I love visiting little towns with locally owned stores, a good restaurant or two and some street art when I go on vacation. We hit the bullseye with Half Moon Bay. It had all that and was close to the ocean. Charming.
When we were there in April it wasn’t overfilled with tourists and I saw no sign of fudge shops (something you see in Michigan resort towns), but I’m sure there were some quirky things we didn’t notice that irritate the locals.
Located about 30 miles south of San Francisco, its a great little get-a-way populated with full time locals, people with weekend homes and visitors like us. Nice mix. Fun. It’s between the Pacific Coast and forested hills. I haven’t been up and down California in years, but I can’t imagine that the coast line can get much better.
According to Wikipedia, Spanishtown, or Half Moon Bay as it is now called, is perhaps the oldest settlement in San Mateo County, dating back to the 1840s. For thousands of years, the land was inhabited by Costanoan Indians.
It attracted a thriving fishing industry and then during the Prohibition “rum runners” took advantage of dense fog and hidden coves in the area to serve a number of roadhouses and inns, some of which operate today as restaurants.
Real growth in the area came after World War II with the construction of numerous subdivisions, eventually leading to the incorporation of Half Moon Bay in 1959. The city preserves a charming downtown district which includes historic buildings dating as far back as 1869.
Probably the most interesting recent controversy was over building of a massive Ritz-Carlton right on the coast. Originally an unassuming town of folks whose ancestors were fishermen, ship builders, and farmers, the influx of the wealthy folks from Silicone Valley changed things. Hopefully the pace of change will be slow and the life along the coast preserved.
Here are some images from my four days in the Half Moon Bay area. For more go to last week’s blog post about the area.