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Events & Activities

Summer Activities along the San Mateo Coast

All events & activities are free. A $10 parking fee is enforced at certain parks. For more information regarding guided hikes and group programs please contact the Park at (650) 726-8819 or email        

Events made possible by Coastside State Parks Association, California State Parks Docents, and California State Parks.

Half Moon Music in the Park - A Special Summer Event!

Thursday, July 14 at 6 pm
Thursday, August 11 at 6 pm
Thursday, September 8 at 6 pm
Thursday, October 13 at 6 pm

Bring a picnic blanket, beach chairs, snacks and your dancing shoes and join California State Parks in welcoming Francis Beach’s monthly outdoor concert series. Every second Thursday of the month Half Moon Bay State Beach will be featuring a local musician on the visitor center deck. This free event will run from July through October. Parking is $10; biking and walking are encouraged.

Junior Rangers at Half Moon Bay State Beach
Fridays and Saturdays at 2:30 pm
(through Saturday, September 3)
Discover the fascinating secrets of the forest! Explore, practice outdoor skills and play games as you learn about plants, animals, geology, and more. This one-hour program is designed for kids ages 7 to 12. Sorry parents, this program is for kids only! Please register your child 15 minutes before the program begins. Please be sure your child is dressed for active play in the outdoors. Meet at the Francis Beach Visitor Center at 95 Kelly Avenue in Half Moon Bay. 

Junior Rangers gather at more than 70 California State Parks, from the redwood region, to the high Sierra, to the sunny southern California beaches. At your first program you will receive a logbook and badge. For each activity you will earn a stamp in your logbook, and as you go through the program you can earn prizes.

Little Ocean Explorers at Half Moon Bay State Beach
Saturdays at 2:30 pm 
(through Saturday, September 3)
Imagine, play, learn and explore during this thirty-minute program for children ages 3-6 and their families. Youngsters will be introduced to the beach and discover the California coastline.  Meet at the Francis Beach Visitor Center at 95 Kelly Avenue, Half Moon Bay. The program is free, parking fee is $10; biking and walking are encouraged.         

Campfire Programs at Half Moon Bay State Beach
Fridays and Saturdays; start time vary between 7:30-8:30pm contingent on sunset 
(through Saturday, September 3)  
Join us in our campfire center for an evening of song and story. Serenade the glittering stars and learn about the plants and animals of the beach, creatures of the ocean, or stories of the park while relaxing under the night sky. Arrive 30 minutes early to learn how to build a campfire. Meet at the Half Moon Bay Campfire Center.

Guided Hike along the Gray Whale Cove Trail
Saturday, August 13 at 10 am
Saturday, September 10 at 10 am
Join us for a moderate two mile, two hour hike along the scenic Gray Whale Cove Trail at State Parks’ McNee Ranch at Montara.  Enjoy ocean views, coastal plants, and wildlife on this picturesque hike. Leftovers from the Ocean Shore Railroad and WWII era bunkers will take you back in time along this trail.  Please meet on the north side of the Gray Whale Cove State Beach parking lot on Highway 1 just south of Devil’s Slide tunnel.         

Guided Hike in Burleigh Murray State Park
Sunday, August 14 at 10 am
Sunday, September 11 at 10 am

Join us on a leisurely two and a half mile, two hour hike along Mills Creek at Burleigh H. Murray Ranch State Park. Enjoy one of our area’s hidden treasures as you learn about the lives of the first pioneers and farming families.  Please meet at the Burleigh Murray State Park parking lot, located in south east Half Moon Bay. From Highway 1 turn east on Higgins Purisima Road and you will reach the park in about 1.5 miles.    

Guided Hike through Pescadero Marsh Natural Preserve  
Sunday, July 17 at 1 pm
Sunday, August 7 at 10 am
Sunday, August 21 at 1 pm
Sunday, September 4 at 10 am
Sunday, September 18 at 1 pm
Join us for a one mile, two hour guided walk along the Sequoia Audubon Trail in the Pescadero Marsh, an important stop along the Pacific Flyway. Learn about the fascinating human history of the Marsh from the days of the Ohlone to the present. Discover the byways of the Pescadero and Butano Creeks as they flow through this restored marsh to meet the Pacific Ocean. We suggest that you dress in layers, wear walking shoes, and bring binoculars and water. Dogs are not permitted. All walks will take place weather permitting. Please meet at the Central Pescadero State Beach parking lot on Highway 1 approximately 0.25 mile north of the junction with Pescadero Road.