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PUMPKINS ABOUND ALONG THE HALF MOON BAY COASTSIDE, CA
Enjoy a World-Renowned Pumpkin Festival, Pumpkin-Inspired Dishes, Spa Treatments and Festivities Throughout the Season  

HALF MOON BAY, CA – SEPTEMBER 16, 2015 - There is no better place to celebrate the wonders of the fall season than along the Half Moon Bay Coastside. Fondly regarded as the pumpkin capital of the world, this beautiful coastal region, located approximately 35 minutes south of San Francisco, produces more than 3,000 tons of pumpkins every year. Visitors will delight in the area’s brilliant orange-pick-your-own-pumpkins and scenic backdrop of rich fall colors. The local menus are brimming over with pumpkin-inspired delights such as pumpkin risotto, pumpkin cheesecake, and even pumpkin beer on tap! Those seeking an unforgettable seasonal indulgence can experience the merriment with specialty pumpkin spa experiences.
 
Below is a summary of pumpkin-related events, dining experiences, spa treatments and more along the Half Moon Bay Coastside. To plan a trip, visit www.visithalfmoonbay.org and also download iCoastside to access information on the region’s cozy inns and luxury coastal resorts, renowned restaurants, farm visits, golfing, wine tasting, fishing, whale watching, surfing and much more.
 
Special Note: All locations are in Half Moon Bay unless otherwise noted.
 
- EVENTS -
 
Sixth Annual Hand-Blown Art Glass Pumpkin Patch
Oct. 10 & 11; 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Half Moon Bay Art Glass will transform the grounds of La Nebbia Winery into a glistening glass pumpkin patch featuring the work of glass blower Douglass C. Brown. This artistic installation will feature hundreds of one-of-a-kind glass pumpkins available for purchase, each one personally handcrafted by Brown, who works year round to create this spectacular display. La Nebbia Winery will be open for guests to partake in wine tasting and to purchase bottles of wine, while bocce ball courts will offer fun for everyone. La Nebbia Winery, 12341 San Mateo Road on Hwy. 92, (650) 283-5626, www.hmbartglass.com
 
42nd Annual Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off (free!)
Oct. 12; 7 a.m. - 11 a.m.
Superstar Gourd Growing Greats and their hard-to-believe, titanic orange orbs gather for the Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off in the World Pumpkin Capital of Half Moon Bay. A special $30,000 bonus mega-prize will be awarded to any grower who breaks the world record at Half Moon Bay, considered the "Super Bowl of Weigh-Offs." A host of veteran growers contend for the coveted title, the $30,000 world record prize and thousands in additional prize money. In a pay-by-the-pound system, the winner will take home a hefty $6 per pound for the champion mega-pumpkin. Superstar grower John Hawkley's astounding 2,058-pound weigh-off champion mega-gourd set a new North American record and obliterated a formidable field of heavyweight contenders in winning the 2014 Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off. The grand champion gourd (along with the top five overall) will be on display at the Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival, October 17-18, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. IDES Grounds, 735 Main Street, (650) 726-9652, www.miramarevents.com Media Contact: Tim Beeman, (650) 726-3491, tim@miramarevents.com.
 
45th Annual Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival (free!)
Oct. 17 & 18; 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Half Moon Bay celebrates its bountiful fall harvest and autumn splendor with a special display of gigantically enormous heavyweight champion pumpkins, three stages of stellar live music, the Great Pumpkin Parade, a bone-chilling Haunted House, harvest-inspired crafts, home-style foods, expert pumpkin carver Farmer Mike sculpting a monster 1,200+ pound pumpkin, photos with the grand champion mega-gourd, pie-eating and costume contests, pumpkin carving for fun, and so much more! With so much to see and do, visitors can use iPumpkin, the official mobile application of the Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival, to navigate their way through the festival. Admission is free. Main Street, (650) 726-9652, www.miramarevents.com. Media Contact: Tim Beeman, (650) 726-3491, tim@miramarevents.com.
 
