Visiting Half Moon Bay Beaches

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City Owned Beaches

Poplar Beach

Poplar Beach is one of the most popular beaches for visitors and locals alike. The beach and the associated public parking lot are located at the western terminus of Poplar Street in Half Moon Bay. The beach is accessible via bicycle, walking or automobile. The beach is served by a pay-per-space parking lot. Spaces are limited and it is recommended to arrive early on weekends and in the summer months to get a parking space. Additional parking is available in nearby neighborhoods.  We ask that visitors be respectful of the residents and residences in these neighborhoods.  Please don't litter.

Parking Details: The Poplar Beach Parking Lot contains 93 automobile parking spaces. The lot can accommodate parking of a few large vehicles (motorhomes) and/or trucks with horse trailers. The fee for parking are $10.00 per day (12 hours) for automobiles and $15.00 per day (12 hours) for large vehicles and horse trailers. 

For frequent visitors, beginning January 2021, the City offers two purchase options for parking permits: 1) an annual (12-month pass) for $165.00; and 2) a non-peak (9-month) permit for $$90.00. The 9-month permit excludes the months of June, July and August. The City also accepts the California Golden Bear Pass (State Parks) at Poplar Beach.

You can fill out the Poplar Beach Annual Parking Permit Application here

Poplar Beach Parking Lot is now offering a touchless pay option through Flowbird, a free IOS based app.

Surfer’s Beach

The City owns the beach (sand area) of Surfer’s Beach which is located roughly at the end of Coronado Street, just south of Pillar Point RV Park.  El Granada Community Services District (GCSD) is responsible for all other aspects of the access and litter removal above the beach.  

Parking Details:  There is no designated public parking lot serving Surfer’s Beach. Pay-per-space parking is available to the north in Pillar Point RV Park ($10.00 daily fee) and Pillar Point Harbor. Additional parking is available on Highway 1 and in nearby neighborhoods.  We ask that visitors be very careful crossing Highway 1 and as always, please be respectful of the residents and residences in these adjacent neighborhoods.

Manhattan Beach (Canada Verde)

The City owns a portion of the beach located below and adjacent to the Ritz Carlton Hotel. This beach can be accessed via public stairs and Coastal Trail via the Miramontes Point Trailhead and parking lot. The trailhead and lot are located directly off of Miramontes Point Road, just west of the Pelican Point RV Park.  

Parking Details: The beach is served by a 26 space parking lot. No fees are charged for this lot. It is recommended that you arrive early on weekends and in the summer months to get a parking space.  Additional free parking is available in the Ritz Carlton Parking Garage.  Please inform gate keeper that you are seeking parking for coastal access.

Pertinent visitor information:  

  1. Leashed (6-foot maximum) dogs are permitted on City beaches and on City managed portions of the Coastal Trail.
  2. Bonfires, alcohol, glass containers, disposable plastic bottles of 1 liter or less in size and fireworks are prohibited in City beaches.
  3. We ask that each visitor leave nothing but footprints upon leaving the beach.

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State Beaches

Half Moon Bay State Beach

The Half Moon Bay State Beach extends from Kelly Avenue northerly to Mirada Road (app. 2 linear miles) within the City of Half Moon Bay.   This beach is owned and operated by the California Department of Parks and Recreation (State Parks).  The California Coastal Trail extends along the entire length of the Half Moon Bay State Beach.  State Parks offers a variety of annual and daily park options for purchase.  For detailed information please go to parks.ca.gov.  Half Moon Bay Beach is comprised of three distinct areas:

Dunes Beach which is located at the Terminus of Young Avenue in Half Moon Bay. Facilities include beach, restrooms, picnic areas and parking.  

Parking Details: There are approximately 178 spaces available at this location. Fees are $10.00 per day per vehicle. This site is highly recommended for weekends and peak summer months when Poplar Beach and Francis Beach are heavily used.

Venice Beach which is located at the Terminus of Venice Boulevard in Half Moon Bay.   Facilities include beach, restrooms, picnic areas and parking.  

Parking Details: There are approximately 363 spaces available at this location. Fees are $10.00 per day per vehicle. This site is highly recommended for weekends and peak summer months when Poplar Beach and Francis Beach are heavily used.

Francis Beach which is located at the Terminus of Kelly Avenue in Half Moon Bay. Facilities include beach, restrooms, picnic areas, campground and parking.  

Parking Details: There are approximately 160 spaces available at this location. Fees are $10.00 per day per vehicle. This site is highly impacted on weekends and peak summer months and it is strongly recommended that visitors choose Dunes Beach and Venice Beach, particularly during these peak times.  

Other State Beaches

Visitors to the coastside are encouraged to explore State beaches located just to the to the north and south of Half Moon Bay on scenic Highway 1.  

These beaches offer amazing recreational and scenic opportunities without the typical crowds found in the Half Moon Bay area.  These beaches include:

Pertinent visitor information:  

Please consult with State Parks on specific rules and regulations for State Beaches.  Some of the typical rules for Half Moon Bay State Beach are:  

  1. Dogs and horses are not permitted on State beaches.  
  2. Leashed dogs are permitted only the Coastal Trail and in campground.
  3. Bonfires, alcohol and fireworks are not permitted on beaches
  4. We ask that each visitor leave nothing but footprints upon leaving the beach.

San Mateo County Beaches

The County of San Mateo offers beach access at two County owned sites:

Tunitas Creek Beach is located near the mouth of Tunitas Creek, approximately seven miles south of Half Moon Bay.  

Mirada Surf West is located in El Granada, just south of Pillar Point Harbor (just north of Half Moon Bay).  For more information on these beaches and the facilities they offer refer visit the San Mateo County Parks website