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Half Moon Bay State Beach
95 Kelly Ave, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019

At the Half Moon Bay State Beach, visitors can camp, fish, swim, surf and even try horseback riding on the trailMore above the beach. Located west of Highway 1, the four-mile beach has three parking lots that each give access to a different section: Francis Beach, Venice Beach and Dunes Beach. During weekends and holidays, a lifeguard is on duty.

A visitor center is open on weekends. Campers should make advance reservations by contacting Reserve America at 1-800-444-PARK (7275), or online at www.reserveamerica.com.  Fires, fireworks and dogs are not allowed on the beach at any time.

For those who don't want to leave Fido behind -- or would like to have the beach experience without getting sand between their toes --  it's possible to catch panoramic views from the picnic tables and the campgrounds.

Another option is walking, biking or running along the Coastside Trail, which overlooks the waves for an additional three-mile stretch. There's a generous smattering of benches, too. But be careful before setting out that picnic spread: Low-flying seagulls are plentiful.

Coastside Trail
Balboa Blvd & Kelly Ave, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019

The Coastside Trail is a six-mile paved road accessible to walkers, bikers and runners. The trail stretches fromMore Pillar Point Harbor in Princeton-by-the-Sea to a block away from the intersection of Poplar Avenue and Railroad Avenue in Half Moon Bay. Among the most popular stretches of the trail is the segment that offers panoramic views from above the waves of Half Moon Bay State Beach.

But don't get too transfixed by the water — the trail is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna including California poppies, lupines, rabbits and mice. Sparrows and seagulls are also common.

Los Ninos Nursery School
20 Kelly Ave, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019

Tom Whiting, the school's founder, emphasizes that the philosophy and curriculum of Los Ninos Nursery School areMore based on the interests and needs of young children and not based on their family's child care needs. Located at the edge of Half Moon Bay State Beach and the Coastside Trail, the school operates out of a converted house and has an outdoor play area that looks out onto an open field. The school publishes a monthly newsletter that can be downloaded from their website.

The school has been open since 1974 and has an open door policy -- meaning that visitors are welcome to drop by without an appointment. Whiting says that he has had many former students at Los Ninos come back and enroll their own children as well.

Coastside Land Trust
788 Main St, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019

The Coastside Land Trust is a nonprofit group working to preserve and protect what it calls "environmentallyMore significant" land on the San Mateo County Coast. Projects range from hands-on beach and open space cleanups to working with state and local government agencies to acquire private land for preservation and public enjoyment, such as the areas surrounding the Coastside Trail, Pilarcitos Creek and Frenchman's Creek.


The Bike Works
520 Kelly St, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019

Located in a historic building, The Bike Works is a family-owned bike shop that was founded in 1997.  It sellsMore mountain and road bikes and beach cruisers, including many top shelf brands such as Santa Cruz, Pinarello, Intent and Yeti. The Bike Shop's reputation is built on its high-end mountain bike department and custom bikes, plus its full-service repair department. The store has an extensive line of bike accessories, including helmets, gloves, shoes, clothing and sunglasses by Spy+ and Vonzipper. For a fun ride, rent a bike and cycle down to the nearby Half Moon Bay State Beach and Coastal Trail. Upstairs in the skateboard showroom is a complete range of park boards, street boards and long boards featuring brands such as Think, Spitfire and Element.


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