The extremely scenic drive down to Half Moon Bay on Highway 1 is both awe-inspiring and a little scary as it winds around the mountains and along the coast. Just a 45-minute drive away from the city, Half Moon Bay is a tranquil stretch of the coastline with luxury accommodations, dramatic waves and rugged beaches, and wonderful farmer’s markets. Swing by one of the many well-known nurseries for plants for your garden. And every Saturday, at the Shoreline Station parking lot, a farmer’s market sells locally grown produce, as well as cheese, seafood, coffee, and wines.

Of course, everything is suspended in October for the Pumpkin Festival, an annual highlight in Half Moon Bay. This year, the free festival, held from October 16-17, will be the 40th such jamboree, and every gourd-a-licious event you can imagine will be available. There will be a pumpkin weigh-off (of course), a pie-eating contest, and competitive and non-competitive pumpkin carving contests. And naturally, the weekend wouldn’t be complete without choosing your very own pumpkin at one of the many pick-you-own pumpkin patches in Half Moon Bay.