Half Moon Bay State Beach
As State Parks increases access to the State Park System, it is critical that Californians continue to recreate responsibly in the outdoors as the pandemic is far from over.
Please take the time to read the information contained on this webpage to find out what is open and closed, and the COVID-19 guidelines for this park unit.
What is open now?
- Limited parking in the main day use lot is available to the public.
- Restrooms will be partially reopened.
- Trails will be open for access.
- First come, first served campsites
- Campsites by reservation starting Feb. 11
- Masks must be worn at the kiosk when paying day use fees or checking into the campground.
- Some park units and campground sites continue to be temporarily closed due to the pandemic, impacts from wildfires or other issues. Please visit the webpage of your local outdoor destination to find out if it is open.
- 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?
State Parks has implemented the following guidelines to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in the outdoors:
- Stay Local: Stay close to home during this pandemic period. If you or anyone in your household is feeling sick, please remain at home and plan your trip for another time.
- Plan Ahead:
- The ongoing pandemic response continues to be dynamic and fluid. Prior to leaving home, check the webpage of your outdoor destination you plan to visit to find out if it is open, if parking is available, and what visitor guidelines are in effect.
- Learn what safety precautions you should take when exploring the outdoors at parks.ca.gov/SafetyTips.
- SNO-PARKS: Make sure your vehicle is snow ready. A permit is required for each vehicle parked at a SNO-PARK site. Parking is on a first come, first-serve basis at all SNO-PARK sites. The public is advised that parking lots are filling up early in the day. Illegal parking is prohibited. More information can be found at ohv.parks.ca.gov/SNOPARKS.
- Stay Safer at Six Feet: No matter the recreational activity, maintain a physical distance of six feet or more. Your guests should only include those within your immediate household. This means no guests or friends, and no gatherings or parties. If there are too many people to maintain the required physical distance, please visit us on a different day.
- Boating: Do not raft up to other boaters or pull up onto a beach next to other recreators.
- Off-highway Vehicle Recreation: Do not ride next to others or pull up next to someone else as it could put you in close proximity to others. Stage 10 feet or more from each other during unloading and loading.
- Keep Clean: Be prepared as not all services may be available. Some restrooms will be temporarily closed to keep up with cleaning schedules. Bring soap/hand sanitizer. Please pack out all trash. Park units are experiencing heavy use and you can help alleviate the impact on park facilities.
- Stay Covered: The state requires you to wear a face covering when you cannot maintain a physical distance of six feet or more. Individuals must have a face covering with them at all times.
Although law enforcement entities have the authority to issue citations, the expectation is that the public is responsible for adhering to the advice of public health officials, visitor guidelines and closures.
California State Parks continues to work with local and state officials on a phased and regionally driven approach to increase access to state park units where compliance with state and local public health ordinances can be achieved. However, the situation remains fluid and park operations can change at any time. For information on statewide current closures and available services, please visit parks.ca.gov/FlattenTheCurve.
Half Moon Bay State Beach Campground is now on the new reservation system, ReserveCalifornia. 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/.