Plus, 10 recs for where to eat around Half Moon Bay

Ronald, the COVID conscious pumpkin (photo by Sahale Greenwood)

Autumn is upon us.

And after an uncertain spring and strange summer, the calendar turns to one of our favorite times of year on the SF Peninsula. Yes, fall is here…so head towards Highway 1, grab some gourds and eat outdoors.

Here is the Six Fifty’s guide to getting your pumpkins (and fall-festive feelings) amid the autumn atmosphere of the 6–5–0 coast. Stay safe and enjoy!

The concession stand at Lemo’s Farm. (photo by Sahale Greenwood)

Lemos Farm

Got Kids? Lemos Farm offers more entertainment for your children (especially young kids) than any other patch in Half Moon Bay.

This smaller, more manicured pumpkin patch has a lot for your little ones: the haunted house will not leave your children screaming in the night and the hay maze rises only three feet, making it impossible to lose your child. The old-timey buildings, accessories and music make this little patch a great escape from all your current troubles in 2020.

Old-timey charm and activities at Lemo’s Farm (photo by Sahale Greenwood)

Of course, they’re also the only pumpkin patches in the area that charges for admission. The price for children’s entry with all attractions included (haunted house, pony rides, bouncy castle, balloon shaping, face painting, petting zoo, racing cars, hay maze and train rides) is $25. Without pony rides, children’s tickets are $20. Adult tickets are $10.

The site is equipped with many sanitizing stations, masks are required and most importantly, the farm is controlling how many visitors can be on the site at once by pre-selling their tickets online and capping the number of tickets sold for both the morning and afternoon slots. (Another small but important detail is Lemos has the cleanest bathrooms of any patch!)

If this sounds like the right place for you and your young ones, hop online and reserve tickets as spots are filling up.

Lemos Farm // 12320 San Mateo Rd, Half Moon Bay; 650.726.2342

Giant hay maze at Arata’s (photo by Sahale Greenwood)

Arata’s Pumpkin Farm

Just south of Half Moon Bay along Highway 1, Arata’s is well-known for its gigantic hay maze, and no, it does not disappoint. (For context of how huge and complicated the maze truly is: this college-educated reporter in her 20’s was utterly lost and ultimately took 25 minutes to complete the maze.) This farm’s specialty is its sheer size: giant hay maze, large corn stalks, so many pumpkins, picnic tables, a hayride and a petting zoo.

Pumpkins hidden throughout the corn stalks at Arata’s (photo by Sahale Greenwood)

This patch is ideal for families with older kids looking for a more challenging maze,visitors who want that extra, extra space to spread themselves out from other patrons, and of course, the Insta-obsessed looking to take pictures.

Additionally, this patch has the most pumpkins to choose from out of any Half Moon Bay patch.

Arata’s will be charging $20 to park but $10 can be put towards pumpkins you purchase at the end. In the past, Arata used satellite parking in addition to on-site, but this year they will only use the main parking lot. Chris Gounalakis, the owner and operator, said, “We are hoping this will reduce congestion and make people feel safer.” Additionally, all of their concessions will be pre-packaged to further ensure the visitor’s safety, and everyone is required to wear a mask. This site does have bathroom facilities (read as: porta-potties).

Arata’s Pumpkin Farm // 185 Verde Rd, Half Moon Bay; 650.726.7548

Pumpkin selection at Farmer John’s (photo by Sahale Greenwood)

Farmer John’s Pumpkin Farm

Expect to meet Farmer John immediately upon walking into this quaint, down-to-earth, local farm. A happy man full of pride for his pumpkins and chatter for his patrons, he explained that the patch only has locally grown produce and up to 60 different varieties of pumpkins. Most notably, the patch has red French Rogue pumpkins not found in other patches.

French Rogue pumpkin specialty (photo by Sahale Greenwood)

This is a great patch if you are looking for a no-muss, no-fuss kind of pumpkin patching experience. Little attractions are offered here so this patch is best for people looking to quickly grab a few great pumpkins, support local business and avoid the crowds.

