Half Moon Bay California is charming seaside community located approximately 40 minutes south of San Francisco. It Offers the best of California all in one conveniently located place. Nestled between the Santa Cruz Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, this breathtaking area offers miles of white sandy beaches, redwood forests, beautiful state parks, fields of wild flowers, and trails along ocean bluffs and mountain ridges as far as the eye can see.
This picturesque town offers an enchanting setting perfect for celebrating the holiday season. Located approximately 40 minutes south of San Francisco, this vibrant coastal town is an ideal spot for a festive escape from the hubbub of the city. Get those cheeks nice and rosy on a crisp winter day while taking in the view of the Pacific Ocean from scenic seaside bluffs. Snuggle up together at a cozy inn with hot cider and all the comforts of the holidays at your fingertips. Fields of Christmas trees abound and get everyone in the spirit for festive events including a tree lighting ceremony, a gingerbread house decorating competition and a visit from Santa Claus. Visitors to Half Moon Bay this holiday season are sure to find themselves filled with cheer and happy tidings!
Below is a summary of holiday events and specials in Half Moon Bay. For more information on how to make the most of your stay in Half Moon Bay, visitwww.visithalfmoonbay.org, download Half Moon Bay’s app iCoastside or call (650) 726-8380 for everything needed to plan a trip – from information on cozy inns and luxury coastal resorts, to renowned restaurants, farm visits, golfing, wine tasting, fishing with companies like FKF Charters, whale watching, surfing and much more. Those interested in whale watching california may want to check out the boat trips departing from Newport Beach for great views of the California gray whale. Some of these activities are really fun and should be explored if anyone is visiting this area of California. Some of these fishing companies and others are less known, so they would love customers if possible. Really, the companies that aren’t getting many customers should consider investing in some search engine optimization to try and get more people talking about their services. By contacting a company like Victorious (click for more info), some of these smaller businesses could increase their customer base and receive more website traffic. Hopefully, this would help them to become more popular in their local area, ensuring that more tourists to this area know about them.
Special Note: All locations are in Half Moon Bay unless otherwise noted.
– EVENTS –
Night of Lights December 7, 6 – 9 p.m.
Stroll along Half Moon Bay’s charming Main Street for some old-fashioned holiday spirit filled with carols and treats such as roasted chestnuts and s’mores. A special tree lighting ceremony in Mac Dutra Park will kick off the festivities at 6 p.m., followed by hundreds of children adorned in twinkling lights marching down Main Street in the Parade of Lights at 7 p.m. Main Street. Media Contact: Charise McHugh, (650) 726-8380,firstname.lastname@example.org. Ninth Annual Gingerbread House Competition
November 26 – December 1
Enjoy candy-covered castles and edible cathedrals at the Ninth Annual Gingerbread House Competition held at The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay. Entries for the competition are accepted from children, home cooks and culinary professionals alike. Winners of the competition will be announced on Saturday, December 1 at the Annual Holiday Tree Lighting Celebration. Many of the houses on display will also be up for a silent auction, with proceeds going to Coastside Children’s programs. For additional information or to enter the contest, call (650) 712-7007. One Miramontes Point Road, (650) 712-7000;www.ritzcarlton.com/hmb. Media contact; Steven Holt, (415) 364-3479,email@example.com. Annual Holiday Tree Lighting Celebration December 1, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Guests gather on the Gazebo Lawn at The Ritz-Carlton for a festive holiday celebration that begins with the lighting of the outdoor tree and includes holiday carolers, a visit by Santa Claus and complimentary hot chocolate, apple cider, eggnog and cookies. This event is free and open to the public. One Miramontes Point Road, (650) 712-7000;www.ritzcarlton.com/hmb. Media contact; Steven Holt, (415) 364-3479,firstname.lastname@example.org.
Boat Decorating Contest December 8, 5:30 p.m.
