San Gregorio California

With cool summers and a small-town vibe, San Gregorio California offers visitors the chance to escape big city life. Do some whale watching, or visit the sandy caves, when you make a stop at San Gregorio State Beach. The lovely beach is family-friendly and rarely packed with visitors. It’s not necessarily the best beach for sunning, but is a great place to take a leisurely stroll. A private, nude beach is located just north of the main one. With sandstone bluffs, Pomponio State Beach includes a small lagoon and booming surf. Keep reading our San Gregorio California travel guide and start planning your vacation to beautiful San Gregorio. For all the great area beaches, click here.

Weather – When to Visit San Gregorio

Average temperatures in San Gregorio vary little. If you’re looking for the very warmest time to visit San Gregorio, the hottest months are July thru September. The warmest time of year is generally late August to early September where highs are regularly around 78°F with temperatures rarely dropping below 57°F at night. The busiest time for tourism in San Gregorio California, is June thru August. Prices for hotels and flights will be most expensive during these months, though you can save if you purchase well in advance.

San Gregorio Attractions

San Gregorio State Beach

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The area includes a protected, driftwood-strewn estuary at the back of a wide, sandy beach – with grassy bluffs along the coast. The estuary is home to many birds and small animals. California Historical Landmark 26 commemorates the passage of Spanish Explorer Captain Gaspar de Portolá through this area in October 1769. 

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Pomponio State Beach

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Located 12 miles south of Half Moon Bay along the San Mateo coastline, this area provides access to miles of gently sloping, sandy beaches at the base of high sandstone bluffs. This day-use facility features a small lagoon, roaring surf – and a wide parking area, picnic tables, and barbecues.  

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Pescadero State Beach

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The beach has a mile-long shoreline with sandy coves, rocky cliffs, tide pools, fishing spots, and picnic facilities. Across the highway is Pescadero Marsh Natural Preserve, a popular spot for bird watchers and other naturalists. The Reserve is a refuge for wildlife such as: blue herons, kites, deer, raccoons, foxes, and skunks. 

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Tunitas Creek Beach

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Halfway between Half Moon Bay and Pescadero, where the waters from King’s Mountain reach the Pacific Ocean, lies Tunitas Creek Beach. Waters from Tunitas Creek run onto the broad, sandy beach. To the north stands an iconic sandstone cliff.

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Pescadero Marsh Natural Preserve

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The Marsh Preserve includes several habitats—a tidal estuary, freshwater marsh, brackish water marsh, dense riparian woods, and northern coastal scrub. More than 200 species of birds have been recorded in the Marsh, including more than 60 that nest there, among them great blue herons, double-crested cormorants and great egrets.

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Things to do in San Gregorio

Half Moon Bay Kayak Company

Half Moon Bay Kayak Company offers kayaks, paddle boards, and bicycle rentals of many varieties, including all the gear necessary for a fun, safe, and comfortable adventure. They also offer guided trips and private instruction, let your Bay Area sea kayaking adventure begin here. California paddle boarding is also a popular outdoor sport that provides a great workout while enjoying the great outdoors. Telephone: 650-773-6101 Web: Half Moon Bay Kayak Company

Mavericks Paddle Sports

In addition to hosting the Mavericks Internationally known surfing competitions, Mavericks Paddle Sports is dedicated to stand-up paddle boarding offering classes, gear and rentals. Mavericks Surf Shop also offers a variety of surfing clothing and gear as well. They can also include the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve, known for its extensive tide pools that host an abundance of marine life. Telephone: 650-560-8088 Web: Mavericks Paddle Sports

Sea Horse Ranch

Sea Horse Ranch offers a variety of California beach horseback riding and California trail riding to individuals and groups. The horseback rides go along the Coastal Equestrian Trail offering scenic views, ocean bluffs, and onto Poplar Beach. Go ahead and make California beach horseback riding a reality! Telephone: 650-726-2362 Web: Sea Horse Ranch

Huli Cat Sportfishing Party

Whale watching is almost year round in the Bay Area. December through May, experience the Gray Whale migration. May through October, find humpback whales, blue whales, or pilot whales. See killer whales, dolphins and porpoises.  Take a trip offshore bird watching for Northern California’s sea birds flying back and forth feeding along the coast. See the unique and rugged Farallon Islands, 28 to 40 miles offshore; see seabirds, sea lions and white sharks. White sharks move in close at the Farallons, October and November. Telephone: 650-726-2926 Web: Huli Cat Sportfishing Party

