Catch the spirit of the season - and the sea - just south of San Francisco

Finding the holiday spirit this month might be as easy ascruising over the Coast Range to the quiet town of Half Moon Bay.The drive rewards with a peaceful landscape of Christmas tree andflower nurseries, seaside bluffs, timeworn farmhouses, and themesmerizing calm of the winter ocean. It's such a restful spot,it's surprising that this coastal retreat is so close to Bay Areabustle.

Founded on fishing and farming, Half Moon Bay now has adowntown lined with shops and restaurants, offering agift-gathering getaway. You'll likely see fog and maybe a coastalstorm at this time of year, but winter skies can also bestartlingly clear. And, with the area's December appeal still arelative secret, you'll likely have the beaches to yourself - witha few surfers and elephant seals here and there.

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Day One - Friday
Day two - Saturday
Day three - Sunday
The Quiet Coast