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 there were (gasp)'painted ladies' at the Miramar, which still is one of the favorite restaurants in the area. (no painted ladies tho!)
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.
When the tide, or moon or whatever mysterious forces are in place, schools of fish or the red tide occur and hundreds if not thousands of birds whirl in the air and float upon the water. The brown pelicans come enmass and dive repeatedly, while surfers share the waves, and folks line the shores to fish. Recently, a surfer was attacked by a Great White, but of course, the next day, they are all out there again waiting for the right wave!! The roadside along Surfers Beach is being widened, so those of you that are familiar with that area and the congestion, hopefully it will be allayed somewhat. Of course the sight of surfers changing into wet suits along the road adds to the traffic tie-up < smile >. Whats a guy to do? the surf is up and time;s a'wastin!!
In December over the Holidays on the way through the mountains via Hwy 92, the assorted nurseries and wine purveyors decorate to attract the tourists..also entertainment for the kids with pony rides and petting zoos.
Amazingly enough, no large events take place, a small Xmas parade is held. Along main street the stores are lit, as are the trees.
The weather stays fairly balmy, and folks can partake of the outdoor cafes and watch the human "parade "go by.
One story still kinda tickles me...seems if you want to move to the country or the ocean side it is because you like it as it is..but no, we've had some yuppies (hmmm..wonder if that term is outdated) purchase homes here..which are pricey..and then have the nerve to complain about the fog horn in the bay. They wanted it TURNED OFF because it kept them awake!! Well DUH...sure let the boats pile up on the rocks..long as they get their beauty sleep! One quickly gets used to the sound and doesn't even realize when it is on..sorta like 'white sound' after awhile..besides it is part of the charm of the Bay...that lonesome sound calling the boats safely into dock.