Travel & Day Trips

Is Half Moon Bay Safe? Local’s Perspective

Half Moon Bay is a picturesque small town located on the California coast about 28 miles south of San Francisco. But is it safe? Here’s what you need to know.

I’ve been going to Half Moon Bay for years from my home in the SF Bay Area to enjoy restaurants and much more, so I’ve gotten plenty of chances to see the town up close and personal.

Safety in Half Moon Bay: Crime Rates

Firstly, let’s talk about crime rates. According to the most recent data available at the time of writing, Half Moon Bay tends to have significantly lower crime rates compared to the national average.

Both property and violent crime rates in Half Moon Bay are lower than the average for cities of similar size, and considerably lower than the averages for larger cities.

There was a recent high-profile incident in the city, as of when I’m writing this. But it’s important to remember that despite that event, most of the time Half Moon Bay is very safe.

Community Safety

Beyond crime rates, another essential factor in a town’s safety is the sense of community. Half Moon Bay has a tight-knit community, which plays a critical role in making the area feel safe and secure.

Neighbors tend to know each other, and there’s a strong sense of communal responsibility, contributing to the overall safety.

Natural Safety

Half Moon Bay is generally safe when it comes to natural hazards. However, like much of coastal California, the area is prone to earthquakes. But the town is well-prepared, with building codes designed to withstand such occurrences.

In terms of weather, Half Moon Bay enjoys a temperate maritime climate, with mild winters and cool summers. The risk of severe weather, such as tornadoes or blizzards, is virtually nonexistent.

Some parts of Half Moon Bay could be vulnerable in the highly unlikely event of a tsunami. Those areas are marked with warning signs and clear evacuation routes.

Safety Considerations for Visitors

For visitors, safety is also a priority. Half Moon Bay boasts beautiful coastlines, hiking trails (though they can get foggy), and parks.

Respect the power of the ocean in Half Moon Bay

While these areas are generally safe, it’s important to respect the power of nature. This means being cautious near cliffs and the ocean, and always staying on marked trails when hiking.

Remember that Half Moon Bay’s beaches aren’t like the sedate, sandy beaches of SoCal. They’re windswept and can have dangerous riptides. The city is also popular with surfers due to its large waves.

I love to visit Half Moon Bay’s beaches, but I personally wouldn’t swim there. Better to set up a blanket and enjoy the majesty of the waves from a distance.


Overall, Half Moon Bay appears to be a relatively safe place to live and visit, considering its low crime rates and sense of community.

While no place is entirely free from safety concerns, the risks here are relatively low. As with any location, residents and visitors alike should stay informed, use common sense, and take standard safety precautions.

Your biggest risk in Half Moon Bay is probably the water itself. Use caution, and consider enjoying a relaxing walk along the beach or coastal trail, rather than necessarily going for a swim.

Thomas Smith

Thomas Smith is a food and travel photographer and writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. His photographic work routinely appears in publications including Food and Wine, Conde Nast Traveler, and the New York Times and his writing appears in IEEE Spectrum, SFGate, the Bold Italic and more. Smith holds a degree in Cognitive Science (Neuroscience) and Anthropology from the Johns Hopkins University.

Leave a Reply

Back to top button