Half Moon Bay Beach Hop

Hike Half Moon Bay Coastside Trail

What's better than a beach paradise on a sunny spring day? Five of them! And they're yours to connect along Half Moon Bay's Coastside Trail—a bluff-top asphalt path with beach access points every half-mile. Start your 5-mile (round-trip) journey at Venice Beach and head north, passing patches of orange California poppies at Dunes and Roosevelt Beaches.  Just over 1.5 miles of seaside sauntering later, you'll hit Miramar Beach and Restaurant, overlooking the ocean. Originally built as a Prohibition speakeasy, today it's a great place for a patio lunch; their signature seafood chowder is a favorite. (The patio is also a brilliant spot at sunset.) Afterwards, keep going past luxe beach properties and funky art studios and past Surfer's Beach to your final destination: Pillar Point Harbor, a boat-lined seaside setting where you can peruse Princeton Seafood Co.'s fresh fish market, pick up a giant sea turtle kite at the upscale shopping center, or indulge your sweet tooth at Half Moon Bay Salt Water Taffy Co., where over 60 delectably odd flavors include buttered rum, beer, sangria, mint mojito, or piña colada. Energy for the hike back!

Although the Coastside Trail begins northbound from Francis Beach campground, a collapsed bridge about 1 mile makes for an unpleasant detour, so start this hike at Venice Beach, making it a 5-mile round-tripper instead of 7 miles. The Venice Beach trailhead is located at the end of Venice Blvd. off Hwy. 1 and day parking is available for $10. The trails are dog-friendly, but no dogs allowed on beaches. The patio at Miramar Beach and Restaurant is dog-friendly! 

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