The Central Coast of Northern California is a blend of breathtaking beauty, outdoor recreation, world-class resorts, and fresh seafood and notable wines. It’s a great place to spend a day, a weekend, or even a week as you explore the Coast from Half Moon Bay to Santa Cruz. As we fly into Half Moon Bay or Watsonville airports, you’ll enjoy beautiful coastal vistas as we cross the foothills separating the Ocean from the Bay. Or we’re happy to include a brief Bay and City Tour, before heading south along Ocean Beach and the coast to your destination.
What to do once you’re there: a picnic on the beach, horseback riding, hiking, window shop, lunch or dinner, pick a pumpkin, explore tide pools, and watch coastal wildlife.
Half Moon Bay
Explore gift shops, antique stores, cafes, and restaurants lining Main Street of Half-Moon Bay. Or go for a horseback ride or a walk on the beach, followed by a lunch of local seafood as you look out over the water. If you’re a golfer, tee up at one of the resort courses high on the bluff overlooking the Pacific at The Ritz-Carlton, HMB, followed by lunch at the hotel’s Conservatory Lounge. And if it’s October, the weather is gorgeous, and the highway is packed, it’s the annual Art & Pumpkin Festival! But who cares about the traffic? You’re flying!
The Pacific Coast
See the tide pools at Fitzgerald Marine Reserve, hike through the redwoods at Big Basin State Park, pick up seashells, visit Pigeon Point Lighthouse (pictured above), stop for a sandwich at the San Gregorio General Store (or stay for the live music on Saturday and Sunday evenings) and, if it’s the right season, check out the elephant seals at Ano Nuevo State Park, or watch world-class surfing at the Mavericks Big Wave surf invitational.
Spend the day at the famous and historic Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, ride the Giant Dipper Roller Coaster or an old fashion carousel, play miniature golf, or stay for a movie or band on the beach in the evening. Santa Cruz is a 20-minute drive (we can arrange your ground transportation) from our landing at the Watsonville Municipal Airport. The Santa Cruz Wharf area has wonderful seafood, boats, and other recreation. Finally, Santa Cruz is home to a great variety of arts, a downtown with shopping, restaurants, music, and beachfront for walking and recreation.
Seasonal and special activities:
October: Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival
December-March: Elephant seal-watching at Ano Nuevo State Park
Winter (depending on wave conditions): Mavericks Big Wave surf invitational
First weekend in May: Pacific Coast Dream Machines Show at Half Moon Bay Airport
Pigeon Point Lighthouse, pictured on this page, is the tallest lighthouse on the west coast and still an active Coast Guard navigation aid.