Lodging for San Francisco to Half Moon Bay

Hi everyone, I'm walking SF to Half Moon Bay May 13-16th. I'm wondering if anyone can share experiences regarding reserving hotels vs. booking when you arrive. I like the idea of a little bit of flexibility in the trip by booking a room wherever we happen to be and what suits us when we arrive. But, I wonder if these hotels/inns might be fully booked during this season. Does anyone have any insights before I start calling hotels? Thanks!!

You need to be a member of Walkabout California to add comments!

Join Walkabout California

Email me when people reply –


  • Thanks for all the tips! My husband and I will be starting this hike this week. Very excited!
  • It's a beautiful area so if you're not in a hurry, I would spend more time. But combining the last 2 days wasn't difficult or strenuous if that's a concern.
  • JAM,

    I am excited for you to be taking this wonderful hike.  October should be a great time.  Most of the hike is not on formal named trails, but I wrote "The Route" section (page 139) to hopefully be easy to follow.  The hike starts with a 9 mile hike on the beach.  The hours before and after low tide are the best for a firm hiking surface.  Then follow The Route to walk the residential streets and paths through Pacifica.  There are a couple of short sections on named trails.  Day two starts with a walk on the back streets of Pacifica, but most of the hike is spent on Old San Pedro Mountain Road until you reach Montara State Beach.  The Route will guide you down the beach and through the hamlet of Montara.  I have heard Farallone Inn B&B is closed.  Try to book a private room at the Point Montara Lighthouse Hostel.  It is a great place to stay.  Day 3 is mostly on paths along the coastal bluffs and back streets.  The final day is a stroll along the beach or the bluff trail.

    I don't believe there are any other inns besides the Seal Rock near the start of the hike.  That should not be a problem.  In fact, it may be an opportunity.  San Francisco is a small town.  You could stay downtown, enjoy the urban ramble, and take a bus to the Cliff House.  It should take about 15 minutes.  Check out www.511.org for the best bus.

    I hope this is helpful.  Have a great journey.

    • We did get reservations at Seal Rock, Best Western Lighthouse and the Montara Light House Hostel.  We love to hike and just did the Costa Brava area in Spain. Should we do this in 3 days or 4? Is the Pillar Point area great to hang in for the day or should we continue onto Half Moon Bay and spend the night? or a night in both places? We are not in a hurry.....

    • HI Tom

      The more I read here the more I'm looking forward to it!  You mention The Route page 139.....I do not have a book. When I ordered it was just digital format and it is only 24 pages. I assume it is same info as in 'the book'

  • Jam - hopefully you see this message. I can't reply directly to your post for some reason. The road/trail is easy to get to following the book. The only hesitation we had was when we got to the top - the trail diverges into many side trails where people were on bikes and horses. If you keep heading to the left you will be on the right track. If you need to ask anyone, just tell them you are trying to get to Montara. We went off in the wrong direction for a short distance until some locals pointed us toward Montara. It's hard to pick a favorite but I really enjoyed this day of the trip.

    I assumed you were asking whether the trail was well marked at the San Pedro Mtn Road and that's what I was speaking to in the previous paragraph. But now I'm wondering, were you meaning for the entirety of the walkabout? If so, following the book it is quite easy. We only ever backtracked once or twice. I'm not great at map reading and directional sense but even I found it all to be pretty straightforward. I used google maps on my phone a little bit and asked locals to confirm where we were a couple times.

    As for lodging at the start, we flew in the night before and stayed at the Geary Parkway Motel which is a mile or two from the beginning of the trail. We walked from there but next time I would bus or uber to the trail to get into it early.
    • Thank you for the info   I was questioning whether the trail is marked  with arrows or signs. But we will just ask if we are headed to the next destination. It's always a bit confusing when researching.  Need to book our lodging now!

      • Ok I see. I bought both and they are the same. In the PDF, look on page 17 to see "The Route" that Tom is referring to. It's a good quick reference. The walkabout takes you through mountain trails, beaches, city streets, neighborhoods, etc. It is pretty easy to find where you're going, even if you don't always take Tom's exact path either. The only part where I struggled a little was at the top of the San Pedro Mtn Road/trail that I mentioned previously.

        I would recommend booking your lodging in advance. I wasn't going to book in advance but then was glad that I did - there was a big race the weekend we were there and everything nearby was booked. We stayed that first night (before starting) at Geary Parkway Motel. We walked by a place called Seal Rock Inn that was really close to the start of the walkabout and looked neat, might have to stay there next time. The second night we stayed at the Pacifica Motor Inn. And the third night, Point Montara Hostel. Good luck with your planning! Keep us posted!

  • We got home last night from our 3 day walkabout from San Francisco to Half Moon Bay. Thanks to Ron Byrd's insights and Tom for making this possible. On the trip with me were my mom, whose 62nd birthday was the reason for the trip, and my sister.

    We arrived Friday night and took Bart, walked, and the bus (per Ron's review) to Geary Parkway Motel. The motel was nice and we went out for a great Thai meal around the corner.

    We woke up late Saturday morning and made the mistake of walking to Cliff House to start the walkabout instead of taking the bus. The 2 miles felt long and added to our already late start. Walking up to Cliff House we were overwhelmed by the beautiful view and ready to get started. The first day was lovely, if a bit tiring walking in the sand. We took it very casual and made many stops. Due to our late start, we were only to Thornton Beach Vista by 5:30pm and decided to call an Uber to get us to Pacifica in time to shower and have dinner. We had a lovely dinner and cocktails at Nick's. If you go, I recommend the basil gimlet and the olive and feta cheese appetizer.

    Sunday we had a late start again and walked to the Sunrise Cafe for breakfast. The food was good and then we were on our way. We went according to the book, on the Old San Pedro Mtn Rd. The eucalyptus trees were gorgeous and we were in awe with beautiful scenery for the entire day. We asked for directions from a few passersby as we got deeper into the mountain but finally realized we just needed to stay on the main (mostly paved) path. The plant life and ocean views from the mountains were amazing. Walking out of Mcnee State Park at about 6pm was remarkable. We were looking forward to an Indian and pizza dinner at Fog City (mentioned by Tom in the book) but it sounds like it is permanently closed. We went on ahead to Point Montara Hostel and had pizza and Greek food delivered from Odyssey in Moss Beach. Some of our best photos from the trip were taken from the window of our room in the hostel.

    The last day we woke up early to give ourselves time to explore the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve. It was beautiful and we saw tons of seals. We walked to Half Moon Bay Brewing but it wasn't open yet so we did some souvenir shopping in the shopping center nearby. After lunch at the brewing co, we walked over to a cool art and jewelry shop called Nasturtium. Sue, the lovely woman working there, was very sweet and helped us find a ride to the airport so we didn't have to deal with the 2 hour bus/Bart to the airport.

    It was such a great trip! I can't decide what to do next: this one again or Point Reyes.

    • Hello! I am trying to map the route from Pacifica to Montara, and having a really hard time understanding the Old San Pedro Road "out to highway one" part of the route. No matter what I do I come up with close to 10.5 miles vs 7.8 and I don't see any point where Old San Pedro turns toward the Coast.

      We are staying at the Ocean View Inn in Montara as the Hostel is being really unresponsive.

      Thank you so much for your help! 

This reply was deleted.