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Sandy beach
Hike-in Required
Snorkeling / SCUBA
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Located just a couple minutes from the downtown core area of Half Moon Bay is Francis Beach, a large day use and camping area within the Half Moon Bay State Park area.

With much of the State Park amenities lying on the bluff top area overlooking the shore, Francis Beach has a good amount of picnic benches with grills, a Visitor Center building, bathrooms and showers, and access to the Half Moon Bay Coastside Trail which follows the blufftop coastline for about 2 miles.

Several short paths descend to the shore, which is sandy and open. On clear days, views of the coastline, particularly to the north open up. Due to rough waters and colder water temperatures, Francis Beach is not ideal for swimming, however the sandy coastline is fun for wading into the waves. 

Francis Beach's close proximity to the town of Half Moon Bay makes it an extremely popular beach during peak travel season, and there are many other much quieter alternatives nearby. Though the remainder of the year the beach tends to feel large, open, and only a couple minutes' drive from all the amenities and luxuries of the town.

There is a day use fee required to visit Francis Beach. Dogs are allowed on leash in the park area, however are not permitted on the beach. Francis Beach is open daily from 8am until sunset. 

Additional details can be found at the California State Parks website.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

Day use fee

Open Year-round



Central location to Half Moon Bay. Spacious coastline.


Can get very crowded during summer months.

Pets allowed

Allowed with Restrictions


ADA accessible
Picnic tables
Whale watching
Flushing toilets
Family friendly
Potable water


Nearby Lodging + Camping

Half Moon Bay State Park, California
San Francisco Peninsula + Santa Cruz, California


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