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good place for families to stay on the beach

hughson, ca
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117 posts
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good place for families to stay on the beach

we are 3 families with 8 kids between us. we will be spending a few days at the coast as part of our spring break. i am in charge of finding a place on the beach. i would appreciate any advice for places in or near HMB. we would like a place to relax and let the younger ones enjoy the beach (weather permitting). the older kids (all girls) will probably want to head into town to check out some shopping so any advice in this area would also be helpful. thanks in advance for your help.

San Mateo...
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1. Re: good place for families to stay on the beach

Just to set your expectations correctly ...

HMB is still a relatively small farming community (i.e. not alot of "shopping" besides little souvenir stalls and ince cream shops on Main St). Beaches are cold and surf in some spots are treacherous. That being said, I recommend the Beach House.

hughson, ca
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117 posts
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2. Re: good place for families to stay on the beach

thanks for the advice. we will be having a more active start to the vaca. and thought HMB would be a nice place to slow the pace down and just relax. i have visited a few times over the years so i am slightly familiar with the area but it has been many years since my last trip.

in regards to the hotel you mentioned i have checked it out on line but i am just not sure how kid friendly it is. the last thing we want to be is show up with 3 families and 8 kids and find out the hotel is full of couples looking for a quiet getaway. we are not the type to let our kids run wild so i am not worried about their behavior i just want to be sensitive to the other guests and pick a hotel that is appropriate for familes. what do you think?

San Francisco
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for Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park
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3. Re: good place for families to stay on the beach

If you don't mind being 25 miles from HMB and might like something a little different from the usual hotel, I'd suggest Costanoa. It's south of Pescadero Road, about halfway between HMB and Santa Cruz.

http://www.costanoa.com/site.php

There are several kinds of accommodations. The Lodge is the most upscale, and there are cabins and then several "villages" of tent cabins. There are several family bungalow clusters where parents and kids can have separate adjacent cabins.

If the kids have always stayed in hotels or motels, this might be a fun change of scene. Yes, it is a bit far from HMB, but it's close to several beaches, to Año Nuevo where the elephant seals hang out, and to Davenport, which has some great restaurants and a store that's a throwback to the Summer of Love on Haight Street.

Costanoa has its own restaurant, small gift shop, rental horses and bicycles, kids' nature day camp, and other organized activities--or folks can just relax. Pescadero also has some shops (antique, gourmet, and such), and Duarte's Restaurant and Tavern where artichoke soup, seafood or linguica dishes, and pies with fresh local fruit are featured. Another little town north of Pescadero, San Gregorio, has a country store with all kinds of oddities. Maybe the kids will find out that one-of-a-kind rural stores are as much fun as American Eagle!

Woodland, CA
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4. Re: good place for families to stay on the beach

Costanoa is your best bet. I have stayed there many times with small children. It is completely kid friendly and will work for all of you, I am sure. Well worth it.

Santa Cruz...
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for Santa Cruz
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5. Re: good place for families to stay on the beach

Errr....Read the reviews for Costanoa on this site before you decide. Also, is there a beach near enough so that you don't have to "take" the younger ones there? I think the girls may be bored.

Had you considered Santa Cruz (just 50 miles south of HMB?) The Santa Cruz Coast Hotel is on the beach and there would be things for the girls to do....they could walk downtown for shopping, for example.

Kauai, Hawaii
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6. Re: good place for families to stay on the beach

I agree with Puter and was thinking of a very similar recommendation. I live in HMB/Moss Beach and feel your children, esp. the older girls who need to shop, will find Santa Cruz very much more their style. Read the reviews of Costanoa before making a decision.

Danville, California
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7. Re: good place for families to stay on the beach

About the Beach House in Half Moon Bay- we stayed there in August with 3 kids (8,4,1), enjoyed our stay. We were upgraded a full ocean view room on the 3rd floor, nice, rooms are a good size and I like how they divided the rooms. There were other families there but also some couples and people on business, never felt like we were out of place with kids and since you are going during spring break, there should be more kids. The boutique hotel was nice, clean, great free breakfast, my kids had the pool to themselves quite often. The only thing I didn't really like was the beach below the hotel is quite dirty, lots of debris, litter, and as you got closer to the wharf, it smelled pretty bad where all the fishermen go to clean and cut their fish, my daughter gagged when riding her scooter passed the area. The other beach to the left of the hotel was a bit better, but then it was windy. My kids did have fun swimming, going for walks on the path, riding their scooters, 2 days was enough here tho.

Great place to eat for fresh seafood is Princeton Fish market at the wharf, great shrimp, huge!

Not much shopping in the area, downtown is ok.

Los Altos...
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8. Re: good place for families to stay on the beach

I'm with Puter and the others. In the Santa Cruz area, I personally would opt for Capitola if I had little kids and wanted a nice break by the beach. I spent a summer living in the village many years ago, and while it's changed quite a bit, I think the sense of idyll could be captured, along with shopping.

Kauai, Hawaii
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9. Re: good place for families to stay on the beach

Santa Cruz Boardwalk is celebrating its 100th year and is the only remaining amusement park on the California Coast. Might be some interesting goings-on there.

Santa Cruz, although only 60 miles away, is positioned so that it is a milder climate. Spring break time is still chilly, windy and wet on this San Mateo coast. You likely know that the ocean water temperature stays at about 55 degrees here on the HMB coast. The elements can churn up the ocean this time of year so that it does appear brownish and debris and seaweed float their way up to the shoreline. Today, for example, in Moss Beach (8 mi north of HMB) it is about 50 and very, very windy so that I am carrying in armfuls for the woodstove. You will run the risk that all of you will be huddled inside your lodging quarters (bring cards and games) unable to relax or enjoy playing on the beachand having covered most of the shopping opportunities in HMB in less than 2-3 hours.

10. Re: good place for families to stay on the beach

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