For a treat, head over to Pillar Point Harbor to see the boats adorned with holiday lights and other festive trimmings throughout the month of December. December 8th is the Annual Boat Decorating Contest where the best decked out boat will be chosen. Princeton Seafood Company will hand out hot apple cider and stuffed animals donated by the community, while encouraging others to join together for cheerful caroling. Pillar Point Harbor, #9 Johnson Pier, Princeton-By-The-Sea.
Harley Farms Holiday Faire Hayloft Holiday
December 8 & 9, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
The annual Harley Farms Christmas Faire will double in size and vendors this year for twice the amount of fun. The hay loft will be filled with goodies such as local cakes, jams, chutneys and sauces made by local Pescadero growers. Visitors will also delight in a full cheese counter with fresh Harley Farms cheese cut to order. Across the field in the new barn, shoppers will find beautiful handmade textiles and garden salves, beeswax candles, sea glass jewelry, pottery and more. Even the kids will enjoy this Holiday Faire with hands-on workshops to make custom presents to take home such as a wreath or a candle. 205 North Street, Pescadero, (650) 879-0480,www.harleyfarms.com.
– LOCAL RICHES –
Oh Christmas Tree!
A winter visit to the Christmas tree lots around Half Moon Bay is a cheerful and fun-filled tradition for many families. With lots spread out along Highway 92 and Cabrillo Highway (Rt. 1), visitors can get into the holiday spirit while picking out their own Christmas tree of any variety or size. Below is a selection of local tree farms open to visitors:
A. Repetto Nursery – starting the day after Thanksgiving, visitors can choose from a plethora of Christmas Trees. This farm also has some of the best deals on fresh flowers, ideal for a holiday centerpiece. 12331San Mateo Road, (650) 726-6414.
Creekside Christmas Tree Farm – visitors can pick out their own magnificent White Fir here. With saws and twine available, trees will be available for purchase every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. 12000 La Honda Road, Woodside, CA (650) 747-0560.
Lemos Family Farm – get in the holiday spirit at Lemos Family Farm where there are enough seasonal decorations to make Scrooge smile. Pick out a Douglas Fir, Incense Cedar or a variety of other pines, while the kids enjoy a holiday hay ride, train ride or even a pony ride. Begins the day after Thanksgiving. 12320 San Mateo Road, (650) 726-2342,www.lemosfarm.com.
Santa Claus is Coming to Town!
Head to Santa’s Tree Farm to get into the holiday spirit. On Friday, November 23, Santa’s Tree Farm will open for the holidays, inviting customers to pick out their own Christmas tree. To add to the excitement, this will also be Santa’s first day in town, who will be around for visits from good girls and boys from November 23 through December 16. Be sure to stop by the Sleigh Bells Gift Shop, open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, to pick up festive Christmas decorations. 78 Pilarcitos Creek Road, (650) 342-3772,www.santastreefarm.com.
Yerba Buena Nursery, California’s oldest retail native plant nursery, is home to more than 600 types of California native plants. This spectacular Santa Cruz Mountain farm setting includes a 1905 farmhouse, historic barn and extensive demonstration gardens. This holiday season get into the spirit at a tea lunch featuring a decadent three-course meal served with a special holiday Christmas Blend Tea set in a 100+ year-old farmhouse. The beautiful gardens, nursery and Holiday Shop will all be open before and after tea. Available on December 7 – 9 and 14 – 16. All teas begin at 12:30 p.m.; $45 per person (available for those 12 years and older). Tickets must be purchased in advance. 19500 Skyline Blvd., Woodside, CA 94062; (650) 851-1668,www.yerbabuenanursery.com.
Get ready for a treat at the Half Moon Bay Lodge this holiday season. Throughout the month of December, guests who book a room at the regular rate will be treated to a relaxing complimentary 30-minute foot massage at nearby Cloud 9 Spa. Guests who stay at the Half Moon Bay Lodge for three nights or longer can take 15% off of their room rates. To top it all off, from Thanksgiving throughout December, every room at Half Moon Bay Lodge will be adorned with a gorgeous live tree decorated with holiday lights. 2400 S. Cabrillo Highway, (650) 726-9000,www.halfmoonbaylodge.com. Media Contact: Jennifer Barry, (310) 396-7851,email@example.com.