Riptide Sportfishing

Riptide offers both half and full day tours for whale watching/nature trips and to observe surfers off Mavericks.  You can often see Humpback whales, which are present in this area  of Northern California year-round. Many times during the Spring through Fall, we see Blue whales. The height of the Gray whale migration is from late December through May. There are many other forms of life to observe from their vessel –  Dolphins, Porpoises, Stellar Sea Lions and many a binocular is bird watching for offshore species. Telephone: 650-728-8043 Web: Riptide Sportfishing

Best Restaurants in San Gregorio

$-Inexpensive     $$-Moderate     $$$-Pricey     $$$$-Ultra High End

$ Pita & Salt

Pita & Salt serves great authentic and tasty Egyptian food! Generous portions. Timely delivery. Tasty. Catering and pickup only. No dine in but highly recommended! Telephone: 612-816-5509 Web: Pita & Salt

$$ Spork & Stix

Korean and Thai food finally united into one box. Their goal is to serve whimsical takes on the flavors of Thailand and Korea put together thoughtfully with an emphasis on balance. All components made in house from scratch, no shortcuts. Just time and passion. Telephone: 650-822-7849 Web: Spork & Stix

$ Kolobok Russian Soul Food Truck

Try their modern Russian cuisine served with a smile. Traditional Russian Specialties and Crepes! Telephone: 510-599-6542 Web: Kolobok Russian Soul Food Truck

$ Taco Coma

Super amazing tacos with many different toppings. Taco Coma delivers authentic delicious tacos that will leave you wanting more.  Telephone: 510-697-1448 Web: Taco Coma

$ Cochinta Food Truck

Cochinita specializes in traditional Street food from Yucatán, Mexico. Specialties include Cochinita Pibil, panuchos, and tacos. Telephone: 415-988-3663 Web: Cochinta Food Truck

Best San Gregorio Nightlife

Apple Jacks (La Honda)

They have a solid beer and liquor selection, stiff pours, sketchy bar food, a pool table, a small stage featuring excellent live music, a world-class jukebox for use when no one is performing, all housed in a historic old building sitting atop the Santa Cruz Mountains in the middle of the redwoods… what more could one ask for in a dive bar? Telephone: 650-747-0331 Web: Apple Jack’s

Sacrilege Brewery (Half Moon Bay)

They like to take what’s expected and turn it on its head. From their brewing methods to their burgers and everything in between. But what they lack in convention, they more than make up for in quality and hospitality — nothing makes them happier than serving hand-made beers and fresh, creative eats to the locals they love.  Telephone: 650-276-7029 Web: Sacrilege Brewery

Mullins Bar & Grill (Half Moon Bay)

Mullins Bar and Grill at Half Moon Bay Golf Links offers a warm and inviting setting for guests to enjoy a delicious casual meal or an upscale special event surrounded by breath-taking ocean and golf course views. Telephone: 650-726-1818 Web: Mullins Bar & Grill

The Saddle Room Bar (Redwood City)

A great neighborhood bar with the same owner since the 1970’s. Great happy hour, great music, and night bartenders with super reasonable drink prices. They also have a good selection of beer on tap. Telephone: 650-361-9756 Web: The Saddle Room Bar

Nighthawk (Redwood City)

Environment is jazzy and classy with excellent customer service! Thanks to jazz music and a classic speakeasy feel this place is a cozy and relaxed night spot. Telephone: 650-503-8025 Web: Nighthawk

Best San Gregorio Hotels

Cypress Inn on Miramar Beach (Half Moon Bay)

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The Cypress Inn in Half Moon Bay is located just 28 miles south of San Francisco and is a favorite weekend getaway destination. Guests of the Cypress Inn on Miramar Beach gaze upon the Pacific Ocean as they enjoy their breakfast from the comfort of their room. Let the soothing sounds of crashing waves lull you into blissful relaxation while you enjoy a massage by our in-house massage therapist. Enjoy the generous size, flat screen TV, and jetted tubs of our guestrooms. Join us at the Cypress Inn on Miramar Beach and unwind! For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room visit the Cypress Inn on Miramar Beach.

Landis Shores Oceanfront Inn (Half Moon Bay)

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Guests at this beach bed & breakfast will appreciate convenient onsite amenities such as barbecue grills and a picnic area. All 11 rooms boast fireplaces and jetted tubs, while also providing free WiFi, free wired Internet, and flat-screen TVs with cable channels. Other amenities available to guests include furnished balconies or patios, DVD players, and refrigerators. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room visit Landis Shores Oceanfront Inn.