Farmer John’s famous tipi, usually visible off Highway 1, is unfortunately closed during COVID-19. Everything else, however, is running as usual, plus a few extra sanitizing stations and required masks. Parking and entrance are free — you only pay for the pumpkins. There are no restrooms at this site.

Farmer John’s Pumpkin Farm // 850 Cabrillo Hwy N, Half Moon Bay; 650.726.4980

Andreotti Family Farm’s pumpkin selection and barn (photo by Sahale Greenwood)

Andreotti Family Farms Pumpkin Patch

Right next door to Farmer John is Andreotti Family Farms Pumpkin Patch, most known for their U-pick sunflower fields. Again, parking and entrance are free, you just pay for the pumpkins. This historic barn only sells pumpkins grown on-site by each generation of the Andreotti family. If you get lucky, you might even see the Andreotti’s baby girl riding on the tractor or watering some plants.

not-so-working part of the Andreotti’s working farm (photo by Sahale Greenwood)

While the farm itself is very large, most of the space is devoted to working farms and sunflower fields. So picking your pumpkins here should be easy, hassle-free and supportive of a local, family-owned farm. This site does not have bathrooms for visitors and does require everyone to wear a mask.

Andreotti Family Farms Pumpkin Patch // 800 Cabrillo Hwy N, Half Moon Bay; 650.922.0141

Puppy at Bob’s (photo from Yelp)

Bob’s Vegetable Stand & Pumpkin Farm

Close to Arata’s lives this down-to-earth, no-frills pumpkin patch and vegetable stand. With hundreds of pumpkins scattered around the scenic farm, there are many options for your pumpkin picking; some are even still on the vine, which is fitting because their slogan reads, “pick ’em where they grow.” The lot offers wheelbarrows, a great selection of pumpkins, other fresh vegetables and local produce, but most importantly, wholesome family time at a back-to-basics farm. Expect great service and low prices. This is also one of the only farms where dogs are allowed.

Bob’s Vegetable Stand & Pumpkin Farm // Cabrillo Hwy S, Half Moon Bay; 650.726.4567

Pastorino’s Flowers

Just across the highway from Lemos Farm is Pastorino’s Flowers, a well-known nursery in Half Moon Bay that also has a festive pumpkin patch during September and October. It’s a great spot for just grabbing a few gourds (or quickly pacifying the kids after you all realize Lemos is sold out).

Pastorino’s Flowers // 12391 San Mateo Rd, Half Moon Bay; 650.726.6440

The Barn Burger vs Dad’s Hamburger Sandwich?….win-win either way. (Image via The Barn’s website and 650 file photo)

Local Eats

Whether you are trudging through the muddy corn stalks at Arata’s or quickly picking pumpkins from Farmer John’s local patch, you are bound to be hungry (or thirsty!) afterward. The Six Fifty has a few food recommendations (and booze for parents who spent the afternoon hauling around all 10 of their child’s “perfect pumpkins”). These restaurants are all local to the Coastside.

Located towards near Pillar Point Harbor in El Granada,Breakwater Barbeque is a local fave with delicious grilled eats, an outdoor setting and takeout options. They have a rotating menu so make sure to check out the specials before heading over.

Breakwater Barbeque // 30 Ave Portola #1B, El Granada; (650) 713–5303

One of our go-to spots anytime we’re on the coast, The Barn serves up top-notch burgers, decadent mac ’n’ cheese balls and…wait for it—horchata milkshakes! Fun setting for the whole family, with great outdoor seating, plus beer and wine for Mom & Dad.

