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Between the two golf courses and overlooking 50 miles of rocky California coastline, presiding on the edge of hundred-foot bluffs like a dowager empress, The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay is a grand, Shingle-style lodge reminiscent of the Eastern Seaboard hostelries of the 19th century. Fireplaces are ablaze on the terraces and in rather formal public rooms decorated with antique oil paintings that recall the 1800s, when Portuguese shipbuilders settled this seacoast. Tea is taken among the potted palms in the light-filled conservatory. Most guest rooms have fireplaces and window seats with ocean views.
In contrast to the luxury-level enclave of the golf club and the resort, as it has since the mid-1800s, the sleepy agricultural town of Half Moon Bay is a day-trip destination for foodies and beach-goers from around the San Francisco Bay Area.