Half Moon Bay, California


Pigeon Point Lighthouse
Pigeon Point Lighthouse
Downtown Half Moon Bay
Downtown Half Moon Bay
Lemos Farm
Lemos Farm
Sea Horse Ranch
Sea Horse Ranch



Sunny Days: 259
68100 Affordability
85100 Schools
55100 Diversity
86100 Safety

You ever see something, and you think that's the reason you're put on this earth?

  • Frosty Hesson / Mavericks Big Wave

The Best Thing About Half Moon Bay?

The Pacific Ocean

If you’re considering Half Moon Bay it better be due to proximity to the Pacific. There are very few places on the west coast with better views of and better access to the ocean. On the daily you will be seeing views and experiencing coastal life that the rest of the world can only dream of.

The Worst Thing About Half Moon Bay?

The Commute

One of Half Moon Bay’s charms is its isolation over the mountains, woods and state parks from the madness of the bay side of the bay area. The roads that take you across the wilderness to the tech scene of the valley and the rest of the population are pretty small and they stack up during commute hours. While some locals will argue that if you leave extremely early and come home very early you can avoid it we’d generally recommend avoiding living here if you have to commute daily into a tech biz on 101.

Lifestyle of Half Moon Bay

The lifestyle of Half Moon Bay begins and ends with experiencing the great outdoors of the coast. Many locals will wake up for a morning surf at Ross Cove, Montara, or for the bravest, Mavericks. This is a surfing paradise and grownups and local kiddos start early. If surfing is a bit beyond your reach then you’re likely to head to Princeton Harbor to rent a kayak or head to Fitzgerald Preserve to hang with the sea lions. Biking, hiking and beach play are seriously a daily option here so if you’re into the great outdoors you can hardly pick a better city.
A nice bonus on top of the great outdoors is the fact Half Moon Bay has a nice little downtown area with casual dinings at places like Sacrilege Brewery, or Barbara’s Fish Trap or get a bit fancier for Italian Fare at Mezzaluna or Mediterranean at Ciya. Add to these the cafes (and even a Boba place) and boutique shopping and there’s a fair amount to keep you busy when you’re happy to stay local. One side option: one of our absolute favorite ways to spend an afternoon is heading up the coast just a few miles to Moss Beach Distillery. Seriously you cannot beat an afternoon cocktail watching the sun come down over the ocean from the adirondack chairs in front of a fire pit.

Schools in Half Moon Bay

The north side of HMB is governed by the Cabrillo Unified School District, which scores a B+ on niche.com and La Honda/Pescadero School District which scores a B on niche.com. Kings Mountain Elementary and Half Moon Bay High School both score A’s on niche so if you’re picky about these standardized scores keep an eye out for where your neighborhood is zoned.

Why You Should Move Here Now?

Work-From-Home Heaven

Look, if you can work from home and want to live in one of the most beautiful towns on the entire planet (and you can afford the area) then Half Moon Bay is worth the look. The commute can be a bear and there is fog but regardless this is a bit of west coast heaven.

Neighborhoods in Half Moon Bay

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Ocean Colony

If you want to get fancy in your neighborhood living then check out Ocean Colony. Built around the Half Moon Bay Golf Links, near the Ritz Carlton, it’s a gated community with luxury homes on big lots and community-building amenities as part of the neighborhood. Residents can enjoy membership at the Colony Club which offers sauna-equipped spas, lighted tennis courts, a heated indoor pool, and fitness center with group classes. The homes have spectacular ocean views and incredible manicured lawns leading to the water. Home prices are typically north of $3m and are only occasionally available.


Westside is an area of Half Moon Bay that includes popular neighborhoods like Alsace Lorraine and Arleta Park. They’re right at the middle point of Half Moon Bay’s namesake crescent-shaped cove and as such offer walkability to downtown shops and restaurants. You also get the benefit of direct access to the oceanfront Coastal Trail, and easy access to beaches such as the spectacular Fitzgerald Marine Reserve. If you want to live in HMB and enjoy the ocean but also be near the “social scene” such as it is, then check out Westside. Arleta Park residents think of Poplar Beach as their own, since it is in their front yard and is actively managed by the city of Half Moon Bay. This area is popular with families who love the big sidewalks, tree-lined streets and interesting mix of older/smaller cottages and bigger newer construction craftsman and Victorians. Home prices are pricey at a median just north of $2m.

Pillar Point Harbor

It’s hard not to think you’re on the east coast when living in or visiting Pillar Point Harbor. The seaside hamlet is filled with fishing boats coming in and out of the docs and the waterfront restaurants serve the daily fare caught on the ocean. You get wonderful ocean views and breezes and a constant visual of beaches and surfers that gives a stronger hint of the fact you are on the west coast!

While living here gives you direct access to the commercial district of the piers you also are just off Pillar Point Beach, home to the world-famous Mavericks surf break so expect the neighborhood to have some hardcore outdoor vibes. Homes here vary wildly between old-school small surfer cottages to bigger and newer 4-5 bedroom homes. There are also some condo/apartment options for those looking to rent or buy smaller places. The median home price is just north of $1.5m so you can get into the area for less here than most of the rest of the Half Moon Bay area.