Halfway between San Francisco and Silicon Valley lies the beach town of Half Moon Bay, about a 45 minute drive from San Francisco on 280 south. But if you’re not in a hurry, drive down the coast- hugging Highway One, with postcard views of the Pacific.
Lush vegetation and redwood trees thrive year round in the temperate northern California weather. A temperate climate means year round golf, the holy grail for golfers from northern climes, and some of the best golf in the Bay area can be found in Half Moon Bay.
Half Moon Bay Golf Links features two championship 18 hole courses, The Old Course and The Ocean Course. The clubhouse and pro shop for both courses is located at The Ritz Carlton. But bring your A game because there is no driving range to find it. A notable lack for a high-end property.
The Old Course, designed by Francis Duane and Arnold Palmer in 1973, and later redesigned by Arthur Hills in 1999, is a parkland-style course lined by cypress trees. Only holes 17, a 157 yard par three, and 18 border the ocean.
My favorite hole on the Old Course is the 384 yard par four 18th. Standing on the tee box overlooking the blue Pacific, a drive downhill that finds the center of the fairway will give you an uphill approach shot into a green surrounded by guests of the Ritz Carlton, enjoying the fire pits and ocean views.
Where to eat:
Resembling a Cape Cod cottage that’s been there forever, Sam’s Chowder House opened for business in the fall of 2006. Even though the breeze coming off the ocean is cool, the sunny back deck overlooking the Pacific is the perfect choice. Try their Cioppino, a fish stew created by Italian immigrants to San Francisco. Traditionally Dungeness crab, clams, squid, mussels, shrimp are all combined in a delicious tomato broth served with hearty sourdough bread.
Where to stay:
The Half Moon Bay Inn on Main Street is a pet friendly boutique hotel with 12 unique rooms, each styled with their own charm. At check-in, enjoy a glass of wine with the owners, two former flight attendants who know a thing or two about travel, and can give you plenty of tips for the Half Moon Bay area.