Pillar Point Harbor

1 Johnson Pier
Half Moon Bay, CA 94019

(650) 726-5727


School children and other public groups learn about fishing, boating and other activities at Pillar Point Harbor during tour conducted by the harbor crew.

Place Information

  • Place Category

    Venues, Parks

  • Place Cost More than $20

Word on the Street

Just a few miles north of busy Half Moon Bay lies the small, quiet community of Princeton-by-the-Sea.  Whenever we drive down Highway 92 to the coast, we never fail to stop by one of Princeton's main attractions, Pillar Point Harbor.  The harbor is home to fleets of fishing boats, sailboats and sea vessels offering deep-sea fishing expeditions and whale watching tours.   Unlike the harbors at Santa Cruz or Monterey, Pillar Point Harbor has nothing but boats (no souvenir shops at all, and the few  restaurants you'll see are across the parking lot), but it's by no means boring.  The adjacent beach and shoreline are fun to walk on, looking at birds and searching for pebbles and seashells.  There are kayaks for rent, and there's always a fishing boat or two docking or heading out to see.  There are always a couple of hopeful fishermen standing with their lines cast out into the water.  Best of all, you can descend from the main harbor dock onto the boat moorings and walk from boat to boat (keep a firm hand on your children!), where the fishermen are selilng their day's catch.  Even if you don't buy anything, they're happy to let your little one peer into their coolers and tanks at the live lobster, crabs, fish and other marine delicacies.  After taking in all that sea air, your little ones will be ready to chow down at one of the seafood restaurants across the harbor's parking lot (notably the Princeton Seafood Co.).  The newly-constructed Shoppes at Harbor Village cater to the cafe-loving set and the Half Moon Bay Brewing Company puts out a funky vibe for singles and families with older children, but for my money the best place to eat is, hands down, Barbara's Fish Trap.  You might not even see it because it's a bit out of the way, but look around for the crowd of people lining up to get into the restaurant or to order from take-out fish and chip shop.  Take it from my husband, an Englishman who grew up on fish and chips and a self-avowed fish-and-chips afficionado: they've got the best fish and chips in the Bay Area.

Pillar Point Harbor: From the Parents


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