Travel & Day Trips

5 Best Half Moon Bay Rainy Day Activities, From a Local

Rain or shine, the beautiful coastal town of Half Moon Bay, California offers a plethora of activities.

While it’s true that the charm of Half Moon Bay is often found in its outdoor activities – such as golf, beachside excursions, and coastal walks – there is still an abundance of indoor activities that can make your visit enjoyable.

A a local, here’s a video that I made sharing a few of my favorites:

Key Takeaways

  • Half Moon Bay has plenty of great activities to do indoors on a rainy day, such as visiting the spa at the Ritz Carlton, eating at Sams Chowder House, visiting the bakeries downtown, and checking out the arcade.
  • If you don’t want to brave the elements, you can bundle up and still enjoy a walk along the Half Moon Bay Coastal Trail.
  • For those visiting Half Moon Bay over the holidays, make sure to check out the life-size gingerbread house at the Ritz Carlton.
  • If you want to learn more about what to do in Half Moon Bay, google Bay Area Telegraph Half Moon Bay for more guides and ideas.

Embracing the Outdoors, Regardless of Weather

Despite the rain, why not be a little adventurous and brave the weather? Half Moon Bay is blessed with milder weather compared to the East Coast, so you won’t experience extreme cold temperatures or snow, even when it’s raining.

People stand along the greens of the Half Moon Bay Golf Links, a golf course in Half Moon Bay, California, at sunset, December 22, 2017.

Bundle up and go for a walk along the beautiful Half Moon Bay Coastal Trail. HMB rarely gets below about 50 degrees Farenheit, so even on a rainy day, a bundled-up walk can be pleasant.

However, I would advise against going into the water during a rain storm because stormy offshore conditions can often create large waves.

Relaxing Indoor Options

If cozy indoor activities are more your style, Half Moon Bay has that covered as well. A visit to the spa at the Ritz Carlton is a fantastic indoor option.

This hotel is one of the coolest in Half Moon Bay and offers an incredible spa experience. During one rainy day, I decided to treat myself to a massage at the Ritz Carlton spa, and I can assure you the environment was luxurious and soothing, making it a great option to relax and unwind.

Local Dining in Half Moon Bay

Another great activity to indulge in on a rainy day in Half Moon Bay is to enjoy the local cuisine. Many establishments in Half Moon Bay, like Sam’s Chowder House, offer indoor dining areas with large windows for you to take in the stunning water views.

Sam’s has a heated patio and indoor seating

I can recall enjoying a delicious lobster roll in the comfort of their heated patio, a pleasant retreat from the rain outside, but still providing that authentic coastal atmosphere.

The Conservatory restaurant at the Ritz is another excellent option. Although it can be a bit pricey, the large windows offer beautiful views of the cliffs and make for a delightful rainy-day meal location.

The Conservatory is tasty but expensive

Other rainy-day havens include the bakeries in downtown Half Moon Bay, perfect for grabbing a warm beverage and a treat. These venues are cozy, offer indoor seating, and are ideal places to relax or even get some work done.

Bakeries in downtown HMB are great for a rainy day

Families Activities – Arcades and Festivities

For those traveling with children, downtown Half Moon Bay boasts an arcade called Full Hearts. With pinball machines and other arcade games, it’s a fun spot for kids and teens. As a fan of nostalgia, I found the retro machines particularly enticing.

Pinball at Full Hearts

Over the holidays, another indoor family-friendly attraction is the Ritz Carlton’s life-sized gingerbread house. A charming feature of the holiday decorations, this gingerbread house is open for all visitors to see, not just hotel guests, which turns a rainy day into a festive occasion.

The Ritz Carlton’s gingerbread house

Half Moon – An All-Weather Destination

Every visit to Half Moon Bay offers new exploration opportunities, from relaxing spa treatments, to indulging in local food, or spending a day at Lemos farm.

Even during rainy or chilly weather, there are plenty of indoor activities to enjoy.

Visiting San Francisco or looking for fun things to do? Discover the heart and soul of the city! Explore amazing tours and activities, from iconic landmarks to hidden gems.

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.
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