Named for its crescent-shaped harbor just north of the old town, the Northern California hamlet of Half Moon Bay is a year-round destination. Lovers of nature and romance visit, as do devotees of big wave surf. Don your sweaters and caps as this quirky retro community – located just under 30mi (48km) south of San Francisco on the scenic Pacific Coast Highway – is often socked in by magical fog clinging to the region’s landmark cypress trees. Stay close to the action in one of these great hotels in Half Moon Bay – bookable on Culture Trip.
Perched atop a secluded bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, this Forbes Five-Star resort is a destination for romance, retreat and recreation. You’ll be steps from a walk on the beach, minutes from miles of scenic cycle paths, welcome on the tennis court and challenged when golfing aside the sea — one course being Arthur Hill’s Scottish links. Close out your day with sunset while wrapped in a blanket next to your sweetie and a private outdoor fire pit.
White-washed seaport style fills this luxury property overlooking eclectic Half Moon Bay Harbor. Put your feet up while reclining on a private veranda – with a local brew to accompany. Once your room’s fireplace is dancing, order for pick-up. Just opposite is Barbara’s Fishstrap, whose clam strips and corn fritters have been satiating locals and visitors for decades. To ease your travel to Northern California, the concierge services can bundle golf, dining and weekender packages just the way you wish.
With unobstructed Pacific Ocean views and sand dunes right out your window, this property – with a weathered exterior reminiscent of New England beach cottages – encourages guests to spread out in the over 400sqft (37sqm) rooms. The calming décor may keep you lingering indoors by the hearth – simply add a bottle of wine and lobster rolls or cioppino take-out from Sam’s Chowder House. Down comforters and pillows, cozy robes, a tub plus shower? This may be better than home.
No cookie-cutter accommodations at this 18-guest venue – each room has its own seaside personality. Calm and quiet exist within two weathered wood buildings as Cypress Inn limits occupancy to two persons per room. Did someone say terracotta heated floors? Included are daily breakfast, plus evening wine and cheese reception. Guest service ranks high here and the staff is committed to reducing the impact on the environment while conserving natural resources.
Many guests travel with pets, especially with a beach as the destination – the pet-friendly Aristocrat allows up to two dogs per room. Fido will be with you on miles of forested up and down hiking that starts no more than 10 minutes away at Cowell-Purisima coastal trailhead. Sustain your fitness by walking the sand dunes while dogs race through the surf. Unpretentious, this property wants you to cozy up to in-room fireplaces – furry friend and all.
Nearly hidden among the trees and moments from the sea, Seal Cove Inn offers a grand European manorhouse-style. From terrace or balcony, view the gardens and yonder as though you’re a duke surveying your estate. A 10-minute stroll takes you to the doorstep of Moss Beach Distillery – with fortified beverages, warm your soul while watching waves crash against the rocky coastline below. Multilingual staff and complimentary nightly wine reception ensure an all-rounded memorable stay.
Work need you to visit Silicon Valley? The proximity of this residential property may just be in line with your needs. Work, cook in a fully equipped kitchen, relax and watch TV, then close the door for solid sleep in the adjoining room – suites come with Hyatt Grand Beds. Amenities provide a daily breakfast buffet, H Bar drinks and appetizers and a 24-hour shop with packaged meals. While not located in the immediate area, Hyatt House is an easy 30-minute drive by car.
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Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.