

Oddyssea Art and Craft

This quirky little shop is sure to intrigue with what might seem like an unrelated set of things that you can find at the shop. Interesting art and crafts that make thoughtful and fun gifts can be found here. The best part of visiting the store is their DIY section and workshops and events.

You can make your own sand art, terrarium and other crafts. Even better, they can come to your wedding or birthday party to offer these craft activities. Absolutely worth visiting with kids.

Oddyssea Half Moon Bay downtown

Jail Museum

The old Half Moon Bay Jail (or Spanish Town as it was called back then) was built in 1911. Currently it’s a museum dedicated to the Half Moon Bay area history. Just a block off of Main Street, it’s worth checking out. Crime back in the days must have been really very little for the Jail to be this small ?!

Church at Downtown

Half Moon Bay Community United Methodist Church is a quaint little church one block away from Main Street at Miramontes St.

The chapel is beautiful, with lovely stained glass that pays homage to the church’s Coastside location. I am by no means religious, but if you are in Half Moon Bay downtown, this church is a must visit to just appreciate the stained glasses at the church.

Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Patch Festival

Every year in October, Half Moon Bay comes alive with Pumpkin patch festival with one of the best pumpkin carvings you would have ever seen. Amazing display of sculptures made out of pumpkins, workshop for families, carvings, local art shops, the festival is a must visit in October.

Half Moon Bay Itinerary

My typical day trip to Half Moon Bay would look like this.

Morning: Grab breakfast at Half Moon Bay Bakery with coffee and hit the coastal hiking trail for a stroll followed by dipping the feet wet at the beach. Find out my answer to can you swim at Half Moon Bay ?

Afternoon: Grab a huge lunch and sun bath at the beach or go for a horseback riding in Half Moon Bay.

Late Afternoon: Grab Gelato at Gulino Gelato and go on a sunset Kayaking in Half Moon Bay

Dinner: Wine and cheese followed by dinner.

If time and wallet permits shop for books and clothes.

That would make a perfect day at Half Moon Bay.

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Half Moon Bay downtown