Exploring the Beauty of California’s Half Moon Bay

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Exploring the Beauty of California’s Half Moon Bay

By Rich Luna | Sep 10, 2018

Head west for about 30 minutes on Highway 92 from San Francisco International Airport and you’ll run out of road as you come upon the glistening waters of the Pacific Ocean.

You’ll also end up in the community of Half Moon Bay Coastside, centrally located just 45 minutes from San Francisco and Silicon Valley. In many ways, it’s the typical coastal enclave that becomes a weekend respite from the hustle and bustle of the big city. But don’t be deceived if you’re looking for a new and unique meeting and event destination. Half Moon Bay Coastside has a diverse range of offerings that are ideal for small to mid-range meetings and incentive groups.

“Half Moon Bay will surprise you,” says Lesly Rehaut, CMP, CMM, vice president of leadership development for the MPI Northern California Chapter and director of sales at the Half Moon Bay Lodge. “We have some really outstanding properties here. Of course, I’m partial to mine, but we all work together. We have to, and we’re all good about supporting the industry.

“We have a good mix of activities, so if you’re looking for something different, this is the place. Half Moon Bay can be an ideal destination for those groups that want really special attention in a beautiful location.”

No disagreement here. After a short visit with my son in nearby San Jose, I ventured into Half Moon Bay Coastside for a day of exploration with a group of meeting planners, most from the Northern California area.


Our first stop was Miramar Farms, an idyllic property that caters to executive teams and small groups with a focus on leadership development and executive education.

“Gather. Learn. Grow.” is the motto of the 11-acre property nestled between the ocean and the Montara Mountains. Owners Jayne and Matt Battey have a simple policy when it comes to hosting meetings and groups.

“We’ll only have one group at a time,” Jayne says. “We want this to be a special place, a place where you focus and don’t have any intrusions. We make you feel special and create a place where you can be inspired.”

The outdoor space includes a garden, an orchard and a walking path that leads to a labyrinth and several small buildings capable of hosting smaller groups. The main meeting space is cozy; the converted barn, built is the 1940s, was refurbished about six years ago and features more than 600 square feet of space along with an adjacent covered patio. The rustic finish, including wood floors, vaulted wood ceiling and corner fireplace, adds to the allure.

“It’s an ideal space for productive time,” Jayne says. “We understand how important it is when groups go off site. They want to get things done, they want to walk away knowing they’ve accomplished their goals. That’s why we keep things simple. It’s their time, it’s their space.”

When it’s time to eat, farm to table is on the menu. The Batteys grow an array of vegetables and more than a dozen fruits along with eggs and honey.  They work with other area farmers to provide organic produce, artisanal cheeses, heritage meats, local seafood and baked goods, all presented through seasonal menus.

Honestly, I could have stayed here all day, especially in the Tea House, a small building on a hill overlooking the property.

Half Moon Bay Coastside is not all work, no play. From distillery tours, a vintage Old Western Town and glass-blowing activities to bocce by the bay, the destination has diverse offerings for team building and for meeting attendees to enjoy the local culture.

For the more daring, and experienced, there’s the famed Mavericks, a surfing location where waves can crest at over 25 feet and top at over 60 feet.

I settled for a more calming water experience, joining Kimberly Clary (MPI Northern California Chapter), director of client success at Odyssey Teams, in a kayak tour of Pillar Point Harbor. It was a peaceful, hour-long excursion, an ideal example of a team-building activity.

The one-day tour ended at the Mavericks Event Center, which sits on a large oceanfront bluff overlooking the harbor. The patio is ideal for a small reception, especially if the weather is nice. The facility is not large—capacity for a standing reception tops out at 150—but the view of the harbor is stunning.

To learn more about Half Boon Bay Coastside, visit www.visithalfmoonbay.org/meet.


While you’re here…

Here is a sampling of hotels with meeting space in Half Moon Bay Coastside.

  • Oceano Hotel and Spa—more than 12,000 square feet of meeting space (largest room 2,750 square feet), 84 guest rooms

  • The Beach House—more than 1,100 square feet of meeting space (largest room 522 square feet), 54 guest rooms

  • Half Moon Bay Lodge—about 3,600 square feet of meeting space (largest room 900 square feet), 80 guest rooms

  • The Ritz-Carlton—nearly 16,000 square feet of meeting space (largest room 7,100 square feet), 261 guest rooms



Rich Luna

Rich Luna is Director of Publishing for MPI and Editor-in-chief of The Meeting Professional.