Pumpkin Run
Oct. 18; 8 a.m.
With a route that winds up the beautiful Coastside trail, the annual Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Run is one of the most picturesque in California. This event is a great way to get some exercise, fresh air and an early start on this year’s Pumpkin Festival. Choose from the Pumpkin Power 5K Obstacle Challenge, a 5K run or walk, or bring your children to the Kids Fun Run! Registration cost is $30 pre-registration (post-marked by October 15); $35 after October 15; $20 children under 12 and seniors over 65. The run starts and ends at Hatch Elementary School, 490 Miramontes Road. To register go to www.seniorcoastsiders.org. For more information, call (650) 712-7322.
 
Coastside Brewfest 
Oct. 24; 1 - 5 p.m.
In celebration of the plethora of amazing breweries in the Bay Area and on the Coastside, the Half Moon Bay Brewing Company is hosting their Second Annual Coastside Brewfest. Sample some the best breweries of the Bay Area including Mavericks, Hop Dogma, Cellermaker, Devil’s Canyon, Deschutes, Fieldwork, Fort Point, Sudwerk, Santa Cruz Ale Works and others. Off the Grid food trucks will provide a wide variety of local specialties for purchase. In keeping with the Brewing Company’s ongoing philanthropic initiatives, a portion of the evening’s proceeds will be donated to Coastside Hope. Tickets are $30 per person in advance; $40 at the door. 390 Capistrano Road, (650) 728-2739, www.hmbbrewingco.com. Media Contact: Evita Broughton, evita@ellipsespr.com.
 
- LOCAL RICHES -
Pick-Your-Own Pumpkin Patches
An autumn visit to the pumpkin fields around Half Moon Bay is a popular annual tradition for many families. Spread out along Highway 92 and Cabrillo Highway (Rt. 1), visitors will
discover pumpkins in a wide variety of colors, shapes and sizes in beautiful rural settings. Below is a selection of local pumpkin farms open to visitors:
 
  • A. Repetto Nursery- at this pumpkin patch, visitors can choose from more than 30 different pumpkin varieties, meander through a corn maze and go for a hayride. 12331 San Mateo Road, (650) 726-6414.
 
  • Arata Pumpkin Farm – in addition to pumpkins, this family-friendly farm features pony rides, a haunted barn, a petting zoo, a hay maze and more. 185 Verde Road, (650) 726-7548, www.aratapumpkinfarm.com.
 
  • Farmer John’s Pumpkin Farm - life-long farmers Farmer John and his wife Eda grow more than 60 varieties of pumpkins and squash. Visitors can also check out an authentic Native American Teepee and take a ride on a vintage tractor. 850 North Cabrillo Highway, (650) 726-4980, www.farmerjohnspumpkins.com.
 
  • Lemos Family Farm - this family farm specializes in year-round activities for children such as pony rides, tractor/train rides, petting zoo and more. 12320 San Mateo Road, (650) 726-2342, www.lemosfarm.com.
 
  • Pastorino Gifts & Plants – this family-run farm boasts hayrides, train rides, ponies, pet and feed farm animals, giant slides, and on the weekends there’s a haunted house and face painting. 12391 San Mateo Road, (650) 726-6440, www.pastorinofarms.com.
 
  • Tom & Pete’s Produce - celebrating 50 years since its inception in 1964, the produce stand will have pumpkins for sale during the month of October. 270 Main Street, (650) 726-7500.
 
Seasonal Bounty Awaits at Local Farmer’s Markets
Here’s how to partake in the plethora of fresh, local produce (including lots of pumpkins!) available at the Half Moon Bay Coastside’s Farmer’s Markets:
  • Coastside Farmers’ Market at Shoreline Station in Half Moon Bay. Saturdays, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. through December, www.coastsidefarmersmarket.org.
  • Coastside Farmers’ Market at Rockaway Beach in Pacifica. Wednesdays, 2:30 - 6 p.m. through December, www.coastsidefarmersmarket.org
  • Pescadero Grown Farmer's Market. 251 Stage Road, Pescadero. Thursdays, 3 - 7 p.m. through early Oct. 29, www.pescaderogrown.org.
 
