So, you’ve finally fessed up to liking long walks on the beach? Ahh, what a romantic! And we have just the beach for you! Actually, two beaches.
About 11 miles south of Half Moon Bay on the San Mateo Coast, San Gregorio and Pomponio state beaches are connected by a 1.5-mile stretch of golden sand backed by grassy bluffs. Most people stick to the picnic areas or the bluffs within a few hundred feet of the parking lot, but the beach magic can stretch a lot longer if you walk from one to the next (1.5 miles one-way).
Explore small caves as you wander the driftwood-strewn beach like a coastal conquistador. Long may you roam.
Park at San Gregorio State Beach ($10 entrance fee). It’s 11 miles south of Half Moon Bay on Hwy. 1. In winter, there’s a chance this hike won’t be accessible due to the higher tides. Always keep an eye to the ocean, and talk to a ranger if in doubt. No dogs.