Half Moon Bay, So Many Choices and So Much Beauty by Carmel L. Mooney

For complete privacy and serenity, yet the perfect central hub from which to enjoy your visit of Half Moon Bay, stay at the Inn at Maverick’s. There guests savor unsurpassed views of the bay and harbor. This sensual experience of sounds, smells, and utter tranquility will undoubtedly quiet the soul and revive the spirit.

This beautiful little boutique inn overlooking the bay is nicely appointed and relaxing beyond measure. The gentle drone of the distant fog horn will lull you to sleep along with the gulls and the seals. Fine quality linens, high-end toiletries, ample complimentary snacks in a basket, cozy outdoor fire pits and decks along with dog friendly treats and pooch amenities make this a special place to lay your head by the bay. The lovely suites all include wireless Internet, ice, DVD use, binoculars for watching sea life, complimentary access to a local gym, and private fireplaces.

The only downside about the Inn at Maverick’s will certainly be the temptation to forgo your entire agenda to simply soak in the ambiance of the Inn. But with downtown and the docks only a couple of blocks away, you will probably eventually be lured to explore and experience all that Half Moon Bay has to offer a few steps away.

One such gem is The Half Moon Bay Brewing Company where some of the state’s best beers reside and world class surfers from around the world congregate for the outstanding cuisine, the eclectic beer and some of the world’s best waves nearby at the annual Maverick event.
Highly talented and passionate Chef Gaston Alfaro’s Yucatan-Asian influenced cuisine is truly remarkable and will entice any couple to return on their next visit, regardless of the surf. Brewmasters display not only their talents but also their creativity and passion in each and every hand crafted beer product.

Delightful seafood dishes, savory sauces, tantalizing salads and painstakingly homemade from scratch gourmet desserts are enjoyed by all ages in this fun, surf side locals’ eatery overlooking the bay. Great beer and astoundingly excellent fare marry perfectly in this establishment where the food is impeccable yet the ambiance is relaxed and casual both in the dining room and out on the heated patio which, by the way, is a favorite for those traveling with pets.

Some of our favorites were the Bootlegger’s Brown Ale, Belgium Dubbel, Princeton By the Sea IPA, Maverick’s Amber Ale, and Pinot Barrel Quadrupel, a Belgian style “quad” aged in Pinot Noir barrels. They also have several seasonal Ports, Stouts and Ales and a half dozen beers on tap. The homemade won tons and chips with Yucatan Ceviche with mango salsa was to die for, as was the satisfying and impeccable Portuguese Fisherman’s Stew chock full of fresh catch, shellfish, and linguica. It was oozing with garlic and saffron and cilantro. We loved the Beeramisu made just like it sounds as a Tiramisu but with stout–Unbelievable goodness!

Right by the harbor you’ll find Half Moon Bay Kayak: an excellent way to get the perspective from the water. After donning our wetsuits and life jackets we enjoyed a tandem ocean kayak excursion where we saw cormorants, seals, sea lions and beach fowl as we paddled around the safely sheltered harbor and bay. We even took the time to paddle out to the front of our abode at the Inn at Maverick’s to catch a glimpse from the sea up to the land right where we had peacefully slumbered just hours before. All the equipment is meticulously maintained by Proprietor Doug Connor and his crew at Half Moon Bay Kayak, and the professionals there are more than capable of teaching you whatever you need to know to feel confident, safe and adventurous no matter your age or skill level.

Heading down the coast a bit from the harbor, more gems are glistening and waiting to be discovered.

