When Coastsiders adopt their first dogs, dog-owning newcomers move to town, or visitors chat me up, I remind them that canine companions are welcome at many places in and near Half Moon Bay. Taking our dogs along with us strengthens our bond and allows them to practice the manners we have taught them that will make them good canine citizens.
It is easy to do this in a town where over 17 restaurants welcome dogs, there are hiking areas and beaches where dogs are welcome, and store owners are known to keep dog treats behind their counters for furry visitors. With this kind of dog-friendly attitude among business owners, it’s no wonder the coastside has become a great day-trip destination for Bay Area canines and their human companions.
Need more evidence that folks in Half Moon Bay and environs love dogs? Dog festivities are always part of Half Moon Bay’s annual 4th of July parade, and Farmer John’s Annual Bernese Mountain Dog Day is super popular, among locals and visitors alike.
So next time you and your pooch are in the mood for a change of scene, hop over to Half Moon Bay and environs to enjoy some small town ambience with huge canine appeal.
Many Coastsiders know that the best leisurely cup of coffee and breakfast is one that includes their dogs right beside them at Half Moon Bay Coffee Company, Moonside Bakery, Café Classique in El Granada, Ebb Tide Café in Miramar, or Three-Zero Café at the airport.
When more substantial fare is the order of the day, many restaurants have gone to the dogs. Benito House Garden Café & Deli, Cameron’s, Casey’s Café, Crab Landing, Flying Fish Grill, Half Moon Bay Brewery, It’s Italia, Moss Beach Distillery, Navio at the Ritz, Pasta Moon, Princeton Seafood, and Sam’s Chowder House have tables designated specifically for dogs and their owners.
To exercise off those calories, leashed dogs are welcome to accompany their humans at the Blufftop in Moss Beach, Coastal Park and Trail at the end of Poplar Street, Surfers’ Beach, and Montara State Beach. For those who enjoy a more strenuous workout, Quarry Park in El Granada and the trails up Montara Mountain at McNee Ranch State Park are good options.
If you like to camp, it’s good to know that dogs are permitted in most campgrounds and in the day-use picnic areas of our local state parks, as long as they are leashed. The only off-leash option in these environs is Esplanade Beach in Pacifica, where dogs can splash in the surf and chase each other with glee from sunrise to sunset daily. More off-leash play, sans waves, is available at Coastside Dog Park at Wavecrest. At all of these sites, owners are of course expected to clean up after their pets so that everyone can enjoy the coast.
It’s possible to shop with your dogs in Half Moon Bay, as well. Most of the stores on Main Street welcome well-behaved dogs. Some stores in town, like Ocean Shore Hardware and the UPS Store, keep dog treats on hand. If other pet supplies are needed, they can be found at Kibbles & Gifts and at Half Moon Bay Feed & Fuel.
Weary dogs and their people can easily find a good night’s rest on the coast if they decide to make a weekend of it. In Half Moon Bay, Comfort Inn, Day’s Inn, Half Moon Bay Inn, Holiday Inn Express, and Zaballa House all welcome dogs. Further up the coast, Harbor View Inn in El Granada, Seal Cove Inn in Moss Beach, and Farallone Inn in Montara roll out the welcome carpet for pooches at the end of the day.
[Editor’s Note: See the sidebar at right for even more dog-friendly options in and around Half Moon Bay.]
No doubt about it, Half Moon Bay and its neighboring communities have gone to the dogs. There’s a lot of woof about, but don’t take my word for it. Come for a visit with your canine pals and see for yourself.
A longtime coastsider, Katheryn Weaver owns and operates Klaws Paws and Hooves. She currently resides in Montara with her furry friends: two French Bulldogs, Wasabi and Princess Fiona; Komma, her rescued Flashy Fawn Boxer; and two Golden Retrievers, Tyson and Diva. You can contact her through her website: www.klawspawsandhooves.com.
Be sure to call ahead for current and comprehensive dog policies before booking a room, and inform lodging staff that you will be accompanied by your pet when making your reservation.
Cameron’s Restaurant and Inn
No additional fee for pets at this popular coastside inn. See listing under Drinking/Dining below for more information.
Half Moon Bay Inn
Located on Main Street in a gorgeous, newly-renovated 1932 Spanish Revival building, this cozy, 14-room boutique inn offers overnight accommodations for guests and their four-legged sidekicks, including a plush dog bed for the room, a feeding dish, and doggie treats. The inn also provides a complimentary dog treat at check-in, dog towels, and waste bags. Pet fee: $25.00 for one dog; $35.00 for two.
Harbor View Inn
Located directly across the street from the coast, this inn offers stunning ocean and harbor views from each suite. The pet-friendly property features newly remodeled rooms with bay window seating and free WI-FI Internet. Dogs weighing 40 pounds or less are welcome. Pet fee: $10.
The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay
Haute hounds and their owners will feel right at home at this luxurious seaside resort and spa overlooking the ocean. Guests can relax with their pets in the guesthouse, gazebo, front drive, and the stunning outdoor area surrounding the hotel. A maximum of two dogs weighing 30 pounds or less are permitted per room. Pet fee: $125.
San Benito House
Housed in a 1905 building in downtown Half Moon Bay, this cozy bed and breakfast features 12 pet-friendly rooms. Guests and their four-legged friends can enjoy the beautiful gardens, gazebo, and massive firepit for evenings under the stars. Pet fee: $50.
The Zaballa House
Half Moon Bay’s most historic inn, opened in 1859, features a comfortable Victorian-style parlor room and 20 guestrooms, seven of them pooch-friendly. Pet fee: $10.
DRINKING AND DINING
Cameron’s Restaurant and Inn
This bright red, funky British-style restaurant and inn features an outdoor eating area where patrons can dine on pizza, steak, fish, and award-winning hamburgers while their pets relax beside them. Canine comforts include a doggie watering station and complementary dog biscuits.
Half Moon Bay Brewing Company
Boasting the first dog-friendly patio on the Half Moon Bay coastline, this renowned oceanfront brewery serves up delicious coastal cuisine and a wide selection of handcrafted beers. Guests can request complimentary dog kibble for their pets while they dine on the patio.
Moss Beach Distillery
With spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean, an expansive outdoor heated patio, and a special menu just for dogs, Fido and friends will feel right at home at this renowned distillery and restaurant. The canine menu offers grilled hot dogs, mini burger patties, bacon slices, scrambled eggs, kibble, and more.
At this California-Italian mainstay, pooches will be pampered with a homemade dog treat and bowl of water (provided upon request). Pets are welcomed in both the garden and restaurant.
Sam’s Chowder House
It’s doggie nirvana at Sam’s waterfront dining, where all well-behaved dogs are welcome to dine with their owners. The outdoor seating area includes a warm fireplace and water bowls, and homemade dog biscuits are available for purchase in the gift shop.
Kibbles N’ Gifts
This local pet store is a one-stop shop for pet food, toys, accessories, grooming tools, and more. Staff members invite customers to shop with their pets as long as they are leashed and well behaved.
Lunar Wind Inventions
Pups can snack on treats provided by the store while their owners peruse this fun store’s wide selection of toys, kites, dolls, puzzles, and games.
Coastal Elegance Tours
This pet-friendly business features eco-cycling tours, nature hikes, and picnics. Dogs are welcome to join the tours along the coastline.
Half Moon Bay Kayak Company
Water-loving pups will delight in taking a kayak ride with you in a double or triple kayak amidst the natural beauty of the coast. Life jackets are provided for dogs as well as humans.