An enticing look of the sea coast from any part of the city is what Half Moon Bay offers. Located approximately an hour and a ... More
Half Moon Bay
An enticing look of the sea coast from any part of the city is what Half Moon Bay offers. Located approximately an hour and a half's drive south of San Francisco, Half Moon Bay is as attractive and different as its name. Main Street is the main drag, as here you can witness varied forms of entertainment. The street is home to the best of diners and shopping destinations. This quaint and colorful area is in itself quite a popular hang-out and tourist attraction. Also be sure to check out the various beautiful beaches.
Half Moon Bay is a charming city. I have always wanted to go to this festival and this year, we finally made the trip. We had a GREAT time, but if you're expecting something different, you may be a bit disappointed. The fair consists of the typical booths of arts and crafts and while there are many nice things, you can find similar items at the many other seaside festivals along the California Coast. The huge pumpkins make it a little different and it's interesting to watch Farmer Mike carve one of the giants.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it's not worth the trip up--it is--just go for the entire weekend experience, not just the fair. Stay at the Ritz Carlton, go have the pancake breakfast at the fair, look at the arts and crafts and go pumpkin hunting when you're done at the various farms. Check out the farms South of Half Moon Bay on Highway 1 for farms that are less crowded and have petting zoos and mazes.
We will absolutely go here again.
My biggest tip for this fair is to ARRIVE WHEN THEY OPEN!!!! An incredible amount of people go to this thing. If your hotel offers shuttle service to the fair--TAKE IT! It will save you lots of time and energy searching for parking. Lastly, go WITH the flow when you make your way around the fair--it will make your visit much more pleasant.
I have been to the Pumpkin festival every single year of my life. No matter who else goes (grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins) my mother, sister, and I will always be there. The Pumpkin festival is about so much more than simply art, wine, and good food. It's about family and tradition. Thousands of families in the Bay Area go back to this festival year after year to celebrate autumn, Halloween, and the spirit of the Bay Area. Even though it's hardly ever sunny, the signature overcast weather reminds us of why we love the coast so much. And of course, the festival lives, breathes, and dances in it's autumn glory.
If you go there once, and say you aren't from the Bay Area, you may find yourself on a long windy road packed with cars, struggling to find parking, and walking through a sea of bodies on a chilly day. And to you this may be an unpleasant outing. But for the people that really understand what it means to be from the Bay Area, all of those things help make our Pumpkin Festival special. It's apart of who we are and apart of what we love.
So, maybe give it a try. And you too can learn why us locals eagerly await the two hour car drive, rather than frowning upon it.
I made the mistake of going to the Pumpkin Festival one year.... It look me about 2 hours to inch my way through traffic on Highway 92 to get there. I was expecting an intersting festival, perhaps with a big variety of pumpkin cuisine (similar to the garlic festival in Gilroy). Instead, I found it to be a run-of-the-mill art and wine festival and stalls selling pumpkins for *exhorbitant* prices (imagine paying $20 for a pumpkin... I could get at Safeway for $4!)
It was a real disappointment!