One Trip, Two Cities: San Francisco and Half Moon Bay
The tech-driven metropolis and the quaint hamlet are the quintessential yin and yang of California. Connected by the stunning Highway 1 that traces the Pacific Ocean, they may appear to be a world apart, but they share the laid-back attitude and ingredient-driven cuisine that make the Golden State so wonderful. The best part? They’re less than an hour away from each other.
VIEWS TO REMEMBER
Half Moon Bay: Coastside Trail
Put on sturdy hiking boots or go local in a pair of flip-flops. No matter your footwear, you’ll be treated to sweeping sea views and access to sandy beaches when you walk parallel to the ocean on the Coastside Trail. Among the salt-tinged shrubbery, bird lovers will spot blue herons, red-tailed hawks and other winged visitors.
San Francisco: Filbert Street Steps
Few things exemplify San Francisco’s quirkiness like the Filbert Street Steps, which bring together an art deco tower, wild parrots and wooden cottages in the heart of the city. Walk up the steep Telegraph Hill from Levi’s Plaza (yes, as in the denim brand born in San Francisco) and the street turns into a series of stairways cutting through intimate gardens. Alongside you’ll be treated to views of San Francisco Bay unfurling beyond the high-rises.
BAKERIES & SWEETS
Half Moon Bay: Sweet55
Hailing from Switzerland, Ursula Schnyder traded in her press badge as a journalist to retrain at the San Francisco Baking Institute. After internships in her homeland, she opened Sweet55, an expansive confectionary workshop and a cozy boutique where you can indulge your sweet tooth with delectable truffles and chocolate bars made from a dozen different single-source cacao beans. The pastries — Linzer tortes, pear-frangipane tarts, nut croissants — look exquisite too. 225 S. Cabrillo Highway, Suite 104C, sweet55.com
San Francisco: B. Patisserie and Jane the Bakery
Though synonymous with sourdough, San Francisco is more than the sum of its fermented loaves. There is a surfeit of excellent bakeries garnering national fame, but B. Patisserie (2821 California St., bpatisserie.com) in stately Pacific Heights stands out with its 2018 James Beard Award for Outstanding Baker. Don’t miss the gooey perfection of the kouign amann, the satisfying ham-and-cheese tartine, and the flaky croissant with its harmony of chocolate, banana and almond. Meanwhile, Jane the Bakery (1881 Geary Blvd., itsjane.com) serves beautifully laminated pastries as well as hearty bread you can buy by not only loaves but also quarters — so you can enjoy it at its freshest. And if you’re hankering for that San Francisco treat, drop in on a weekend morning for the coveted chocolate sourdough.
Half Moon Bay: Half Moon Bay Brewing Company
Huddle around a fire pit while watching the sun dip into the sea at the town’s namesake brewery. Half Moon Bay Brewing Company offers internationally inspired ales alongside locally specific drinks like the brut, a Bay Area-style IPA that’s effervescent like champagne yet without the sugary taste of bubbly. 390 Capistrano Road, hmbbrewingco.com
San Francisco: Magnolia Brewing
The hometown beer-maker Magnolia Brewing just unveiled its updated gastropub in September in Dogpatch, the up-and-coming district where warehouses have become art galleries and design studios. Enjoy a diverse assortment of drinks like airy-light kölsch and zesty Meyer lemon-and-cucumber IPA on the loading dock repurposed as a beer garden. And don’t forget to indulge in satisfying bar grub with heathy Californian twists, like chicory salad with crispy quinoa and smoked trout croquettes. 2505 Third St., magnoliabrewing.com
Half Moon Bay: Main Street
The relaxed Main Street is chockablock with adorable restaurants and historic homes, but shopping is its biggest draw. Browse through stylish indie fashion at Crow’s Nest (406 Main St., crowsnesthmb.com), pick up a bottle or two of local wines from nearby Santa Cruz wine region at Half Moon Bay Wine and Cheese (421 Main St., hmbwineandcheese.com) and browse dog-eared books at the gift store Paper Crane (412 Main St., papercranehmb.com).
San Francisco: Hayes Street
From the luxe yet street-smart women’s and men’s wear at Rand + Statler (425 Hayes St., randandstatler.com) to the effortlessly timeless garments at Dish (541 Hayes St., dishboutique.com) to the laid-back yet upscale accessories at Reliquary (544 Hayes St., reliquarysf.com), Hayes Street might just be San Francisco’s most stylish shopping street. And if you’re outfitting your home, don’t skip the light-flooded space of Maker & Moss (364 Hayes St., makerandmoss.com) and aptly named Minimal (364 Hayes St., minimal.com) that can turn any house into an architecture magazine-worthy space.