Southern California 2011 travel blog

1 - Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay














Sunset at Half Moon Bay

16 - Santa Cruz Mountains




Albert Garriga


The purpose of our trip to southern California in January/February was twofold. One, was to get away from the cold winter weather of the east coast and two, was to complete Harman’s goal of “touching the waters of the four corners of the continental United States”. The final “corner” was the southwesternmost point in the U.S. located south of San Diego.

We started our trip just outside San Francisco. Since we had visited San Francisco twice previously and one time being just a year ago, we decided to stay at the beautiful Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay just 40 miles southwest of San Francisco and right on the ocean. We took a direct non-stop late morning flight from Dulles and arrived early afternoon at the San Francisco International Airport. Although the flight is 5-6 hours long, with the time difference, we gained three hours.

After renting our car, it took us just under an hour to arrive at the Ritz Carlton. So we arrived at the hotel around 2:00 pm, a good time to get checked in and still have enough daylight to enjoy our afternoon.

So often pictures of hotels are better than the actual hotel itself. In this case, it was just the opposite. The hotel was beautiful, our suite with a view to the ocean was wonderful, and the setting was absolutely spectacular as you will see in the photos.

Photos 1-14

The day of our arrival, we toured the hotel and grounds and then finished our day sipping wine on the veranda, looking at the beautiful scene and watching the sun go down on the ocean's horizon. It could not have been more perfect, except for the golf hole just in front of the verandah. So you did have to watch out for flying golf balls!

The next day we took one of the “Signature Drives” recommended by the hotel. Our first stop was in the quaint town of Half Moon Bay with an historic Main Street filled with shops and eateries. Our next destination was a series of a farm, nursery, and winery just outside of town. Then we were on to the California Redwood Mountains and the Santa Cruz Mountains. It was a twisty turning mountain road with lots of stops for fantastic vistas. The last part of our drive was a coastal drive that took us back to our hotel.

Photos 16-19

One of the managers, Albert Garriga, really went out-of-his-way to make our stay special.

We spent two nights here which was the right amount of time unless you are a golfer. Then you could easily spend another day or two on the fantastic golf course right at the ocean’s edge.

Our next stop, Monterey.

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