When we have the need for sand and ocean, Half Moon Bay provides a quick and easy fix… if it’s not rush hour… or after lunch on a weekend… because once you’re on the road to the bay, there’s no easy way out. From what I’ve seen, traffic can back up all the way from the town to the freeway (a commitment of about an hour for 7.5 miles from the 280).
For this particular sojourn, we went early in the morning and cared little that is was foggy and cold. This simply makes the beach quiet and explorable.
Parking around beaches in CA is always a pain. At Half Moon Bay there’s a handful of lots to park in including the official State Beach lot, which costs $10. We’ve always managed to find free parking to the South of the State Beach (within easy walking distance) and to the North before noon on weekends.