A romantic getaway can be one of the best things to do for a marriage! My husband and I jump on the first opportunity to get in the car and head somewhere we can recharge our batteries and take a break from work and home life, even if it is only for 24 hours! Recently we headed north to Half Moon Bay, somewhere we’ve been before with the kids and really fell in love with this California coastal gem. This time it was just the two of us and here’s 6 ways we made this quick trip into a romantic overnight!
1. Drive the Coast to get there, it’s not the only way but the best way! Living so close to the ocean, we don’t miss the opportunity to drive on Hwy 1, it’s gorgeous and smooth, you won’t get stuck in traffic much if at all, and it’s the best for photos. Our favorite spot to snap a picture is the Pigeon Point Lighthouse. Clouds or clear skies, it’s always photogenic! On a nice day, stop at any of the great beach spots, dip your toes in the water, soak up some sun if you can and get your trip off to a relaxing start. Parts of our drive were rainy and we didn’t want to get out of the car, but we remembered our dating days and a little kiss fest parked by the waves crashing can put anyone in a good mood!
2. Warm Up downtown. The weather was cool and wet, we had an hour before our lunch reservation so we stopped into San Benito House Inn and Bar. A warm-up with a good beer suggested by the bartender and a glass of wine was just what we needed. There’s a great corner booth in the bar to snuggle in. We decided it was fun to take selfies and be silly, we laughed and talked, it was a good time. Next time we’re in town, we are going to pop into the next room and rack up a game of pool!
3. Delicious Lunch. Just across the street and down a few buildings we headed over to Pasta Moon restaurant for our 1pm reservation. It doesn’t look large from the outside, but entering you see a main dining room, the bar area as well as large banquet rooms about the building. Live music is offered Wednesday evenings and you really should walk the walls in the restaurant, the artwork is really amazing! We met the bartender first and added another beer and glass of wine to our afternoon as she talked about things to do around town. Pasta Moon has served delicious “farm to table” cuisine from local ranchers’ and farmers’ ingredients for 26 years. Along with fresh homemade pasta, pizza, and dessert made daily, they offer a gluten-free pasta option. After being seated we perused the lunch menu and chose soup and salad to start. My cauliflower soup was dairy-free and full of flavor! My husbands bed of baby greens were topped with his favorite sunflower seeds for some crunch and a balsamic vinaigrette. Also brought out was french bread and focaccia with oil and balsamic dipping oil (my favorite).For our main course we chose the Fettuccini Calabrese Sausage and Mary’s Free Range Lemon Chicken. The chicken was cooked perfectly with a little of the flavorful crispy skin on top. The lemon sauce was slightly tart but just enough to add brightness to the dish. I loved the grilled zucchini and olive oil potatoes beneath the chicken, slightly al dente and submerged in the sauce. My husband’s pasta noodles were so fresh and cooked perfectly with the roasted red peppers and a little spicy kick from the sausage, (he fed me a taste and I agreed). My chicken was enough for two, but my husband’s portion of the pasta was properly taken care of on his own!
4. Catch the Sunset. Just at the end of Miremontes Point Road (just before you get to the Ritz) there is a parking lot and a walking path where you can catch a great view of the sunset. Because we had dinner reservations we snapped a few photos with the sun still high before we drove down Magellan off Cabrillo Highway to Miramar Beach Restaurant right on the water. Here we photographed the sun dropping just below the clouds and it was truly lovely. Of course any spot on the beach is amazing as well and you’re lucky if you can view it from your hotel room. In either case it adds so much for a romantic getaway!
5. Dinner by the Ocean. If you’re lucky enough to reserve a window seat for sunset, do it! Miramar Beach Restaurant is an amazing spot right on the water. Still light out for a few minutes, we were seated in the corner overlooking the ocean. The crowded restaurant on a Sunday night is always a good sign for great food and we were not disappointed. I did see another great spot not seaside but in front of a roaring fire and behind curtains for some romantic privacy, next time I’m going to look into that area for our meal!
My husband and I swapped meals from lunch. I chose a pasta dish and he went for chicken. A Chicken Cacciatore to be exact and his first words after taking a bite were, “It’s like your dad’s!” The smile on his face was sweet and I immediately had to have a bite and he was exactly right, I love that! It was the tomato Chardonnay reduction that really made the dish come together, and I got more bites in between those of my Prawn Carbonara. Linguine tossed with pancetta, garlic, fresh spinach, and fire roasted red pepper was my choice and it was a good one. The prawns were huge and abundant, I kept unveiling them from under the pasta and they were succulent. The cream sauce was light and was perfect for soaking up the accompanying garlic bread.
6. Book a Hotel (with a Jacuzzi Tub). If you Google hotels in the area you’ll come across the Half Moon Bay Lodge with the tagline “the art of California relaxation” right next to it! They are absolutely right too! Their large lodge-style rooms with private balconies and luxurious bedding is so inviting you’ll want to pop the cork on a bottle of wine and settle in immediately. Our room overlooked the lush green garden area and the golf course just beyond and a gave us a little peek at the gazebo above the spa! We grabbed the plush robes from the closet, and headed down to the jacuzzi to further unwind. The jacuzzi was a toasty 102 degrees and we got the jets going. A couple was enjoying the heated pool right next to us, and there’s a great seating area in front of the fireplace to sit and relax. Because we had intermittent rain and the chairs and tables were wet, we made sure we’d try it on the next visit.
We revisited the jacuzzi after dinner and talk about winding down after a wonderful day! The hotel is set back off the main road (Cabrillo Hwy) and there’s just quiet at night, it’s lovely and made for a peaceful sleep! Now in the morning you need to really hit the complimentary breakfast hungry because there is so much to choose from you could possibly skip lunch, take a look:Strawberry waffles, never had them? Here’s the place to enjoy them, along with muffins, bagels, cereal, hard boiled eggs, meats and cheeses, oatmeal, coffee, and an assortment of juices. Had we not needed to head home (and back to work on a Monday morning) we would have needed a swim or visit to the fitness room to work off all the food we enjoyed. Alas, our getaway was over but we’ve stayed in a handful of Pacifica Hotels and Half Moon Bay Lodge is our favorite thus far, we will be back and hopefully soon.
If you’re ready for a great getaway, get to Half Moon Bay and explore all it has to offer. Year-round it’s a beautiful place to reconnect and rekindle that romance and it will definitely make your tummy happy too!
Our media stay was hosted, gratuities and opinions our own.