It’s a site famous for the Mavericks surfing competition, but even without the massive swells, Pillar Point still has plenty to get excited about. That includes the striking sunsets that paint the sky in mesmerizing pastel hues.
Head out on iconic Highway 1 and follow the ocean to Half Moon Bay, setting your sights on Pillar Point Harbor. Plan to arrive an hour before sunset. When the tide is low you can explore the tide pools of this protected beach for spiky sea urchin and colorful starfish.
After you’ve had your fill of sea life, head to the cliffs via the Ross’ Cove Trail for a 2-mile (round-trip) hike along Pillar Point’s bluffs. Walking along the rugged cliffside, you’ll hear Mavericks crashing in the distance as the sun dips below the horizon. Ross’ Cove Trail connects with several other paths, but it’s best to time your walk to ensure you’re not walking on the bluffs after dark (not a good idea!)
Beverage Bonus: Get a drink and some easy eats at historic Moss Beach Distillery. Try for a seat next to a fire pit on the outdoor heated patio and toast the day’s wanderings.
Park in the Pillar Point Marsh parking lot. Beach access is available from the parking lot. The Ross’ Cove trailhead is across the street from the parking lot. Dog-friendly!