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Family hop for festive beachside day

Half Moon Bay, California

With a runway right on the Northern California coast, the Half Moon Bay Airport is just steps away from all of the beachfront attractions the small, picturesque town of Half Moon Bay has to offer. And it was the perfect spot for a Father’s Day family getaway in the 182.

Flying over the Half Moon Bay Golf Links into Half Moon Bay, California. Photo courtesy of Niki Britton.

Half Moon Bay, located about 30 miles south of San Francisco, is one of my favorite places to fly for that proverbial $100 hamburger. So when my sister suggested we meet in Half Moon Bay for Father’s Day, I knew we’d be meeting at the airport.

My husband and I met my parents at the San Martin Airport around 10:30 a.m., fueled up, and took off for Half Moon Bay. It’s a quick 30-minute flight in the family Cessna 182 on this 50-nautical-mile trip from my home airport in San Martin, California.

The author on final for Half Moon Bay airport in her Cessna 182. Photo courtesy of Niki Britton.

It was a clear and beautiful, albeit turbulent, flight over the Santa Cruz mountain range as we headed for the coast. Flying along the coastline we passed over some of Half Moon Bay’s most popular beaches and when on final approach to Runway 30, we flew directly over Pillar Point Harbor and Half Moon Bay Yacht Club.

After parking in the transient lot, we headed south to a small gate and crossed a footbridge to begin a scenic oceanside walk along Capistrano Road, one of the main streets in Half Moon Bay. We took in views of the famous Mavericks Beach and the Pillar Point Air Force Station as we headed toward Pillar Point Harbor Beach, a hotspot for family gatherings, gentle waves, and fishing.

The Nasturtium  Art of Living gift shop garden in Half Moon Bay. Photo by Niki Britton.

About two miles south beachgoers can visit some of the most scenic beaches in the area. Dunes Beach offers unobstructed panoramic views, calm waves, and walking and biking trails.

Satisfied with our sightseeing jaunt, we changed course to the restaurant, exchanging a wave with a departing whale-watching boat on the way.

We arrived at the Half Moon Bay Brewing Company, stomachs growling and mouths watering after passing several of Half Moon Bay’s most popular spots like Sam’s Chowder House and Barbara’s Fishtrap.

The relaxed atmosphere at this oceanside brewpub provided the perfect environment to enjoy each other’s company, eat some tasty food, and listen to live music.

Once finished we walked as a family to the transient ramp, said our goodbyes, hopped in the airplane, and headed home.

Scenic Dunes Beach looking toward Pillar Point Air Force Station in Half Moon Bay. Photo courtesy of Visit Half Moon Bay.

Niki Britton

eMedia Content Producer
eMedia Content Producer Niki Britton joined AOPA in 2021. She is a private pilot who enjoys flying her 1969 Cessna 182 and taking aerial photographs.
Topics: Travel, U.S. Travel

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