Half Moon Bay is a mixture of agriculture and those that make a living from the sea. HMB has a very colorful past, in that bootleggers used the area to smuggle in liquor and 'painted ladies' at the Miramar, which still is one of the favorite restaurants in the area.
A railway was built where what is now known as Devil's Slide ,(which still is sliding) and folks from San Francisco would take it to spend time enjoying the sun and ocean the views and for some, partake of unlawful pursuits.
Whaling was done on a small scale, and one can only wonder how the little town stood having dead whales on the beach being rendered. (thank goodness those days are gone!)
During W.W.II, there were bunkers on the cliffs, with men posted to watch for submarines. One Japanese sub was sunk, and there is a group of people now, that are pursing the idea of raising the sub and placing it as a monument overlooking the bay. There are still remnants of one bunker precariously setting in the area of Devil's Slide.
Today HMB is a spot for tourists that come from far and wide to take in the views and stroll down the main street to look in the eclectic shops and restaurants. Many historical buildings still stand, and are still being used. The Pumpkin Festival is held each year for one weekend and the norm is 300,000 people per day!!!! Main street is shut down and the booths go up..and the people pour in. Those that live in HMB, if they aren't part of the Festival, usually make plans to be out of town, or hunker down and stay at home, as the streets are jammed for hours.
The 'Dream Machine" is held each year, and that attracts many people also (another day to stay off the streets!) Vintage autos, airplanes, motorcycles are shown and also new vehicles. An air show is included, along with helicopter and biplane rides for the braver souls.
Mavericks surf competition is held. The waves are closely monitored and when it is known that there will be "The Big Ones" coming in, the call goes out far and wide all over the world and the surfers and their followers converge on HMB near the marina. people line the hillsides to watch.
Halloween brings in folks to buy pumpkins. Now, anyone can go to their local supermarket and buy a pumpkin, but no, it has to be from HMB. And so, families come to pick their pumpkin from row upon row of pumpkins in the fields.