Main Street in Half Moon Bay
A seaside escape 30 miles south of San Francisco, Half Moon Bay gets by on the old-town charm and carefree spirit of its historic Main Street.
Lined with turn-of-the-20th-century buildings brightened with colorful murals, Main Street is the heart and soul of the hamlet of Half Moon Bay. Stroll down the tree-dotted sidewalk alongside surfers and bicyclists for a small-town taste of California dreamin’, steps away from the dramatic Pacific Coast.
Even if you’re not planning on picking up bales of alfalfa hay, you’ll find plenty to love about the rustic farm equipment emporium Half Moon Bay Feed & Fuel (331 Main St., halfmoonbay-feedandfuel.com). Get outfitted for your Wild West sojourn with leather saddles, paddock boots and riding pants — or simply browse the egg-laying hens and fuzzy rabbits inside this barnlike shop, which has been around since 1911.
On the next block, settle inside the atmospheric Half Moon Bay Wine and Cheese (421 Main St., hmbwineandcheese.com) to sample vintages from California and beyond. Drawing from the extensive collection, the sommelier on call offers 60 different wines to choose from by the glass. In addition to the tastings, which begin at 10:30 each morning, this oenophiles’ temple offers edible souvenirs like Cowgirl Creamery’s bold Red Hawk triple cream cheese and Brussels sprouts preserved in tangy brine by Santa Barbara’s Pacific Pickle Works.
The worldly purveyor of home goods Abode (417 Main St., abodehalfmoonbay.com), which curates gorgeously handmade items like an antique work bench from Hungary and weather-beaten wooden buckets from China, complements the breezy coastal décor shop West Main (416 Main St., westmainhome.com) across the street, where you’ll find snuggly wool throws, copper cocktail shakers and gold spike necklaces by local jeweler Quinn Sharp.
Next door, the stationery shop Paper Crane (412 Main St., papercranehmb.com) stocks notebooks, fountain pens, origami paper, greeting cards and unmistakably Northern Californian gifts like Sonoma County lavender lotion. Pick up a satchel of dried eucalyptus leaves for a refreshing reminder of the Pacific’s scents.
Indie clothing boutique Crow’s Nest (406 Main St., crowsnesthmb.com) champions sophisticated accessories and timeless threads for women, with items like diaphanous sundresses by Misa and comfy-chic chemises by Rails, as well as charm bracelets by local jeweler Kris Nations.
Round up your Half Moon Bay treasure hunt at Oddyssea (617 Main St., oddyssea.com), an interactive playground for the young and the young at heart. The showroom features DIY science experiment kits, while the outdoor garden is chock-full of activities like an oversize marble run, touted to be the world’s largest. On your way out, you may want to consult the vintage Zoltar fortune-teller machine. It will likely tell you that a return trip to Half Moon Bay is in your future.