Ring in the New Year
Landis Shores Oceanfront Inn will help guests ring in the New Year with its 12th Annual Wine Dinner. On New Years Eve, guests can bid farewell to 2012 with an evening of premium wines and champagnes, and a gourmet multi-course dinner. The menu will include mouthwatering items such as fresh corn chowder, filet mignon or fresh Alaskan salmon, twice baked potatoes and a mouthwatering crème brulee dessert. 6:15 p.m.$120 per person. 207 Mirada Road, (650) 726-6642,www.landisshores.com.
Settle down for a long winter’s nap at Harbor View Inn where guests who stay two consecutive nights during the holiday season will enjoy great discount offers. Book a room for two nights and receive 10% off the entire stay, or book a room for three nights and get 15% off the entire stay. The good deals continue when guests enjoy a delicious meal at nearby Flavor, where they will receive a 15% discount on their entire meal, just for showing their room keys when they arrive to the restaurant. 51 Ave Alhambra, (650) 726-2573,www.harborviewinn.net.
Sip on a warm cup of hot apple cider while sitting on a private porch overlooking the California coast when staying at the Ocean View Inn. Or relax to the scent of a warm cranberry candle while sipping on hot chocolate and watching a holiday movie inside a cozy room. With complimentary continental breakfast, WiFi, and premium channels available, the Ocean View Inn is perfect for guests to enjoy a comforting holiday vacation. Fall/winter rates start at $98 per night. 8425 Cabrillo Highway, Montara, CA, 94037, (650) 728-8200,www.oceanviewinnhmb.com.
Deck The Halls
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at The Beach House Hotel. Beginning December 3, this cozy hotel overlooking the ocean will be decorated with sparkling lights, an 18′ Douglass Fir Christmas Tree in the lobby and complimentary apple cider and cookies for all guests. Enjoy the Holiday Wine Hour from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights, complete with California wines and snacks. Starting now, guests who arrive on Friday will receive a $50 savings off all room rates through the New Year.Friday night room rates start at $235. 4100 N. Cabrillo Highway, (650) 712-0220,www.beach-house.com/half-moon-bay-hotels.comMedia Contact: Marje Bennetts, (310) 574-7870,firstname.lastname@example.org.
– SPA –
Twelve Days of Christmas
This holiday season treat yourself to a day at the spa at the luxurious Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay. These amazing spa specials will make for a great present you just can’t pass up for yourself!
Twelve Days of Christmas Massage Series: Sign up for this special and receive any 12 60-minute massages (one for each month of the new year). $1,800 (regular price $2,280). Available by gift card purchase only.
The Very Mia Holiday Gift with Facial Package: Treat yourself to a 60-minute Ritz-Carlton Signature Organic Facial, an eye or lip restoration enhancement, and Clarisonic Mia Sonic Skin Cleanser. $249 (regular price $350).
Sugar, Spice and Everything Nice: Enjoy any of the following specials from November 1 – December 31, 2012.
-The Very Merry Cranberry Body Polish and Moisturizer $165/45 minutes
-The Peppermint Stocking Stuffer Pedicure $110/60 minutes
-Hot Apple Pie A’la Mode Holiday Stress Relief Massage $185/60 minutes
Give the Gift of Relaxation
Pamper your loved ones this holiday season with a special treat from Bamboo Body + Soul, where massage therapist Darla Donovan is offering three great holiday specials. Through the end of the year, guests can book three massage packages for a great rate. Get three 60 minute massages for $200 (regular price $85 per massage), three 90 minute massages for $300 (regular price $120 per massage), or three 90 minute prenatal massages for $250 (regular price $100 per massage). Take advantage of these deals for yourself, or give the gift of relaxation for someone special. 799 Main Street, Suite B, (650)740-3978,www.massagebydarla.com.