- ACCOMMODATIONS -
 
Celebrate Pumpkins at the Beach House Hotel
The luxuriously appointed New England-style Beach House Hotel is celebrating the pumpkin season in style throughout the month of October. Guests will enjoy pumpkin muffins served each morning with the hotel’s continental breakfast. In addition, festive pumpkin gourds will adorn each room and the front desk will offer complimentary maps to the area’s many pumpkin patches where guests can pick their own pumpkins. For an extra $25, guests can enjoy story time for kids with a seasonal favorite hardback book (October’s selection features pumpkins), plus a snack and juice, all made for enjoying the season. The special Story Time amenity will continue in November during Thanksgiving and holiday books, as well as books featuring the ocean throughout the year. 4100 North Cabrillo Hwy, (800) 315-9366, www.beachhouse.com. Media Contact: Marje Bennetts, (310) 802.4101 marje@beach-house.com.
 
– CULINARY NEWS –
 
Pumpkin Sunday Brunch at Navio
October 4, 11, 18 & 25
The fine chefs at Navio know how to create an unforgettable brunch experience and their upcoming Pumpkin Sunday Brunch is no exception. The line-up includes taste-tempting dishes such as pumpkin soup, pumpkin risotto, and pumpkin desserts along with other sweet and savory selections. Brunch is $109 per person, exclusive of tax and gratuity. Seating times are at 11 a.m., 11:15 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 1:45 p.m. and 2 p.m. One Miramontes Point Road,
 (650) 712-7000, www.ritzcarlton.com/hmb. Media contact: Deanne French, (949) 240-5088, Deanne.French@ritzcarlton.com.
 
Harvest Pumpkin Dinner at HMB Brewing Co.
Oct. 6
Join Half Moon Bay Brewing Company for their annual Harvest Pumpkin Dinner on October 6. This three-course feast prepared by Chef Federico Godinez will feature local Cozzolino pumpkins paired in palate-pleasing harmony with pumpkin beers. Menu items include sweet and spicy braised local Cozzolino Farms sugar pumpkin and arugula salad with crispy pancetta bits and roasted green garlic vinaigrette and wild king salmon served with spaghetti squash and local Swiss chard. Brewmaster James Costa’s hand-crafted Pumpkin Harvest Ale and Imperial Pumpkin Ale will be on the menu as well as a cider tasting from Reef Points Barrel aged Hard Cider. Farmers Tony and Stephanie Cozzolino will be in attendance, and share some of their pumpkin growing and decorating ideas, as well as have some of their unusual squashes, pumpkins and gourds for discussion and purchase. $65 per person including tax and tip. (Reservations required as space is limited to 40 people. The event will be held at Mavericks Event Center, 107 Broadway Street. For more information and to purchase tickets, call  (650) 728-2739, www.hmbbrewingco.com. Media Contact: Evita Broughton, evita@ellipsespr.com.
 
Moonside Bakery and Café
Voted the “Best Bakery in Half Moon Bay,” Moonside Bakery and Café is the place to go for delectable housemade pumpkin goodies. A sampling of their “Everything Pumpkin” menu includes pumpkin parfait, pumpkin cheesecakes, pumpkin cookies, pound loafs, croissants, muffins, mousse cake, bread puddings, chocolate-filled pumpkin cupcakes, and even pumpkin pancakes. Of course, no celebration is complete without their scrumptious pumpkin pie. 604 Main Street, (650) 726-9070, www.moonsidebakery.com.
 
It’s Italia’s Weekend Cucina Brunch
Located on Main Street It’s Italia restaurant and bar, a local favorite since 1997, specializes in award-winning gourmet pizzas, artful antipasti and salads, house pastas and gnocchi, slow roasted meats and seafood selections from their rotisserie and mesquite grill, and house made desserts.  The “It’s Italia Weekend Cucina Brunch” pulls out all the stops when it comes to celebrating the pumpkin. Commemorating the tastes of fall, the menu comes to life with a variety of offerings such as eggs Benedict on pumpkin polenta cakes, house rolled pumpkin gnocchi, or the popular pumpkin festival salad featuring Farmer John's grilled Apple Blossom Pumpkin. Also on the menu is the spiced pumpkin focaccia and pumpkin rum bread pudding. 401 Main Street, (650) 726-4444, www.itsitaliarestaurant.com.
 
