Exploring your backyard in Half Moon Bay

This week, the Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay — a 261-room coastal estate located 23 miles south of San Francisco — will unveil a new driving experience for its guests.

The Signature Drive will take participants on a 65-mile self-guided loop through five of the area’s micro-regions: historic Main Street in Half Moon Bay, the area’s pumpkin region, Half Moon Bay’s redwood forest, Santa Cruz Mountains’ wineries and the Pacific Coast, from Pescadero State Beach to the Coastal Trail located at the resort.

Thoughtfully planned, the signature drive — a complimentary amenity to all guests at the AAA five-diamond resort — includes a map of the region, driving instructions and recommendations by the resort’s concierge team on making a memorable experience of the journey.

Although it is difficult to break away from the luxury comfort zone of the resort, the Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay has partnered with many of its neighbors to make this area as much a destination as its neighbors to the north (Sonoma, Napa) and south (Monterey County). The best part: The area is probably a 30-minute drive from your front door.

Highlights of the signature drive include:
– On historic Main Street: Galleries, shopping and excellent eateries, such as Pasta Moon, Cetrella and It’s Italia.
– Stops within the pumpkin regions, such as Lemos Farms, Pastorino Farm, Le Nebbia Winery, Santa’s Tree Farm and the Half Moon Bay Nursery.
– In the area’s California redwood forest, the signature map points out memorable stops along Skyline Drive, such as Bella Vista Restaurant, Alice restaurant, the Skywood Trading Post, Mountain Terrace and Apple Jack’s Inn.
– If you plan to explore the area’s wine region, the hotel can point you in the direction of several wineries, such as Thomas Fogarty, Ridge and Bonny Doon Vineyards.
– And for those who want to stay close to the coast, the signature drive includes stops at nearby Harley Farms (famous for its award-­winning goat cheese), Duarte’s Tavern (a destination for anyone who loves cream of artichoke soup) and Arata Pumpkin Farm, home to a very impressive hay maze.

 

Pumpkin picking

Autumn is one of the most beautiful times to visit the pumpkin fields around Half Moon Bay. Spread out along Highway 92 and Cabrillo Highway (State Route 1), local pumpkin farms open to visitors include:

A. Repetto Nursery
12331 San Mateo Road, (650) 726-6414
Andreotti Family Farm
329 Kelly Ave., (650) 726-9151
Arata Pumpkin Farm
185 Verde Road, (650) 726-7548,
www.aratapumpkinfarm.com
Bob’s Pumpkin Farm
Cabrillo Highway, five miles south
of Half Moon Bay, (650) 726-4567
Farmer John’s Pumpkin Farm
850 North Cabrillo Highway, (650) 726-4980,
www.farmerjohnspumpkins.com
Lemos Family Farm
12320 San Mateo Road, (650) 726-2342,
www.lemosfarm.com
Pastorino Gifts & Plants
12391 San Mateo Road, (650) 726-6440,
www.pastorinofarms.com
Tunitas Creek Family Farm
333 Tunitas Creek Road, (650) 726-9710,
www.tunitasfarm.com

 

Bargain: The famous pumpkin festival

Free

The 39th annual Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival is set for Oct. 17 and 18, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on historic Main Street in Half Moon Bay. The event is free and open to the public. Traffic will be very heavy, so consider spending the night before or after.

 

Splurge: A night at Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay

Starting at $349

Located on a scenic bluff overlooking the rugged Pacific coastline, the 261-room resort — a six-story main building with three adjacent cottage houses, inspired by the grand seaside lodges of the 19th century — is offering a “Resort Reconnect” package that starts at $349 per night. Valid through Dec. 31, the package includes overnight accommodations, daily breakfast for two in the resort’s restaurants and a $100 resort credit per day. For more information, visit www.ritzcarlton.com/en/Properties/­HalfMoonBay.

 

Life by numbers

23: Miles between SFO and Half Moon Bay

65: Miles in the Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay’s new signature drive

1,528: Weight, in pounds, of the award-winning gourd at last year’s Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off

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