Nothing signals fall’s arrival like autumn foliage and…PUMPKINS! Whether you love pumpkin pie, pumpkin ale or giant pumpkin sculptures, you’ll find plenty to love at the 42nd Annual Half Moon Bay Art and Pumpkin Festival at the World’s Pumpkin Capital, Half Moon Bay, California. The festivities start on October 8th at Safeway’s World Champion Pumpkin Weigh-Off featuring a $25,000 “mega bonus prize” for the first One Ton Pumpkin! That weekend, historic Main Street comes to life with performers, artists and fun – including a handful of pie eating contests and a scary Haunted Barn. Half Moon Bay Brewing Company will be on hand with Mavericks® Pumpkin Harvest Ale, as will Half Moon Bay Winery, marking the occasion with a limited release 2010 Red Table wine.
Half Moon Bay is the oldest settlement in San Mateo County, California. Originally known as San Benito before being renamed Half Moon Bay in 1874, it was the first true town in the San Mateo area, growing out of the fertile agricultural grounds used by Mission San Francisco de Asis (established in June 1776). Once home to a thriving fishing industry, the area is known as a tourism and agricultural center for houseplants, Christmas trees, artichokes and, yes, pumpkins.
While there, you’ll want to visit Half Moon Bay Wine & Cheese on Main Street, where you’ll find Half Moon Bay wines, and the Half Moon Bay Brewing Company on Capistrano Road. Situated on the Pillar Point Harbor overlooking the marina in Princeton-by-the Sea, Half Moon Bay Brewing Company was recently named one of America’s Best Beach Bars by Travel + Leisure magazine. The area, about 25 miles south of San Francisco, is also home to Mavericks break, famous for some of the most challenging big wave surfing. You’ll find luxury lodging with spectacular views at the Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay and The Inn at Mavericks.