Mill Rose Inn (Half Moon Bay)

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The Mill Rose Inn is not to be missed for guests who enjoy extraordinary personal service, warm hospitality, and meticulous attention to detail. Enjoy the exuberant gardens with year round color, sinfully comfortable rooms and luxurious suites, decadent culinary treats, easy walk to the beaches, shops, restaurants and many memorable things to do in vibrant Half Moon Bay. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room visit the Mill Rose Inn.

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Best Western Plus Cameron’s Inn (Half Moon Bay)

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Each guestroom is equipped with premium pillow-top mattresses and soft linens, Free WiFi, a work desk, premium cable programming that includes HBO and ESPN, a coffee and tea maker, a Hairdryer, an iron and ironing board mounted in every closet, a refrigerator and microwave, personal climate control, and a private bathroom with signature Best Western Plus in-room toiletries. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room visit the Best Western Plus Cameron’s Inn.

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Nantucket Whale Inn (Half Moon Bay)

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Indulge in relaxed luxury at Nantucket Whale Inn boutique bed and breakfast inn. Featured in Travel & Leisure Magazine’s “Five Winter Getaways We Love Near San Francisco”. The chic décor reflects the feel of an elegant Nantucket Island home – opulent and tasteful, comfortable and cozy. The atmosphere is casual, the experience is rich. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room visit the Nantucket Whale Inn.



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30 Comments

  1. jaykaynigltd

    Wow! Great article with great expository skill!

    I have never been to USA before but I have heard so many good things about it but this is the kill . Feel like going there right away. Nude beach is a must visit place if I ever get to USA.  How is the cost of living in San Gregorio? How easily can I get tourist visa for me and my family of four?

    thanks for sharing, it looks captivating!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I am not sure where you are visiting from, but the US visa application process is a lengthy one. Initiate the process at least 30 days before your trip and have a detailed itinerary. The key is that you should be able to substantiate your financial ability to support your trip and also when you intend to return back.  You can click on this link to apply for a U.S. Visa.  The cost of living in California is pretty high no matter where you are.  I know I live in Florida and I would live in California if I could, but the cost of living is so much higher.  You won’t find a bargain, unfortunately.

      Reply
  2. Oneal22

    Very beautiful and expository beach guide experience here, I had never had about the San Gregorio beach until now, but with this piece I have just seen, I yearn for the Californian experience, while reading I came across an eye catching part, the part that said there is a private nude beach and I became extra interested in the San gregorio, and what is more, the fact that the best time to visit is July to September makes it a perfect summer holiday getaway. Cheers.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Well I am glad you enjoyed and the nude beach part does seems to make a lot of readers ear perk up LOL.  Thanks for visiting my San Gregorio California post.

      Reply
  3. Babsie Wagner

    The San Gregorio State Beach sounds like a perfect place for my family because my children absolutely love wildlife, and the grassy bluffs along the beach being home to many birds and small animals would be right up their alley.  The Pescadero State Beach would also be a site of interest for us because Pescadero Marsh Natural Preserve is a popular spot for bird watchers (my daughter) and other naturalists. The Reserve, being a refuge for wildlife like deer, raccoons, and foxes (maybe not so much the skunks lol), would enthrall all the kids for sure.  Great write-up and it sounds like these are destinations for us!  Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Perfect Babsie!  I am glad enjoyed my San Gregorio California post and sounds like the perfect destination for you and your  family 🙂

      Reply
  4. abioye olalekan

    Wow, San Gregorio is absolutely beautiful.  Me and the family are traveling to San Francisco for vacation and I like the idea of taking a drive to San Gregorio to just see all the beauty and of course the great beaches.  Sounds like a great way to escape the city for a few days 🙂  Thanks for all the great information!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are welcome, and thank you for visiting Beach Travel Destinations.  Please let me know if you need any additional information.  If you want to stay right outside of San Francisco, I recommend South San Francisco.  You’ll find it quieter, yet close to everything.  

      Reply
  5. Jerome

    Great post and wonderful video (as good as National Geographic, amazing what you can do with a drone !). The pictures are fantastic and make me really want to try out this area for a couple of days with the family.

    What would you say is the best beach for a family with small kids ?

    Cheers. John

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I would take the family to San Gregorio State Beach.  You find everything there for a great beach day with the family 🙂   The little ones can enjoy the beach, tide pools, and all the birds that like to hang around there.  

      Reply
  6. Katya

    Hi, I already read your Kauai Travel guide, but I think San Gregorio is more in my budget league..and I am looking for a little getaway. Do you reckon, a long weekend would be enough to do some beach horseback riding, see the State Beach and also wander around the stretch of between Half Moon Bay and Pescadero?