Pasta Moon Pumpkin Delectables
Enjoy an autumn feast at Pasta Moon with appetizers such as lace battered tempura pumpkin with house made apple butter and pumpkin seed pesto, warm roasted pumpkin salad with pancetta, pecorino and pecans, and the superb pumpkin gnocchi with Fontina Fonduta and ten-year balsamic vinegar aged in chestnut wood. On the entrée menu, savor the creamy pumpkin risotto with roasted quail dressed in pomegranate reduction and crispy prosciutto. For dessert, indulge in spiced pumpkin fritters with chocolate sauce and candied pepitas or pumpkin cake with pecan streusel and maple syrup gelato. Any of the pumpkin dishes pair wonderfully with their Wine Spectator award-winning, all-Italian wine selection. 315 Main Street, (650) 726-5125, www.pastamoon.com.
 
Half Moon Bay Brewing - Pumpkin Beer & Food
A beloved destination known for award-winning, handcrafted beer and sustainable coastal cuisine, Half Moon Bay Brewing Company heralds the arrival of the fall season with their famous Mavericks Pumpkin Harvest Ale. Available through November 30, this delicious handcrafted ale is made with more than 120 pounds of local, roasted sugar pie pumpkins and has a subtle pumpkin pie flavor balanced by a biscuit maltiness. Pairing perfectly is Chef Godinez’s tribute to the orange gourd with his decadent Dungeness crab & pumpkin bisque, Brussels sprouts salad with pumpkin vinaigrette and Gingersnap Crust Butternut Squash Ricotta Cheesecake (menu available Oct. 1-30). Be on the lookout for their Imperial Pumpkin Ale (release date early Oct.). 390 Capistrano Rd. (650) 728-2739, www.hmbbrewingco.com. Media Contact: Evita Broughton, evita@ellipsespr.com.
 
Fresh Pumpkin Specials at VIA UNO Cucina Italiana & Bar
Pamper your taste buds with the cuisine of Southern Italy with a festive twist. Starting late September through October, indulge in a variety of pumpkin dishes including grilled pumpkin with arugula, goat cheese and pine nuts. Savor the pumpkin risotto with parmesan cheese, slivered almonds, and crumbled amaretti cookies finished with a drizzle of pumpkin seed oil, or the delicious pumpkin gnocchi with arugula, shrimp, butter and sage sauce with a touch of cinnamon. Love pizza? The world-famous wood fired oven pizza with grilled pumpkin, gorgonzola, mozzarella and olive oil is sure to delight. Ready for dessert? Try the to-die-for pumpkin gelato with olive oil and sea salt or the spectacular pumpkin pearl made of crisp filo dough filled with fresh pumpkin pastry cream, topped with honey cinnamon syrup. Mangia bene! 2810 Cabrillo Highway 1 North, (650) 560-8858, www.viaunorestaurant.com
    
Harley Farms’ Hayloft Dinners & Pumpkin Goat Cheese
In celebration of the pumpkin season, Harley Farms opens their charming Victorian hayloft for private autumn farm dinners. These unique locally-sourced candlelit dinners are a rustic and relaxing alternative to traditional company or family parties. Dinners include five courses of farm-cooked cuisine and an interactive tour of the farm for up to 22 guests. 
 
Now through the holidays, Harley Farms, home to award-winning goat cheese, is offering their seasonal Pumpkin-Spice Fromage Blanc, a deliciously creamy and light cheese with a subtle pumpkin tang. They also have a tasty recipe for pumpkin cheesecake, so be sure to ask! 205 North Street, Pescadero, (650) 879-0480www.harleyfarms.com.
 