– SHOPPING –
Shopping Tour Guides
This December, take a behind the scenes shopping tour with Half Moon Bay Coastside Tours. Visit establishments not open to the general public and get insider tips on finding unique shops. This tour is perfect for the shopper who is tired of buying online and fighting crowded malls. Half Moon Bay Coastside Tours will personally guide shoppers to help them find truly special presents this gift-giving season. $50 per person or $75 per couple. 225 Cabrillo Hwy South, (650) 720-050,www.hmbcoastsidetours.com.
Main Street Goldworks is celebrating more than just the holidays this year. In honor of their 25th anniversary, customers will enjoy a “25% Off Thank You Sale.” Through December, a large selection of gold, platinum, gemstone and diamond jewelry will be available, just in time for the holiday season. 542 Main Street, (650) 726-2546,www.mainstreetgoldworks.com.
Toque Blanche Friday
Black Friday is just around the corner, and Toque Blanche is just as excited as the shoppers. To kick things off, the first 20 shoppers will receive 20% off of any purchase. Toque Blanche will have free coffee and espresso on hand to help those early risers get through the day. Shoppers can also take advantage of fun promotions that will change throughout the day, including 20% off anything red from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., and 20% off anything green from 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. (limit one item per customer). Shoppers can also taste delicious crepes, and enter a drawing to win their very own crepe maker. 604 Main Street, (650) 726-6559,www.MyToque.com.
– WINERIES –
Join Barterra Winery during Night of Lights on December 7 to enjoy great wine, live music and holiday specials. Forget the eggnog; spend the holidays sipping on award-winning wines this holiday season. Barterra Winery is offering a 15% discount on any orders of six or more bottles, including their two-time double gold medal winning 2009 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. 643 Main Street, (650) 712-1635,www.barterrawines.com.
– CULINARY NEWS –
There are plenty of reasons to celebrate this season, and The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay is packed with holiday festivities:
Thanksgiving Harvest Brunch and Dinner – From 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., enjoy brunch in the beautiful ballroom with traditional fare and live music for a delightful Thanksgiving experience. Be careful not to overdo it, as The Ritz-Carlton’s acclaimed restaurant Navio will be serving a five-course menu from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. In addition, guests will receive a bag of homemade pumpkin sweets to take home. Harvest Brunch: $115 per guest, plus tax and gratuity, $58 for children ages five to 12, complimentary for children four and under; Thanksgiving Dinner: $122 per guest, plus tax and gratuity.
Christmas Eve Brunch and Dinner – Enjoy Christmas Eve brunch with Santa and Mrs. Clause before they whisk off for the night! Brunch will be served from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. with a delicious traditional menu. On Christmas Eve guests can enjoy a special four-course meal or dine a la carte with family and friends from 4 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. Brunch: $48 per guest, plus tax and gratuity; Dinner: $122 per guest, plus tax and gratuity.
Christmas Day Brunch and Dinner – After a night of sugar plums dancing in their heads, guests can indulge in a selection of savory delights and exquisite pastries, all while enjoying live Christmas entertainment in the stunning ballroom. This family friendly brunch will be served from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Finish off a long day celebrating the holiday with a relaxing five-course prix-fixe menu from 5 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. while overlooking the magnificent Pacific Coastline in Navio restaurant. Brunch: $115 per guest, plus tax and gratuity; $58 for children ages five to 12, complimentary for children four and under; Dinner: $128 per guest, plus tax and gratuity.
