FAQs

What is there to do on the Coastside?

The beaches and mountains, prowling around postcard pretty Pillar Point Harbor with its fleets of fishing and pleasure craft, offering deep sea fishing or whale watching in season; horseback riding, hiking amongst the redwoods, browsing through dozens of shops with a huge selection of everyday and travelers’ needs, not to mention 36 holes of championship golf. We have several art galleries on the Coastside featuring nationally known artists as well as many talented local artists. You can even pick (in season) your own berries, kiwis, pumpkins, and Christmas trees on several farms.

Our calendar is full, and you’re invited to all the exciting events, among them the popular Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival every October, the Pentecostal Festival (Portuguese Pentecostal Festival of the Holy Ghost), an old-fashioned Fourth of July parade and fireworks (contingent on donations), a Tour des Fleurs through local nurseries, the Christmas season’s Night of Lights festival, and the annual Dream Machines with its wild and wonderful displays of planes, helicopters, tractors, trucks, and cars.

A special mention: Coastal Repertory Theatre has live theater entertainment in Half Moon Bay year round. Historic points of interest are a delight year round.

What is the weather like on the Coastside?

Weather on the Coastside is quite temperate year round, with seasonal fog in the late summer. Cool breezes off the ocean are common. The average yearly rainfall is 27.96 inches and the temperatures may vary between 40 and 75 degrees. On average, we have 160 clear days per year, 100 partly cloudy days per year, and 105 cloudy days per year. We normally have approximately 66 days with precipitation per year.

Do you have beachfront vacation rentals?

Yes, we have members that offer large single-family beachfront vacation rentals for short term rentals. You can peruse our list of well-appointed and conveniently located cottages and vacation rentals here.

Can I go horseback riding on the beach?

Yes, you can! Beach horseback rides are one of our most popular tourist attractions and are available daily, 365 days per year (weather permitting). Guides ride along to assist novice riders if requested.

When is whale watching season?

The most common whale migration period is late December through early April. During this time numerous female whales are migrating north with their young calves. Whale watching tours depart from Pillar Point Harbor, 4 miles north of Half Moon Bay, regularly during peak seasons. Depending on “whale traffic” and migration patterns in a given year, excursions may be available year-round. Check our list of whale watching tour guides.

When can I see the elephant seals?

The 4,000 acre Ano Nuevo State Reserve is a major gathering area for northern elephant seals, which may be see year round. The males battle for mates on the beaches. The females give birth to their young on the dunes. During the breeding season, December 15 through March 31, daily access to the Reserve is available only via guided walks. Advance reservations are recommended for walks. The park is open daily from 8am to sunset. Recorded information: (650) 879-0227; Reservations: (800) 444-4445; Office: (650) 879-2025.

Where is Mavericks with the “big waves” I’ve heard about?

The “big waves” of the world famous surfing spot known as Mavericks break about 1 mile off shore in Princeton-by-the-Sea, a small community about 4 miles north of Half Moon Bay and 25 miles south of San Francisco. The “viewing” area is a very isolated and sensitive wildlife habitat. Spectators are generally discouraged, as access is limited and visibility is poor. For information on tide conditions and surfing events, please check the Mavericks website.

Directions to Mavericks: Take Highway 1 north of Half Moon Bay about 4 miles. Turn left on Capistrano Road at the traffic light. Turn left on Prospect Way. Drive west on Harvard Avenue until it merges onto West Point Avenue. Follow West Point up the hill to the small, unmarked parking lot. You can park in the lot and hike about 1 mile uphill along the footpath to the viewing area on the bluffs. PLEASE…do not leave any trash behind, stay out of the marsh and off the delicate reefs, do not disturb the wildlife, and enjoy!

If my company is a Chamber member, does that mean I’m a member too?

When a company becomes a Chamber member, all employees of that company’s local branch/offices are considered Chamber members and have full access to Chamber programs and benefits.

If my company joins the Half Moon Bay Coastside Chamber of Commerce and Visitors’ Bureau, does that mean my company is a member of the California Chamber of Commerce and U.S. Chamber of Commerce?

No, your investment in the Half Moon Bay Coastside Chamber does not support either the U.S. Chamber or the California Chamber. Each Chamber operates independently.         