 Pumpkin Time at Cameron’s Restaurant & Inn
This eclectic British-style restaurant is ready to welcome the new season in style! Patrons will
find lots of pumpkin items on tap such as pumpkin beer, pumpkin soup, pumpkin pie and pumpkin ice cream. On display at the pub entrance is a gigantic 10,000 lb. mosaic pumpkin, which was hand-sculpted by world-renowned artist, Peter Hazel. 1410 S. Cabrillo Highway, (650) 726-5705, www.cameronsinn.com
 
Cooking with Pumpkins at The Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay
Learn how to create your own pumpkin dishes at “Pumpkin, Pumpkin, Pumpkin,” a series of monthly demonstration-style cooking events highlighting seasonal fare sourced from farms surrounding the resort. Held on October 3 and 24, the class highlights creative ways to incorporate pumpkin into a menu. Students will learn about the different varieties of pumpkins and the best use for each type including which varietals makes the best soup, those that stand up to a flavorful curry dish or how to make the perfect pasta or ravioli filling. $85 per person, inclusive of tax and gratuity; 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. The program includes a three-course lunch with. Reservations are required and classes are limited to 14 attendees. One Miramontes Point Road, (650) 712-7000, www.ritzcarlton.com/hmb. Media contact: Deanne French, (949) 240-5088, Deanne.French@ritzcarlton.com.
 
- SPA & BEAUTY -

Pumpkin Spa Treatments
Pumpkins are not only a tasty treat; they also are nourishing to the skin. Throughout October, The Ritz-Carlton Spa features a luxurious Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Facial that utilizes a pumpkin enzyme mask. High in beta-carotene and vitamins A and C, the mask leaves the skin smooth, plump and hydrated. The 90-minute facial is $245 weekdays and $260 weekends. Guests can also enjoy the Pumpkin Pie Sugar and Spice Manicure or Pedicure featuring a warm wishes vanilla foot soak from San Francisco Salt Company followed by a delightful Route One Pumpkins invigorating pumpkin pie spice sugar scrub. To top off the relaxing treatment, guests enjoy an application of Route One Pumpkins Orange Spice Shea. The 60-minute pedicure is $85 and the 30-minute manicure is $55.
 
Or make it an overnight adventure with the “Rejuvenate You” package that includes a two-night stay, a 60-minute Pumpkin Pie Sugar and Spice Pedicure, lunch for two in The Conservatory and a one-hour private tennis lesson. The package starts at $995 per night. One Miramontes Point Road, (650) 712-7000, www.ritzcarlton.com/hmb. Media contact: Deanne French, (949) 240-5088, Deanne.French@ritzcarlton.com.
 
Pumpkin Heaven at Oceano Coastal Spa
Throughout October and November, the Oceano Coastal Spa, a fountain of rejuvenation by the sea, will help guests to relax and replenish using these pumpkin spa treatments:
 
  • Pumpkin Spice Wrap- Take in the scents of fall with this luxurious body treatment. Pumpkins naturally have enzymes that are great for hydration, exfoliation and improving circulation. Enjoy a dry brush of the body, followed by a warm pumpkin scrub, a pumpkin spice mask and capped off with a pumpkin body lotion massage. 90 minutes, $190 (normally $215).

  • Beach Feet of Fall- The ultimate hand and foot treatment, a warm neck pillow brings relaxation while hands and feet are renewed and hydrated with a warm pumpkin scrub and whipped lotion. A real treat for end of summer beach feet! 45 minutes, $65 (normally $75).
 
280 Capistrano Road, (650) 263-2008, www.oceanocoastalspa.com.
 
–ARTS, CRAFTS & SHOPPING –
 
Pumpkin in the Kitchen at Toque Blanche
Located on charming Main Street, Toque Blanche carries a wide variety of the best cookware, bakeware, cutlery, kitchen tools, accessories and carefully selected gourmet food items. In the spirit of pumpkin season, the shelves are stocked with pumpkin-themed cookie cutters, bakeware, linens and books. All staff members are accomplished home chefs who can make helpful suggestions about recipes, gifts, and more. 604 Main Street, (650) 726-2898, www.mytoque.com.
 
