Princeton by the Sea near Half Moon Bay, CA

Just north of Half Moon Bay lies an unassuming area known as Princeton by the Sea, right next to Pillar Point Harbor on the California coast. There’s a small town of shops and seafood eats but we headed straight to the water. The first thing that caught our eye was an old fishing facility at the end of the pier. Despite being covered in graffiti, it gave us a quick glance into the local past.

Half Moon Bay Princeton by the Sea Coast Tide Pool Fishing

You could spend a full day here with so many different things to do, both on land and in the water. On land you can explore the tide pools and exposed rocks to find anemone, both open and closed, or the many species of crabs. You can walk by the water in the fine sand or through the pathway along the marsh land. There’s also plenty of space to just pop up a shelter and lay back if you so please.

The water is mostly calm as the enclosed harbor broke any big wave entering the area. This makes the perfect environment for paddle boarding, kayaking, wading, and splashing. Maybe the resident seals will venture from their floating dock and join you. If you’re really adventurous and don’t mind getting dirty, there’s a ton of slippery seaweed ready to be slid across.

Half Moon Bay Princeton by the Sea Coast Tide Pool Fishing

It’s a great place for the kids to romp around in the water…

Half Moon Bay Princeton by the Sea Coast Tide Pool Fishing

It’s a great place for the dogs to romp around in the water…

Half Moon Bay Princeton by the Sea Coast Tide Pool Fishing

I think we’ve found our new favorite spot along the coast, a hidden gem that few visit. With outside fun for everyone, it’s a nearby and inexpensive location for your next daycation!

How to get there:

  • Take 92 W
  • Turn R on Highway 1 (north)
  • L on Capistrano
  • L on Prospect
  • L on Broadway
  • R on Princeton
  • L on West Point (park on dirt)

See 7/4 Wordless Wednesday Featured Image.

About TerriAnn van Gosliga

TerriAnn van Gosliga is the main writer at Cookies & Clogs and Driving Mamas. Born & raised in the SF Bay Area but loves to travel. She's been married to her best friend for almost 14 years, homeschools her 13-year-old daughter, and has an accident-prone lab mix dog.

Comments

  1. Beautiful photos! I love how your dog is chasing the stick. Exactly what mine would be doing. :D

    • If only it was a stick :P There weren’t many trees near the beach but somehow she found a whole branch! The funny thing is she’s get, pull it a bit, then leave it. She never actually ‘fetches’.

  2. Oh! So that’s where it was. I have only been to Half Moon Bay once, and my dogs just loved running around the beach there.

  3. I feel like I have heard of Half Moon Bay before but I have definitely never been. I need to start taking more trips around California so I am off to google it :)

  4. It just looks so unspoiled. Love it!

  5. We went to Half Moon Bay a couple years ago for the weekend and had a blast. I haven’t been to Princeton by the Sea but I would like to!

  6. I would love to spend a whole day there with my daughter. At least for a few hours, my worries will melt away.

  7. Now that sounds like a wonderful place to visit! Looks relaxing, not too busy/crowded and great scenery!

  8. Beautiful photos – I love hanging out on the coast – old piers are so pretty :)

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