Half Moon Bay State Beach
Protect yourself, family, friends and your community from COVID-19 by following these prevention measures while recreating in California’s State Park System:
- Know Before You Go – Prior to leaving home, check the status of the park unit you want to visit to find out what restrictions and guidelines are in place. Have a back-up plan in case your destination is crowded. Stay home if you are sick.
- Plan Ahead – Some restrooms will be temporarily closed to keep up with cleaning schedules. Bring soap/hand sanitizer.
- Play It Safe – Find out what precautions you should take when exploring the outdoors, especially if this is your first time visiting the State Park System. Learn more at parks.ca.gov/SafetyTips.
- Keep Your Distance – Avoid crowds. If there are too many people at a park or beach, please visit on a different day.
Wear a Mask – State Parks continues to follow guidance provided by the California Department of Public Health:
- Everyone: In indoor settings, such as museums and visitor centers, face coverings are required regardless of vaccination status.
- Fully Vaccinated Persons: Face coverings are not required outdoors except when attending crowded outdoor events.
- Unvaccinated Persons: Face coverings are required outdoors any time physical distancing cannot be maintained.
- Leave No Trace – Leave areas better than how you found them by staying on designated trails and packing out all trash. Do not disturb wildlife or plants.
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.
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.
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 ($10 fee) 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.
CAMPING is available for tents and RVs. There are 52 sites with 43 electric hookup sites. Water and sewer hookups are not available, but there is a water filling station and a dump station. There is a $10 fee for use of the dump station. The price per campsite does not include the use of a dump station. If coming to the park to just use the dump station, visitors will have to pay a day use fee and a separate dump fee.
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/.