Arts & Life, Photo Gallery

4 hours in Half Moon Bay

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Historic Main Street at 1:00 p.m.

Behind the "Love" gate lies the San Benito House wedding venue, where couples can celebrate their love between flowers and foliage.
Behind the “Love” gate lies the San Benito House wedding venue, where couples can celebrate their love between flowers and foliage. Photo credit: Julia Goldman

In a town of about 12,000, the historic Main Street of Half Moon Bay holds rows of local shops with a variety of daily necessities, specialty gifts and bites to eat. Many of the establishments hold a deep rooted history within the town, and several goods and ingredients are sourced from the region’s agricultural market.

It’s easy to get lost window shopping on Main Street but worth it to scour each and every shop to find a personable, novelty knickknack.

Butano State Park, Candelabra trail at 2:00 p.m.

On the tip of a charred log lays a caterpillar, warning predators away with its heavily pigmented, yellow fuzzies.
On the tip of a charred log lays a caterpillar, warning predators away with its heavily pigmented, yellow fuzzies. Photo credit: Julia Goldman

About 20 miles from the coast and quaint town of Half Moon Bay, a story of rebounding ecology is told within the abundance of charred redwood trunks in Butano State Park. Stumps evidence the remote state park’s history of mass deforestation before preservation and their charcoal state shows the effects of the 2020 CZU Lightning Complex fires.

Bear witness to the forest’s history and nature’s resilience through the observation of botany, mushrooms and animal dwellers along the trails of the park.

Harley Farms at 3 p.m.

Just one of the 72 baby goats, this little one had an immense fascination with the camera.
Just one of the 72 baby goats, this little one had an immense fascination with the camera. Photo credit: Julia Goldman

Cattle, cats, 72 baby goats and one mini pony call the 2.5 mile stretch of farmland home at Harley Farms. Just 5 miles away from Butano State Park, a collection of fresh goat cheese, milk, meat and pantry-goods is offered at Harley Farms.

Enjoy a stroll through the farm, make friends with its many inhabitants and pick up some specialty ingredients along the way.

The Meal, following 4:00 p.m

With beef from Harley Farms, vegetables from New Leaf Market and seafood from H Mart, these ingredients are elements for the Vietnamese dish, Bò Nhúng Giấm. The raw meat is cooked briefly in a coconut, lemongrass and vinegar soup base and is then eaten by layering each element into a rice paper roll and dipping it into a garlic fish sauce.
With beef from Harley Farms, vegetables from New Leaf Market and seafood from H Mart, these ingredients are elements for the Vietnamese dish, Bò Nhúng Giấm. The raw meat is cooked briefly in a coconut, lemongrass and vinegar soup base and is then eaten by layering each element into a rice paper roll and dipping it into a garlic fish sauce. Photo credit: Julia Goldman

After a day of exploring the historic downtown, getting lost within the Butano forest and shopping at markets and farms, a home-cooked meal in the light coastal breeze can encapsulate the simple daily life of Half Moon Bay. As a day’s spoils are enjoyed, the sun dips and the day’s microcosms of beauty mirrors an expansive, star-riddled night sky.

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