HMB Pumpkin Soap at Gaia Essentials
The goddess Gaia, also known as Mother Earth, is the namesake of Gaia Essentials where all products are produced by hand in small batches and made from organic food-grade ingredients that are both unrefined and sustainably harvested. Beginning October, a limited supply of their coveted HMB Pumpkin Soap is available, which is certified organic by Oregon Tilth. The aromas enveloped in the Gaia Essentials products are derived exclusively from botanical essential oils, organic herbs and flora and each recipe is meticulously crafted using a vast set of knowledge gleaned from basic skin nutrition and holistic medicine. Open Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. by appointment. 116 La Grande Avenue, Moss Beach, (650) 728-7745, www.gaia-essentials.com.  
 
Pumpkin Fun at Squash Blossom
Celebrate the pumpkin with custom embroidered apparel and other distinctive and unique gifts from The Squash Blossom. Fall logo items include “Peace, Love & Pumpkins” and “HMB Gamer Babe” which are embroidered on 100% organic cotton tee shirts, hats, baby onesies and canvas bags, as well as sweatshirts, fleece blankets, scarves, beanies, headbands, aprons and dish towels. The Squash Blossom also sells hand-crocheted pumpkin hats for little pumpkin heads. 707 Mill Street, (650) 726-6300, www.thesquashblossom.com.
 
Pumpkins Style at Nasturtium Art of Living
Nasturtium Art of Living, known for their art, jewelry and craftwork, is also the place for pumpkin fashion and accessories including "Posh Pumpkins,” one-of-a-kind pumpkins made with luxurious velvet and adorned with real pumpkin stems from local Half Moon Bay farmers. Shoppers will also discover handmade pumpkin jewelry by co-owner Simmin, along with upscale Halloween headbands and accessories. During the month of October, local artist Melissa Manson will showcase her glass pumpkins, artwork and beautiful glass chimes. 440 Capistrano Rd., Princeton by the Sea, (650) 728-5850, www.nasturtiumartofliving.com.
 
Pumpkin Activities at Oddyssea
Oddyssea, an interactive retail experience in Downtown Half Moon Bay, is celebrating the month of October with all sorts of interactive activities including “Steam Punkins,” “Message in a Bottle,” sand art, glitter tattoos, mining for treasure, cannonball run, and activity kits to-go. Activities are offered on a first come, first serve basis. 617 Main Street, (650) 440-4555, www.oddyssea.com.
 
Hot Glass Blowing Classes
This fall Half Moon Bay Art Glass will be teaching and demonstrating the ancient craft of glass blowing. Under the instruction of glass artist Douglass C. Brown, students can create their very own glass pumpkin. Students will have a chance to blow glass in a safe, friendly and encouraging environment. Classes start at only $59 during the fall months. The studio is open extended weekends Friday to Monday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Located at La Nebbia Winery, 12341 San Mateo Road on Hwy 92, (650) 283-5626, www.hmbartglass.com.
 
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 About the Half Moon Bay Coastside
The Half Moon Bay Coastside is a charming seaside respite located approximately 35 minutes south of San Francisco. Nestled between the Santa Cruz Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, this breathtaking region consists of four distinct areas - the North Coast, Half Moon Bay, the South Coast and the Redwood Region. Featuring the best of Northern California all in one place, visitors will enjoy miles of white sandy beaches, redwood forests, a historic downtown filled with local artisan shops, beautiful state parks, fields of wild flowers, and trails along ocean bluffs and mountain ridges as far as the eye can see. A sampling of activities includes horseback riding on the beach, farm fresh dining, shopping, biking, hiking and world-class golfing and surfing. For more information on Half Moon Bay, download Half Moon Bay’s free app iCoastside, visit www.visithalfmoonbay.org or call (650) 726-8380. For the latest news on the area, visit www.visithalfmoonbay.org/blog, join us on Facebook www.facebook.com/visithalfmoonbay and follow us on Twitter www.twitter.com/visithmb and check us out on YouTube www.youtube.com/visithmb.
Media Contact:
Kelly Chamberlin
Chamberlin Public Relations
(415) 336-4332
kelly@chamberlinpr.com
 
 

 

Media Contact:
Kelly Chamberlin
Chamberlin Public Relations
(415) 336-4332
kelly@chamberlinpr.com

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235 Main Street, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
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