With its unique British food and hundreds of unusual collectibles and eclectic conversation pieces from locals and celebrities alike, Cameron’s Restaurant Pub and Inn is a must do Half Moon Bay experience for either a meal or snack and to take in the ambiance of yet another San Mateo County classic. They even have a British import shop with novelties to intrigue their patrons.
A special dog dining patio, the world’s first outside double-decker smoking buses, and new RV park are just a few treasures at Cameron’s worth a second look.
Cameron Palmer is an entrepreneur who started with a beer can collection and a dream and now boasts amazing collections of pub style artifacts and remarkable food. Specialties like Bangers and Mash, pastries, pizza, imported European sausages, Fish and Chips and Brussels Sprouts are only a few of the many signature items worth experiencing and raving about. Don’t forgo the delicious desserts and famous sundaes. It may sound trivial but everything is delicious and bountiful at Cameron’s right down to the garnish bar where you’ll find fresh crunchy pickles and kraut and dozens of sauces and condiments for whatever suits your fancy.
The place is fun, unique, hip and oh so unique. Cameron has a new addition next to the pub. His Half Moon Bay RV Park & Campground now offers RVing and camping travelers a great location where wonderful food is just a few steps away, He even offers rooms at the Pub and Inn so groups and multi-generational travelers can RV and stay at the inn at the same time while experiencing the best of both worlds within their group together. You have to experience this fun and lively pub or your visit to the area is not complete. As Cameron states in his wonderful book, Cameron’s Inn, about his journey, “ When I first started in the restaurant business some twenty-plus years ago, my primary goals were not to feed thousands of people or make buckets of money. Instead I wanted to create an enjoyable experience and memory for the entire family on every visit.”


A little further South more treasures lie. Don’t miss them.


The Half Moon Bay Golf Links offers two beautiful yet completely different and varied golf courses. One is a more historic links style course offering unparalleled views of the Pacific Ocean and the other meanders through majestic cypress and pine trees finishing with a spectacular ocean view of the cliffs, surf and of the Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay.

In the Clubhouse, Mullins Bar and Grill offers three lovely meals a day with astounding views. The Ocean Course has yielded accolades from Golf For Women. The Old Course has garnered prestigious compliments from Golf Digest and Business Week particularly for its awe inspiring 18th hole played south along a dramatic cliff overlooking the water’s edge and rugged coastline.

These unforgettable and challenging golf courses have been ranked #18 in Golf Digest’s prestigious ranking of the “Best Golf Courses in North America,” and this is the highest ranking in the San Francisco Bay Area as well. They are a delight to see and even bigger delight to play. Carve out half a day for an unforgettable golfing experience of class and luxury. Gorgeous vistas, breath taking cliffs and sea life, gorgeous homes, sumptuous dining and lavish accommodations are just a few things you will find while golfing at the Half Moon Bay Golf Links.

Perhaps before or after golf, horseback riding, kayaking or cycling along the coastal paradise of Half Moon Bay, you may decide that dining deck side next to a blazing bonfire overlooking the sea sounds sounds enticing. If so, then legendary Sam’s Chowder House is in order.
Every painstakingly homemade sauce, salad, entree, and dessert is bursting with freshness. They are even famous for and have won numerous awards for their unique lobster rolls that are better than the Maine version. Elegance and casual dining weave together to create a relaxed atmosphere where homemade and freshly prepared specialties like various clam chowders, stews, fresh oyster bar, seafood platters fit for a king of the freshest quality along with delectable local produce desserts all tempt and please.
We loved the Captain’s Platter full of ceviche, clams, oysters, shrimp and more. It was a treat and pinnacle of the meal. The clam chowder was savory and delicious made with real tasty broth not thickened by flour. The Oyster Stew with bacon, herbs, brandy and cream was terrific. And the key lime pie was some of the best ever. They have a wonderful and varied kids’ menu and Children’s portions of their Side Dishes are also available for $4.

Half Moon Bay and its environs have a history richly steeped in the Coastal Indians, famous Spanish explorers, prohibition and Canadian rum runners. Today the same rich area draws explorers of another type in search of fine wines, culinary delights, outdoor adventures, prize winning pumpkins, wines and cheeses and so much more. The treasures of Half Moon Bay may have changed over the decades, but the magic still brings explorers back in these modern times, finding a different beauty and experience and carving out a little of their own special history on this rugged and magnificent portion of the California Coast.