    Thank you for your help,

    Katya

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You could do it over the weekend, yes.  One day for horseback riding and beach lounging.  Another two days for Pescadero and Half Moon Bay!  It would be a wonderful weekend for sure 🙂  Please let me know if you have any further questions.

      Reply
  7. stefan

    Hi, Laehrae, I love checking out your great articles. I just got noticed by email that you published this one and wanted to see.

    I’m planning a trip to California this summer and the beaches are on my list. San Gregorio is not that famous, I like that.

    The sandy beach looks great, is it safe to swim with kids?

    The only thing I miss on your posts is a link to Google maps, I’d really like to quickly see where the places are about.

    Thanks Stefan 🙂

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Oh, that is a great idea Stefan, I need to start adding the Google map 🙂  Yes, it is safe to swim.  The best are San Gregorio State Beach and Pomponio State Beach.  Please let know if you have any additional questions.

      Reply
  8. Yormith96

    Hello there leahrae…  This is just a beautiful narration of San gregorio California beaches, u made me wanna hold my next birth in one those beautiful beaches u have mentioned here since my birthday is in september and its falls within the best time to visit there, i think i will like to visit Pescadero State Beach, I love the beautiful view

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Pescadero State Beach is wonderful!  Great way to enjoy your birthday for sure!

      Reply
  9. Daniella

    Hi Matt,

    Wow, I love the video, it made me want to jump right inside it and be there:) That’s a place not to miss out! I see there are lots of fishing activities to do there, my husband will be pleased as he is a fan of fishing. The Best Western Plus Cameron’s hotel will be just perfect for us. It looks really romantic! Are there some fishing stores where we can buy good equipment?
    Thank you for this great guide!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      The video does do San Gregorio justice. It is definitely that beautiful for sure. For fishing supplies head to Half Moon Bay and visit Princeton Fishing Gear. They will have everything your hubby needs to head out and catch some fish. The Best Western Plus Cameron’s Hotel is a great choice, as it does have very high reviews and we just completely remodeled. Enjoy!

      Reply
  10. Hanna

    Wow! Another beautiful place in California.
    I have a friend who lives there and he always tell me if ever i go to San Gregorio, don`t forget that food truck. I think that`s the Kolobok Russian Cuisine.
    One of these days, i will definitely try that!
    Thanks for sharing this article!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      He is right, and there are some great food trucks there 🙂 Strange that is the only type of “restaurant” you will find in San Gregorio. Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply
  11. Derek Marshall

    You caught my attention with the words “nude beach”..Just kidding. I was looking at package holiday options for me and the Family for San Gregorio – how are the resturants and facilities for vegetarians and European style food?
    And what about some fun activities for young family?

    Thank you kindly in advance.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thanks for visiting Derek. Ok for Vegan options, the top restaurants are going to be the Veggie Grill, Garden Fresh Chinese Vegan Cuisine and Rubio’s Coastal Grill. I’m not sure what type of European food you are looking for. But you will find Italian, Latin, and South American cuisine here. For some young family activities you can go to Harley Farms, horse back riding (not sure how young your family is), Phipps Country Store & Farm, the Arata Pumpkin Farm, or the Tunitas Creek Family Farm. Hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any other questions.

      Reply
  12. Effie

    Tunitas Creek Beach is a dream! This place seems se peaceful..I’m looking forward to visiting it ! Excellent review Leahrae!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thanks Effie! Glad you enjoyed 🙂

      Reply
  13. John

    Leahrae,
    This is a very out of the way place. You can feel like you are in a remote area and still be close to a big city.
    I would like to go out on the whale watching trip, I have not seen any when out before, this is still on my bucket list.
    I noticed that all of your places to stay are at Half Moon Bay, this is about 10 miles north. Are there any places closer to San Gregorio.
    John

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Half Moon Bay is going to be the closest place to stay for a hotel if you want to check out San Gregorio, that is why I listed Half Moon Bay hotels 🙂 There are absolutely no hotels in San Gregorio. Please let me know if I can help you with any of your travel planning.

      Reply
  14. Demi

    Being in the bay area for five years, It’s silly that I was not aware of San Gregorio beaches and all the other things it has to offer. Horseback riding along the beach sounds amazing. I cant wait to explore San Gregorio. Thanks for sharing such helpful travel guides!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are most welcome Demi, thank you for visiting beach travel destinations!

      Reply
  15. MICHAEL ADKINS

    What a fab looking place, I would love visit one day – Loved the Video of the Drone flight.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Glad you enjoyed Michael! Thanks for stopping by my San Gregorio California review!

      Reply

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