With ocean views, grassy trails, and an irresistible small-town feel, the only thing Half Moon Bay has lacked is an inn that's neither froufrou nor over-the-top expensive. That's why we're excited about the new Half Moon Bay Inn.
Smack in the heart of downtown, the two-story inn harkens back to its history as a 1930s flophouse, where weary travelers came for a warm meal and a cheap room. In keeping with that tradition, you can eat and drink in Kitchen & Cocktails, a busy bar and restaurant with comfort food like chicken potpie.
Afterward, toddle upstairs to a cozy room (the ones in the back are quietest). In the morning, enjoy a late brunch in the inn's private rear courtyard (the restaurant opens at 11 a.m., 10 a.m. on Sundays). Then follow the trail along Purisima Creek to the beach and watch snowy plovers nesting in the dunes.
Info: Half Moon Bay Inn (from $165; 401 Main St., Half Moon Bay; 650/560-9758)