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Half Moon Bay State Beach

Half Moon Bay, the oldest town in San Mateo County, lies along a gently curving, sandy shore that is protected as parkland. Stretching for nearly four miles north to south is Half Moon Bay State Beach, a wide expanse of beach and bluff that includes four beaches: Venice, Roosevelt, Dunes, and Francis, the most accessible and most developed....
Half Moon Bay, the oldest town in San Mateo County, lies along a gently curving, sandy shore that is protected as parkland. Stretching for nearly four miles north to south is Half Moon Bay State Beach, a wide expanse of beach and bluff that includes four beaches: Venice, Roosevelt, Dunes, and Francis, the most accessible and most developed. Amenities at Francis Beach include blufftop camping, blufftop picnic tables overlooking the beach, and a small visitor center with displays about local wildflowers, birds, and animals, as well as local history. Beach access for a beach wheelchair is at Roosevelt and Francis Beaches (at the northwest corner of each).

The paved Coastside Trail runs for nearly 3.5 miles behind the beaches, from Mirada Road, one mile south of Pillar Point Harbor, to Poplar Street, .5 miles south of Francis Beach. Numerous benches along the trail offer unobstructed ocean views.

Trail/Pathway Details

Coastside Trail

Trailhead: Accessible from any of the Half Moon Bay State Beaches and from Poplar Beach

Length: Over 4 total miles

Typical Width: 4 ft. & above

Typical Grade: Level

Terrain: Hard

The bridges are quite bumpy

Description

This heavily used multi-use trail runs along the eastern boundary of Half Moon Bay State Beach and provides good pedestrian access to all four beaches in the system, as well as the city-owned Poplar Beach, south of Francis Beach. The ocean is not always visible, but when it is you can see the crescent shape of the coastline...
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Accessibility Details

The facilities listed below meet all of our access criteria unless otherwise noted.

Beach Wheelchair: Yes

Available at the Francis Beach entry kiosk on a first-come, first-served basis. Chairs can be taken to the other beaches using your own vehicle. Plentiful accessible parking in all beach lots: Francis Beach at the end of Kelly Ave., Venice Beach at the end of Venice Blvd., Dunes Beach at the end of Young Ave., and Roosevelt Beach, accessed beyond the entry kiosk at Dunes Beach. Parking is also available at municipal Poplar Beach. At Venice, Roosevelt, Dunes, and Francis Beaches; a porta-potty is in the Poplar Beach parking lot. Along the trail, the restroom at the picnic area just past the second bridge was locked during my visit.
At Francis and Roosevelt Beaches, and along the Coastside Trail just north of Venice Beach

Other Things of Interest

Lodging in Half Moon Bay tends to be quite expensive, but 8 miles north of town is a great and less expensive option, the Point Montara Lighthouse Hostel––ranked one of the top 10 customer-rated hostels in the world for 2010. Perched on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, it is well-maintained, clean, and unbeatable in price for its stunning ocean views. Access is pretty good throughout despite the fact that it's an older facility.
View fromPoplar Beach
View fromPoplar Beach (Bonnie Lewkowicz)

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Features icon key

  • Beach Wheelchairs Available
  • bicycling
  • camping
  • hiking
  • particularly good for families
  • picnic
  • swimming

Additional Information

View Map  
Website: www.parks.ca.gov
Managing Agency: California State Parks
Address: 99 Kelley Avenue
Nearest City: Half Moon Bay
Phone: (650) 726-8819
Hours: Beaches: 8 am to sunset. Visitor center: Weekends, typically 10:45 am-5 pm, but hours are seasonal and dependent on volunteer staffing, so it’s best to call ahead: (650) 726-8819.
Fees: Entrance
Public Transportation: SamTrans
Reviewed by Bonnie Lewkowicz, November 28, 2013
Access Norhtern California This web guide is a project of Access Northern California.  
California Coastal Conservancy Thanks to our partner the California Coastal Conservancy

DISCLAIMER: Although the information contained in this web-guide was believed to be correct at the time of publication, neither Access Northern California nor California Coastal Conservancy shall be held responsible or liable for any inaccuracies, errors, or omissions, nor for information that changes or becomes outdated. Neither Access Northern California nor California Coastal Conservancy assume any liability for any injury or damage arising out of, or in connection with, any use of this guide or the sites described in it.

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Accessible Wheelchair Icon looks like a wheelchair with balloon wheelsBeach Accessible
Wheelchairs Available
  Hiking icon is silhouette of a hikerHiking & Trails
Biking icon looks like person riding a bikeBicycling   Good for Familis icon is a child on a swing'Particularly Good for Families
Boating Icon is a boatBoating   Picnic Area Icon is a picnic tablePicnic
Camping icon is a tentCamping   Swimming Icon is a person swimmingSwimming
Fishing Icon is a fish biting a hookFishing   Wildlife Viewing Icon is a pair of binocularsWildlife Viewing
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