New Year’s Eve – Bid adieu to 2012 with an early four-course prix-fixe dinner at 5:30 p.m., which allows guests plenty of time to move on to their New Year’s Eve parties. However, for those who would like to ring in the New Year with The Ritz-Carlton, enjoy the later dinner at 8:30 p.m. featuring a festive five-course menu including caviar and champagne at midnight. Guests can also ring in the New Year with a festive four-course lobster dinner in the Observatory. There’s no reason for the kids to feel left out this holiday. At the “Ritz Kids New Year’s Eve Party,” children can enjoy a fun-filled party with movies, games, kid’s buffet and a countdown complete with party hats, noisemakers, a balloon drop and a toast of sparkling apple cider. Navio dinner, early seating: $135 per guest plus tax and gratuity; $68 for children ages five to 12, complimentary for children four and under; Navio dinner, 8:30 seating: $238 per guest, plus tax and gratuity; Lobster dinner: $195per guest, plus tax and gratuity; Kids New Year’s Eve Party: $110 per child, each additional sibling receives a $20 discount.
New Year’s Day – Enjoy the first breakfast of the year with a little “hair of the dog” during Navio’s acclaimed brunch, complete with a mimosa bar served at 9:30 a.m., 12 p.m., and 2:30 p.m. $125 per guest, plus tax and gratuity; $63 for children ages five to 12, complimentary for children four and under.
Poppy’s Crab Shack
Just in time for the holidays (and Dungeness crab season), Poppy’s Crab Shack will open its doors for business on November 15. As the Coastside’s first mobile crab shack, Poppy’s will offer delicious Dungeness crab sandwiches and whole steamed Dungeness crab fresh off the boat. For those families who make crab a special holiday tradition, Poppy’s Crab Shack is offering a holiday season special from November 15-January 1 where those who order five or more crabs can get them for $15 each (normally $17 each), and five or more crab rolls will be available for $12 each (normally $14 each). Guests can also plan ahead with the option to pre-order their crab online. (650) 346-5416,www.poppyscrabshack.com. Deck the Distillery
The holidays are in full swing this season at Moss Beach Distillery where guests can enjoy a full dinner menu as well as a traditional turkey dinner and a pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. On January 1, celebrate the New Year with a special brunch menu. For those who wish to spend the night in Half Moon Bay this holiday season, Moss Beach Distillery is partnering with nearby Half Moon Bay Lodge where guests can book discounted rooms and receive a gift certificate and free drink coupons to use towards dinner at the Moss Beach Distillery. 140 Beach Way, Moss Beach, (650) 728-0220,www.mossbeachdistillery.com. Media Contact: Melissa Vega,Sukimouse@sbcglobal.net.
– ARTS & CRAFTS –
Holiday Art Walk
On Sunday, December 9 from 2– 5 p.m., the Half Moon Bay South Main Arts (HMB SOMA Arts) invites everyone to enjoy a leisurely stroll down Main Street, discovering a wealth of art treasures and taking care of any last minute gift shopping during the Holiday Art Walk. Comprised of the art galleries, studios and other related shops in the 600-800 blocks of Main Street, HMB SOMA Arts will display beautiful art and unique gifts, such as original artwork, handcrafted jewelry and clothing, furniture and so much more. Various locations from 604 Main Street to 840 Main Street,www.hmbsomaarts.org.
Local dance studio, The Shely Pack Dancers, boast some of the best performers in the Bay Area. On December 19 & 20, they will be performing their production of “The Nutcracker,” starring JP Viernes of “Billy Elliot” fame. With months of preparation coming to an end, this production is sure to delight audiences of all ages. To purchase tickets call (650) 726-7811 or visitwww.shelypackdancers.com. Performances are held at Skyline College, 3300 College Drive, San Bruno, CA, 94066.
A Christmas Story
The Coastal Repertory Theater is bringing good ole’ Ralphie Parker to Half Moon Bay. From November 16 through December 16, audiences can sit back and enjoy “A Christmas Story” as Ralphie yearns for a Red Ryder BB gun. This cheery holiday show will amuse the audience with memorable scenes involving bunny pajamas and a lusty leg lamp. 1167 Main Street, (650) 726-0998,www.coastalrep.com.