Day at the Beach – Half Moon Bay

Happy New Year!

We recently had a chance to visit Half Moon Bay, which is just south of San Francisco. I usually avoid going to Half Moon Bay in the summer as it is always gray and foggy, unlike the beaches in southern California. But on our recent December trip it was very sunny. The water off the coast was deep blue and the sky was clear. The beaches had no surfers, just a couple of seals bopping up and down along the shoreline. The wind off the Pacific was refreshing and the air felt very clean.

We had access to the beaches via the new Ritz-Carlton Hotel and golf links. There were also lots of new pretty beach homes and mansions near the hotel too. Along with an agreement with the city, there’s a public parking lot with the hotel. Once parked, there are access paths to walk along that parallel the golf course near the edge of the coastal cliffs. So it was a good and much needed day trip for all of us.

On our drive up the winding highway, we made a spontaneous stop at an orchid nursery. I didn’t intend to make any purchases, but was very tempted. But now I know where to get my orchids in the future. And I think they would make great gifts, especially with the long lasting blooms. I also saw this huge cymbidian orchid that my mother would love. It had tons of flowers and look so healthy. It was only $18 and would probably retail for $30 at the florist.


But as much as I love orchids, I think they are a pain to take care of. The last orchid I had bloomed for 3 months and never again. The pink cymbidian orchid my mother grows in her garden only bloomed twice in the last five years. But despite my (or our) lack of insights into orchid care, seeing an orchid in bloom is always a nice surprise. And I was smiling ear to ear at the sight of this lovely orchid greenhouse.

I actaully didn’t realize Half Moon Bay is home to many nurseries. Amongst one of the best is Nurserymen Exchange. But they are not open to the public. There is a tour that is held every summer for a chance to tour Half Moon Bay’s local nursery, vineyard, and goat farm. It is Tour Des Fluers and held in July, ticket cost $20. You can get a behind the scene look at the day to day operations of these places. I think that would be a great idea and hope to attend the tour for 2009. I just don’t know who would enjoy this tour as much as myself. Especially the tour at the goat farm.

So here are some of my favorite pictures from the orchid nursery:



Endless row of blooming orchids:






  1. Gina said

    Did you get to stay and see the sunset? I saw some pictures at Flickr and it’s real pretty.

    I’m not much of a green thumb person myself, and my younger sister gave me an orchid plant for doing her tax for her last year and it bloomed for 3 months, and now it looks like it starting to have a new shoot coming out, might be another bloom in a few weeks, I don’t know much about this, it’s my first real one, but I’m glad that it made it for almost a year now.

    I’m sure you can find someone to go tour the farm with you. 🙂

  2. cambree said

    We didn’t see the sunset in Half Moon Bay, but we did catch a nice sunset at Ocean Beach in SF. It was so cold and windy!

    I bet you will get some new blooms, especially if you take after your dad (in gardening).

    As for the farm tour, someone will come along, I just don’t know if they are going to enjoy it…

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