Half Moon Bay, California: a Photojournal

Half Moon Bay, CA, in fog

“It seemed like a matter of minutes when we began rolling in the foothills before Oakland and suddenly reached a height and saw stretched out ahead of us the fabulous white city of San Francisco on her eleven mystic hills with the blue Pacific and its advancing wall of potato-patch fog beyond, and smoke and goldenness in the late afternoon of time.” ― Jack Kerouac, On the Road


Two weeks ago, my oldest son and I ventured across country for a Mom-Son Road Trip. It was one of the greatest adventures I’ve gone on, and one I hope to make a tradition with my younger two sons when they’re 15-years-old (I wrote about why here last week).

One of the most beautiful places we saw while in California was Half Moon Bay, a legendary crescent moon-shaped beach just south of San Francisco.

The road leading west into Half Moon Bay winds with tight curves across a high ridge of mountains. We followed a lumbering truck up and around to the peak in the road, and from the east, the colors were brilliant–the blue of an inland lake reflecting a brilliant sky, the evergreen trees and brighter green farmland and the amber-colored hills. But when we reached the top, we expected Pacific blue, as far as we could see, and instead found it shrouded in dense fog, the whole landscape a pale monochrome.

After we arrived, we realized even with a wall of fog hugging the coastline, Half Moon Bay is still a stunning beauty.

Half Moon Bay
The Cliffs

The cliffs at Half Moon Bay are high, and run along the entire crescent beach–like no other beach I’ve seen. The color and layers of the rock are beautiful, and ice plants cascade over the edge.

Half Moon Bay, California, in fog
Half Moon Bay, California, in fog
Half Moon Bay, California, in fog

Instead of the legendary surfers, we watched pelicans glide across the waves, and a trio of dolphin passed by us a few meters from the shore.

Taken by my son, Me at Half Moon Bay, CA
Taken by my son: Me, at Half Moon Bay, CA

We were the only ones on the beach.

Half Moon Bay, CA, in fog
Half Moon Bay, CA, in fog

The fog, the absence of color and other people, made Half Moon Bay atmospheric, and lovely.

Half Moon Bay, CA, in fog
Facing south

Half Moon Bay was beautiful swathed in thick clouds, leached of color. I loved every moment there.

Have you visited Half Moon Bay? What were the conditions when you visited? Sunny with surfers? Foggy?

Published by Jennifer Lyn Art

About Jennifer Writer Author Photographer Artist Corporate Marketer Happy Wife & Mom World Traveler Grateful.

4 thoughts on “Half Moon Bay, California: a Photojournal

  1. I’ve been to Half Moon Bay several times — on of my favorite places along that stretch of highway and your photos are just gorgeous, Jennifer. I have been there when it’s sunny and bright, but I do love the fog (almost as much, maybe more). What a wonderful journey!!

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