Half Moon Bay State Beach
Here are some guidelines for people visiting Half Moon Bay State Beach:
What is open now?
The following is open at the park:
- Very limited parking in the main day-use lot will now available to the public in the Francis Beach lot, Venice Beach lot, and Cowell Ranch lot.
- Restrooms will be partially reopened.
- Trails will be open for access.
- Visitors must wear masks at the kiosks for day use entry in accordance with San Mateo County health order.
- Visitors to engage in active recreation only.
At this park:
- Parking facilities at Dunes Beach remain closed.
- Picnic tables and gathering spots will be closed.
- High public-use indoor facilities, including museums and visitor centers.
- Special events and tours continue to be canceled until further notice.
Are there any new visitor guidelines?
Yes, please see below:
- Stay Local: Stay close to home. Walk or bike into the park. Parking is very limited. Do not take road trips to parks and beaches or to neighboring states.
- Stay Active: Keep walking, jogging, hiking and biking. Watch for one-way trails.
- Stay Safer at 6 Feet: Maintain a physical distance of 6 feet or more. Gatherings, picnics and parties are not allowed. Visitors will be asked to leave if there are too many people at the park, beach or on trails to allow for the required physical distance.
- Stay Clean: Be prepared. Bring soap/sanitizer and pack out all trash.
- Stay Covered: If your county health orders require it, please be sure to wear face coverings when you cannot maintain a safe 6-foot distance from others.
Thank you for your patience and continued support of California State Parks as we work to limit your risk for exposure to COVID-19 in the outdoors. For more information, please visit parks.ca.gov/FlattenTheCurve.
Half Moon Bay State Beach Campground is now on the new, ReserveCalifornia, reservation system. Campsite reservations must be made through ReserveCalifornia by calling 1-800-444-PARK (7275) or through their website at www.reservecalifornia.com.
Visiting Half Moon Bay
Four miles of broad, sandy beaches stretch out to welcome visitors to Half Moon Bay. This picturesque setting is ideal for sunbathing, fishing and picnicking. A campground provides accommodations for those who wish to visit longer.
The Half Moon Bay State Beach Visitor Center is open Saturdays and Sundays. Admission to the Visitor Center is free. The Visitor Center is completely accessible to those with disabilities. Come on in and learn about the exciting world of the beach and experience the cultural history of the Coastside.
Francis Beach has a campground with 52 individual sites, some suitable for tent camping, others for trailers or recreational vehicles. Some campsites have electrical hookups. Water and sewer hookups are not available, but there is a dump station and a water filling station. Rental RV’s are not allowed to be dropped off or picked up from the park.
Coin-operated hot showers are also available. (approximately 2 minutes per quarter)
Venice Beach has outside showers and flush toilets.
Coastside Trail runs along the eastern boundary of the four beaches providing close to a three mile stretch to walk, jog or ride bikes. The trail continues north to Pillar Point Harbor.
Basic Park Information
FIRES are NOT allowed on the beach.
HORSES are allowed on the dirt Coastside Trail from Venice Beach to Francis Beach. While in the state parks, horses are restricted to the designated horse trail and are not permitted on State Beaches.
DOGS are prohibited on the beaches at all times. Dogs are permitted in the campground, in the day-use picnic areas, and on the Coastal Trail. Dogs must be controlled with a leash of no more than six feet at all times.
Where Can I Take My Dog.pdf
BEACH WHEELCHAIR - The all-terrain beach wheelchair is available for use by the public at no cost, and may be checked out from the Francis State Beach entrance station on Kelly Avenue. Unlike street wheelchairs, this specially designed chair has large balloon tires which allow the chair to be used on the beach without sinking into the sand. With this chair, wheelchair users may access the beach at several locations along the Half Moon Bay coast. The purchase of the wheelchair was made possible, in part, from a grant by the local chapter of the Lions Club.
OCEAN SAFETY - Always use caution when you are in or near the ocean. The ocean water is very cold year round. Even a short swim can cause cramps or hypothermia (a life threatening condition which occurs when your body temperature drops below normal). In addition, strong rip currents can pull even the most experienced swimmers off shore.
DRONES are not allowed in the park. To protect wildlife and cultural resources, and for the safety and welfare of visitors and staff, the park is closed to the use of Model Aircraft, Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), and Gliders in flight.
COLLECTING is not allowed. Please refrain from removing shells, driftwood, and other natural beach features.
FIREWORKS are prohibited.
SPECIAL EVENTS and weddings require a permits. For permit information contact: San Mateo Sector Office (650) 726-8819 or email SMPermits@parks.ca.gov.
FILM & PHOTOGRAPHY PERMITS: For information on obtaining these permits please contact the park directly at (650) 726-8815.
- Friendly Acres/Sea Horse Ranch (Horseback trail rides)
Schedule your class for a free field trip to the San Mateo coast and visit Half Moon Bay State Beach, Pescadero Marsh State Natural Preserve, or Bean Hollow State Beach. We offer a variety of hands-on programs for school groups K-12 focusing on shoreline habitats. All field trips are approximately 2 hours long. You are invited to stay and eat lunch at our picnic tables over-looking the beach.
Click here for more information.
Kids2Parks is an innovative park-equity program to bring students from Title 1 schools to State Park field trips. The program, a partnership between California State Parks and Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks, increases the number of students who have visited a state park or beach by reducing barriers to access. The program offers transportation funding for field trips to select Title 1 schools in Santa Cruz, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties. For more information, and to apply please visit www.thatsmypark.org/visit/k2p/.