Half Moon Bay is a casual biker’s playground, and an easygoing 10-mile (round-trip) roll on the Coastal Trail puts the ocean in full view. The car-free path parallels the Pacific, passing multiple beaches and pocket coves between Pillar Point Harbor and Poplar Street. Rolling south along the paved trail, you’ll cross old wooden bridges and find lots of bluffside benches for wave—or whale—watching. (As part of Half Moon Bay State Beach, this is also a walkable route.) Poplar Street marks the 5-mile turnaround point, but you can let the good times roll by pedaling all the way to the Ritz-Carlton, making it a 12-miler, all in. Those who want to get some dirt on their tires while enjoying the gorgeous seascape can opt for the Cowell-Purisima Trail just south of Half Moon Bay. The trail stretches for 3 breezy miles (one-way) along high coastal bluffs and ends at Cowell Ranch Beach—a fantastic crescent bike-in (or hike-in) spot hidden by hulking cliffs.
BEER BONUS: Half Moon Bay Brewing Co. is a tried and true good bet for a good beer. Their award-winning Mavericks Amber Ale is best enjoyed on the patio, by the firepit. On St. Patrick’s Day their live music comes from Blue On Green—mixing Irish music and rock ‘n’ roll.
Start from Pillar Point Harbor on Mirada Rd. off of Hwy. 1 and pedal south along the paved trail, across old wooden bridges all the way to Poplar St. (5 miles one-way). Rent a bike from Bike Works, (rates vary depending on bike). Half Moon Bay Brewing Co., 390 Capistrano Rd., Half Moon Bay, (650) 728-2739. Patio is dog-friendly!