6.6 out of 10

Half Moon Bay

37.4729590077758 -122.442460765999
Great for
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Clean & Green
  • Safe & Sound
  • Neighborly Spirit
  • Peace & Quiet
Not great for
  • Pest Free
  • Public Transport
  • Childcare
  • Cost of Living
  • Medical Facilities
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Beach Lovers
  • Retirees
  • Tourists

Reviews

3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 1/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 1/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 2/5
2yrs+

"Nice Overpriced Beach Town"

Located just to the south of the Pacifica area, Half Moon Bay is a kind of sleepy feeling coastal town far enough out from SF that you feel as if you completely transported from the city, even though you are barely 25 miles away. (Though the main artery in is Highway 1, which even in this relatively straight section is not very commuter friendly. Not to mention this is where Devil’s Slide closes things down a few times a year.)

I am not sure what it would like living in this area. My understanding is that it is pretty expensive to live here (on the North side of $500K), though from my memory of the homes here I am not sure why. Certainly if you were not within rock throwing distance of the beach, I can’t imagine paying that much for the so called $1 million homes I’ve seen in the area. Pretty average in terms of the homes and the architecture themselves.

The one time I actually did make it out here was in high school when my then boyfriend drove me out here for a date at Cetrella—a fancy Mediterranean place. It is a really nice place, has that fancy look and feel to it that you get from the best restaurants in the Bay Area. That is one way you can tell you got a lot of tech millionaires in the area—they can afford to have places like this in a little coastal town that looks like it is half agricultural.

There are some other restaurants and you are actually not that far from either SF or San Jose. It is about 25 minutes to SF and 30 minutes to Palo Alto. So, given the Bay Area traffic, it is about average.

Overall a nice quiet Pacific side coastal town.
Pros
  • Strong Schools
  • Beautiful beaches
  • Quiet, peaceful town
  • Great food
Cons
  • Having City Problems
  • Cool and foggy
  • Very expensive
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Tourists
  • Country Lovers
  • Beach Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 1/5
  • Schools 3/5
2yrs+

"A beach-y getaway"

Half Moon Bay is a nicely kept beach town getaway. It lies on the beautiful San Francisco peninsula, resting between forested hills and the beautiful Pacific Ocean. Moreover, the city is part of the greater San Mateo County, approximately 28 miles from South San Francisco. Its residential quarters are small compared to the amount of land area the city owns and the few commercial attractions are made of a couple restaurants, bed and breakfasts, art galleries and neighborhood shops.

Although small, there is a real sense of community within these residential quarters. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the population is just over 11,000 people. Most residents boast a nice two-story home, but scattered among them are quite a few ugly single-story houses with unkempt yards. Driving along these residential streets, you’ll think of the countryside because of the dusty roads and lack of a modest sidewalk. If you’re looking for a nice quaint neighborhood area, look towards Main Street. Here you’ll find modern homes and attractive front gardens. Most commuters use Highway 1, which runs straight through the city and connects its residents to San Francisco and down the San Francisco peninsula.

Half Moon Bay isn’t just known for its location. The city boasts a handful of beaches and state parks, including Half Moon Bay State Beach, Venice State Beach, Poplar State Beach, San Gregorio State Beach, Pomponio State Beach and Fitzgerald Marine Reserve. During October, the city shuts down Main Street for the Pumpkin Festival. The popular event draws in more than tens of thousands of people each year. People come from far and wide to enjoy the many festivities, art exhibits and arts and crafts. Every Saturday, locals seek out the city’s farmer’s market for a variety of fresh vegetables.

For young families, the Cabrillo Unified School District serves the entire city. The most notable schools of which are Half Moon Bay High School, Cunha Middle School and Hatch Elementary School. Half Moon Bay’s top employer is the Ritz-Carlton, which so happens to be surrounded by a beautiful 18-hole golf course. And for exercise, Half Moon Bay Coastal Trail runs along the edge of the peninsula, providing beautiful panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean.
Pros
  • Beautiful beaches
  • Quiet, peaceful town
Cons
  • Cool and foggy
  • Difficult to get to
  • Very expensive
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Students
  • Beach Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
2yrs+

"Cute Beach Town"

When asked to picture a beach town close to San Francisco, words that come to mind may include "flashy," "ritzy," "high-end," or possibly "expensive." While the latter may be true, the quaint nature of the town prevails over everything else. Any beach town that has a bar with almost as many dogs as humans strikes a different chord than some similar towns down south.

Half Moon Bay Brewery is part of a larger complex situated right on the water, home to many a seafood restaurant, and the quality cannot be beat. The crab-covered cheesy garlic bread is a must-have (which, for the record, isn't what one often says about brewery food).

The homes are lovely but modest-looking, although the price of real estate certainly keeps the population fairly small. While this cost of living can be prohibitive, it also creates a smaller community.

The one down side is how remote this town is, especially given what a populated area it is in. Residents get hit with a combination of Highway 1 traffic and a forty-minute drive over a winding hill in order to get anywhere in Silicon Valley. But generally, most people don't choose to live here so that they can have access to Silicon Valley, with everything else that is immediately available.
Pros
  • Great food
  • Beautiful beaches
  • Quiet, peaceful town
Cons
  • Very expensive
  • Difficult to get to
  • Cool and foggy
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers

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