What does the Chamber’s board of directors do and how can I get on the board?

The board of directors is a valuable asset. The directors bring with them a sophisticated level of experience and expertise. They set the strategic direction of the Chamber and oversee the finances of the organization. The board serves as a sounding board for ideas and policies and reflects the thinking of a broad spectrum of businesses on the Coastside.

A board committee first nominates new board members and then the slate is taken to the full membership for a vote. The board actively seeks out people who are successful in their businesses, represent the diversity of the Half Moon Bay California coast, demonstrate leadership skills and have an interest in helping to guide the Chamber for a minimum of three years.

Are Chamber members mostly large, well-established businesses?

The Half Moon Bay Coastside Chamber of Commerce and Visitors’ Bureau has a membership of over 600 companies, representing Half Moon Bay and Coastside businesses of all sizes, from large firms to growing mid-size companies and micro-businesses. Many people are surprised to learn that more than 80 percent of member companies on the coast have fewer than 25 employees.

How can the Chamber help me save money?

Through professional partnerships, the Chamber is able to offer members several bottom-line benefits. Chamber staff can help you access value-added member benefits.

How can I use the Chamber to market my business?

The Chamber offers comprehensive marketing-benefit packages through its publications, website, programs and special events that help your company achieve multiple objective that include:

  • Increasing visibility and exposure within the Chamber membership and Coastside business community
  • Standing out from your competition through exclusive sponsorship opportunities
  • Using promotions and merchandising opportunities
  • Entertaining valued clients at prestigious events
  • Driving sales

Through the Chamber, you have the opportunity to reach Coastside businesses of all sizes and from every industry group. Depending on your company’s target audience, you can choose those events, programs and publications that reach identified segments, such as small businesses, mid-market firms, international companies and large corporations. Through well-established partnerships with leading business media and other professional organizations, Chamber programs are widely promoted to increase your reach.

What is the best way to use the Chamber to build my network?

The best way to build your business network is to develop relationships with other Chamber members. All Chamber programs are designed to give you an opportunity to make new contacts and strengthen existing relationships. The more events you attend and the more actively you participate, the faster and deeper your network will grow.

The Chamber offers a number of events that are specifically designed for networking, such as Network@Night mixers. Another way to build your network is by getting involved and volunteering at an event or participating on a committee. This is an opportunity to increase your visibility and demonstrates your professionalism and expertise to a wide audience.

How can I help shape Chamber activities and programs?

The Chamber has planning committees that help create the content of programs and events. You can contribute as a member of the committee or, depending on your level of expertise, as a committee chair. For more information on how to join a committee, contact the Chamber.

How do I use the Chamber for business leads and referrals?

As you attend Chamber events and programs and expand your network, you will have access to people who are in a position to provide you with business leads. As you get to know them and they gain trust in your professionalism, your fellow Chamber members can become an important source of referrals for your business.

How can I help shape and support the Chamber’s policy positions and agenda?

The Chamber’s position on any given state or local ballot initiative is determined via a multi-step process that starts with the Chamber’s Governmental Affairs Committee (GAC). Only Chamber members may participate in the advisory vote that is passed on to the Chamber’s board of directors.

The Chamber’s public-policy agenda is shaped by input from many sources, and the Chamber always encourages input from its members.

How can I stay informed on legislative and community issues that affect my business?

The Chamber provides several communication vehicles to keep members in the know. Information about programs, Chamber involvement with various community forums and Chamber presence at City Hall is regularly disseminated by the Chamber’s weekly email update and quarterly mailed Coastside Business Connection newsletter. Being a member of the Chamber also gives you access to a legislative report highlighting initiatives that are of specific importance to Coastside businesses.

How can I stay informed on what’s happening at the Chamber?

The Chamber has a variety of communication tools designed to keep members informed about what’s going on in and around the Chamber and the business community. All members receive the quarterly Coastside Business Connection printed newsletter as well as weekly email updates that all company representatives may sign up to receive. Additionally, the Chamber’s website will tell you everything you want to know about the Chamber doing business on the coast in the News and Information page.

Does the Chamber have publications that can be of use to my business?

The Chamber publishes the:

Can’t find the answer to your question? Contact the Chamber today!