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A Day in Half Moon Bay

With all of the travel and work obligations I've had over the past month-and-a-half, I haven't had the opportunity to explore the Bay Area recently. That changed last weekend, as I headed south to Half Moon Bay with my husband and two of our friends (who are also SF transplants from the south). San Francisco is incredible, don't get me wrong, but there is so much to see all around the Bay Area, and I was thrilled to finally experience Half Moon Bay.

If you're unfamiliar with Half Moon Bay, it's about 45 minutes (sans terrible traffic) south of San Francisco, on the western side of the Bay. It's an adorable town complete with a historic downtown district, charming houses, seafood for days and breathtaking beaches and views. Whether you live in the Bay Area or if you're visiting, hopefully some of our stops pique your interest.

Stop No. 1: Granola's Coffee House

Let's be real: I had to start my day with coffee. A quick Yelp search led me to Granola's, and it did not disappoint. I knew we were going to have mounds and mounds of seafood at lunch, so I didn't want to eat a huge breakfast outside of my banana I had at home, but the shop had some tastings of their incredible chocolate chip cookies, so of course, I got one for breakfast (plus a latte served in their adorable World Market mugs).

Stop No. 2: Downtown shopping district

After coffee, my friend Lindsay and I coerced our husbands into going shopping. Little did they know, one of the boutiques we'd stop in is equipped with wine, coffee and comfy seating for the shopping buddies who would rather be doing other things (read: our husbands).

Crow's Nest basically emulates what I want my apartment to look like. Think World Market meets Anthropologie. The decor was beautiful and the clothes were swoon-worthy. I wanted everything. I even found some pieces by Emily Schuman of Cupcakes and Cashmere. I walked away with a gorgeous BCBG blush top that I can't wait to share soon.

We also stopped by The Olive Crush, and my husband and I picked up some homemade basil garlic pasta and their best-selling olive oil, the Tuscan Herb. We used these ingredients plus shrimp and a cheese blend from Whole Foods to make dinner on Saturday night (correction: my husband made dinner), and it was amazing. We had enough for both of us to eat it for leftovers on Sunday night, which we gladly did.

We also ventured into Half Moon Bay Wine and Cheese, where we purchased a tasty gouda; Abode, where I found another adorable coffee mug to add to my collection; and a pet store where we got to observe baby ducks, chicks and rabbits.

Stop No. 3: The Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay

I wish we could have stayed here for a night (or even for a drink), but a quick walk around The Ritz-Carlton was all we needed. From the golf course, to the terrace restaurant on the cliffs, to the gorgeous crashing waves, it's a must see for anyone passing through HMB.

Stop No. 5: Sam's Chowder House

We were told to expect a wait at Sam's Chowder House, and let me tell you, it was well worth the wait. Not only is the food incredible, it is right on the water, and we requested an outdoor table so we could sit on the deck and bask in the glory of the Pacific coast. I had the grilled prawn salad (after we all shared spicy popcorn shrimp and ceviche), and Logan got the Rockefeller oysters and some chowder. Fantastic choices all around.

After our lunch, we walked down to the beach that was at the foot of the restaurant, and we walked along the water to the dock to see if there was any information on whale watching. We found the right spot, but the weather was not ideal for whale watching on Saturday, so we passed. Next time!

Our final stop was the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve. This spot is ideal on clear, calm days, and Saturday was not clear or calm, but it was still beautiful. Typically, you're able to see a plethora of creatures in their own habitat, but all we saw were some shells and sea anemone (which was totally fine by me and an adorable three-year-old girl who was trying to say "anemone"). We also saw a pack of sea lions, which was insanely surreal. I had never been that close to sea lions in their natural habitat. We'll definitely have to visit this place again on a day that is more ideal for seeing more creatures.

And of course, this post wouldn't be complete without a shout-out to my favorite travel buddy. Thanks for letting me eat your food, drink your drinks, and for sitting through shopping and photo shoots with me. :)

Jacket // Shirt // Jeans // Shoes

Any Half Moon Bay must-dos to add to my list? And I'd love to hear more day trip ideas for the Bay Area. Drop me a comment or email me at!

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