The Barn // 3068 Cabrillo Hwy, Half Moon Bay; 650.560.8363

A few years ago, chef Scott Clark left the high-end SF restaurant Saison to run his own eatery out of a train caboose. The resulting eatery—Dad’s Luncheonette—is must-try in the Bay Area. The menu is small but spectacular, namely their hamburger sandwich (two slices of grilled sweet white bread with a free-range egg, lettuce, cheese, pickled red onions and Dad’s sauce) and their mixed green salad (trust us…it’s something special). Cool outdoor atmosphere with bottled beer & wine.

Dad’s Luncheonette // 225 Cabrillo Hwy S, Half Moon Bay; 650.560.9832

One of our favorite taqueria’s in the 6–5–0 area code, Tres Amigos is busy all day long with locals and tourists alike. The entire menu is good, but maybe mix it up with their pollo asado Caesar salad or just keep it simple with a taco plate. Their famous salsa bar is closed during COVID, so ask for extra pico de gallo to-go. Limited seating outside right now.

Tres Amigos Restaurant // 270 Cabrillo Hwy, Half Moon Bay; 650.726.6080

Lunchtime eats at Sacrilege: the Hawaiian chicken tacos (on corn tortillas with pineapple and aioli) and the brewery’s namesake Sacrilege burger (with the works on a toasted English muffin), plus a Lemon Peels Grass Blonde Ale and St. Carl’s Salted Caramel Stout — both Sacrilege brewed. (Photo by Charles Russo)

Sacrilege Brewing and Kitchen has lots of beers on tap and offers flights. Their food menu rotates daily as they strive to always prepare the freshest local ingredients. Currently, they are only offering to-go on food and drink.

Sacrilege Brewery + Kitchen // 730 Main St, Half Moon Bay; 650.276.7029

It is almost impossible to talk about breweries in Half Moon Bay and not mention local mainstay Hop Dogma. They always have a selection of seasonal beers in addition to their year-round Fallen Leaf Lager with a rye, amber taste. They are only serving beers on the patio Wednesday through Monday and only with the purchase of a meal from their partners at Lamas Peruvian Food Truck. Tuesday and Wednesday are pick-up only. Online ordering is still available for pickup option at any time.

Hop Dogma // 270 Capistrano Rd #22, Half Moon Bay; (650) 560–8729

If you find yourself arriving in Half Moon Bay and need some energy before pumpkin patching, Mavericks Creperie is a great local breakfast spot. From omelets to pancakes to crepes to coffee, they have everything your morning could want. They also offer curbside pickup and delivery to Half Moon Bay locations.

Mavericks Creperie // 146 San Mateo Rd, Half Moon Bay; (650) 713–5298

Flying Fish Bar and Grill,“where locals feel at home and visitors feel like locals,” is a great restaurant to round out your Half Moon Bay experience. Their menu includes all the seafood staples and if you happen to be there on a Monday you get mussels with a pint of beer or glass of wine for only $20. They are offering free delivery to any location in Half Moon Bay as well as dine-in and curbside pick up.

Flying Fish Bar and Grill // 211 San Mateo Rd, Half Moon Bay; (650) 712–1125

If you have been in Half Moon Bay all day and have not yet seen the ocean, head to Sam’s Chowder House. With a fantastic patio that looks out over the harbor and classic seafood dishes like oysters on the half shell and lobster pasta, it is the perfect place to enjoy the outdoors and delicious food with your family.

Sam’s Chowder House // 4210 CA-1, Half Moon Bay; (650) 712–0245

If Sam’s Chowder house seems a little fancy for your mud-covered boots or you simply do not have time for a sit-down meal, Spangler’s Deli is a local grocery store that makes amazing sandwiches. This is perfect for a grab-and-go meal, possibly to take to the beach to carve those pumpkins! They offer ordering in-store, curbside pickup and delivery.

Spangler’s Deli // 101 Main St suite a, Half Moon Bay; (650) 210–7013

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Sahale Greenwood Profile Photo

Sahale Greenwood

I am a journalist and photographer with a passion for people and the outdoors. I recently won the Justin T. McCarthy Award for Excellence in Journalism 2021 upon my graduation from Santa Clara University.

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