Half Moon Bay Named ‘Best Bite-Sized Destination’

International traveler writer adds Half Moon Bay to his list of the world’s top 10 best small towns. What do you think?

Half Moon Bay has done it again. “America's Happiest Seaside Town" now makes the world's top 10 list for best small town, according to globetrotter Ben Groundwater, who writes a travel column called The Backpacker for the Sydney Morning Herald.

Groundwater writes: “You could make a case for almost any of the little surfie towns that dot the California coast, from Santa Barbara to Santa Cruz to Monterrey. Half Moon Bay has a lot going for it, from its position close to San Francisco to its air of complete calm. You could go visit the seal colony if you wanted, or paddle a kayak around the bay, or play golf over by the cliffs, or surf the world-famous Mavericks break. Or you could just laze around at a micro-brewery.”

Although he forgot to mention our pumpkins, sandy beaches, and crab season, sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? Half Moon Bay does have a lot going for it. And we live here!

Half Moon Bay makes Groundwater's list with some of the world's most popular and exotic destinations like San Sebastian, Spain, San Pedro de Atacama, Chile, and Essaouira, Morocco. For the complete list, click here.

Have you been to any of these top 10 small towns? Including Half Moon Bay, I’ve been to four of the destinations on Groundwater’s list — San Sebastian, Spain, Cartagena (Old Town), Colombia, and Interlaken, Switzerland. I may be partial to our town, but Half Moon Bay has way more to offer than these other destinations that I’ve been to. Sure, they are all worth visiting, but not where I could stay in for the rest of my life as Groundwater suggests. Interlaken too remote, and I remember San Sebastian as being very crowded and noisy. The population of Cartagena is close to 1 million if you’re not in the Centro Historicó, and that’s not small town to me.

It’s true that these places are amazing for the fact that they even exist, especially when considering their geographical location. Cartagena, a walled old town on the Caribbean coast; San Sebastian, on the coast of the Bay of Biscay south from the French border; and Interlaken, in the Swiss Alps surrounded by lakes; But there's nothing like Half Moon Bay, our seaside, farm residential small town, cradled in the arm of the San Mateo County coastline, part of the protected Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and home to Mavericks, our beloved big wave.

What about you? Have you been to any of the towns on this list? Does Half Moon Bay measure up or do you have another favorite small town? Tell us in the comments!

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Beatrice Karnes January 31, 2013 at 05:11 PM
Agreed! The scenery, the food, the shops and, of course, the lovely people. Half Moon Bay deserves to be on every Top 10 list.
Tom Stegall January 31, 2013 at 07:01 PM
Yes, if my Friend girl Mary Cowan lives there it must be the BEST!
Christine Pielenz February 01, 2013 at 05:18 AM
Naah. I find Pescadero much groovier.
David W Morgan September 10, 2013 at 10:26 PM
I love the name of this place. About what is the population? I have always been interested in visiting here. I never heard of it until the Hawaiian died in a surfing contest. Before that, Mendocino was my favorite place. I don't know very much about google+, just trying to navigate my way around.


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