Half Moon Bay is a quaint, small town in the middle of San Mateo County’s Pacific Coast side. One of the oldest communities in the county, Half Moon Bay grew out of a farm town whose residents cultivated flowers, artichokes, cabbages, sprouts and pumpkins. Agriculture is still an important part of Half Moon Bay’s economy and the area is now known as the pumpkin capital of the world. The Half Moon Bay Art and Pumpkin Festival and the World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off attract over 100,000 visitors. The Pacific Coast Dream Machines Show, taking place at the Half Moon Bay Airport, displays over 2,000 antique, vintage, classic, custom and exotic motorized mechanical wonders. The world-famous courses at Half Moon Bay Golf Links overlook the Pacific Ocean. Downtown Half Moon Bay has evolved into a charming blend of quaint bed and breakfast inns, antique stores, upscale shops, and restaurants specializing in locally-grown vegetables and freshly-caught seafood.
In addition to Half Moon Bay, the Coastside has several small cities, each with its own distinct characteristics: Pacifica, Montara, Moss Beach (the site of the famous Moss Beach Distillery and the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve), El Granada, Princeton-by-the-Sea (known for great fishing from Pillar Point Harbor and the wonderful restaurants and shops which surround it), San Gregorio (location of the historic San Gregorio Store), Pescadero (famous for its proximity to the Pescadero Marsh, the Pigeon Point Lighthouse and the Ano Nuevo Elephant Seal Preserve), and La Honda.