This guest post was submitted by Peggy, who has lived all over the Bay Area but now calls El Cerrito home. Since having her son, Lucas, over two years ago, her focus has turned to fun events and activities that they can do together as a family. Thanks, Peggy!
An easy weekend family camping getaway to Half Moon Bay in Late Summer or Early Fall is perfect – fewer crowds and the weather hasn’t turned too cold and windy just yet. It’s under an hour drive from the East Bay and the kids get the pumpkin patches all to themselves!
Reserve your spot
We were able to reserve a last minute campsite at Half Moon Bay State Park for one night. All of the 52 sites at Francis Beach are large and flat and fairly close to the bathrooms and showers (There’s even a camp site, #38, which is a prime spot overlooking the beach, but I’d probably only do it without kiddos for safety).
The campgrounds are only a hop, skip, and jump to the beach and of course, you’ll hear the comforting sound of the ocean when nod off to sleep. Lots of kid-friendly activities abound, including sand and water play, plus the nearby Coastside Trail for 3 miles of hiking or biking.
The pumpkin patches were already set up for the upcoming season, so my tot got to frolic among the pumpkins for plenty of photo ops. We stopped by the easy-to-get-to Farmer John’s Pumpkin Farm, which had pumpkins of all sizes and a cool teepee for my son to hide in.
If you don’t feel like cooking (we didn’t!), some family friendly restaurants include Jersey Joe’s Coastside Hoagies and Cheesesteaks for reasonably priced cheesesteaks, hoagies, and burgers (check out their fancy soda machine!) and breakfast at Sam’s Coffee Shop (210 San Mateo Rd., (650) 726-3167), where they have good omelets and a kids menu that includes bear pancakes!
- Beautiful ocean views and sunsets
- Beach and sand play
- Flush toilets, pay showers
- Few to no bugs!
- Close to home
- Dog and kid friendly (just no dogs on the beach)
- Reasonable car camping for $35/night
- Nearby shops and restaurants in Half Moon Bay
- Can get windy, foggy, and cold near the ocean
- Not a lot of privacy, as the sites are fairly open and next to each other
- No beach fires (fire pits at each camp site though)
- Lots of RVs
Have you been to Half Moon Bay with your children? What did you love?
[All photos by PEGGY SHIH, all rights reserved]