Awesome Day Trip to Princeton by the Sea [Secret Beach + Yummy Food]

Maverick Kelly’s 52 Day Trips
5 min readMar 8, 2020


Our mission of fun 52 awesome day trips took us to Princeton by the Sea (4 miles north of Half Moon Bay’s Main street and just south of Moss Beach).

Type this into Google Maps and you’ll get to the center of Princeton by the Sea: 449–425 Prospect Way, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019

Princeton by the Sea Map — the blue water close to the rectange

In the screenshot of the Google Map above, the little lines in the blue water represent jetties breaking up the harbor. The blue below the jetties is the full-on Pacific Ocean including Mavericks Surfing Zone in the very lower left-hand corner.

Start at Secret Little Beach in Princeton by the Sea

There’s a fun little beach (by the harbor (not on the ocean) we found in Princeton by the Sea. It’d be great for kayaking, rafting or just a quiet time.

The best way to get to is to type in 107 Broadway, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019 to your Google Maps. That’s the address for an events venue called Mavericks House that is right next to a little rocky walkway down to the beach:

If you’re looking at Mavericks House from Broadway, look to the left for the path to the beach:

Secret little beach in Princeton by the Sea (way off in the distance are the cliffs overlooking Mavericks Beach)
We grabbed a couple of to-go cocktails from Jettywave, a new restaurant in Princeton by the Sea (see below)

Once on the beach if you turn around you’ll see a fun little lagoon/stream:

A cool little stream that connects from inland to the ocean
There were just 3 families on the secret beach on this March Saturday in 2021 (thanks, Scarlett and Wayland from Pacifica!)

Depending on the tide, you can walk from this secret little beach South-East over to Barbara’s Fishtrap (in the background of this pic):

Also on low tide, if you went the other direction (West) you could take a hike over to Mavericks Beach.

Princeton by the Sea is also right next to the Half Moon Bay Airport and so it’s routine that you’ll see small planes flying above. We saw an acrobat plane doing roll-over barrel-type moves.

Princeton by the Sea Restaurants

There are plenty of great places to eat/drink in Princeton by the Sea. Here are the ones we know about (all walking distance from each other:

  • The Swell Lounge@Jettywave
  • Old Princeton Landing Public House & Grill
  • Barbara’s Fishtrap
  • Mezza Luna
  • Ketch Joanne Restaurant & Harbor Bar
  • Princeton Seafood Market & Restaurant

Here’s what we’ve tried:

The Swell Lounge@Jettywave Distillery

This new (as of early 2021) place is at 155 Broadway, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019. It was outdoor dining only:

The Jettywave Distillery restaurant in Princeton by the Sea

You order pizza from Panificio at Jettywave which is a mobile wood burning pizza place (that counter with the yellow/red “P” on it in the pic above:

Pizza from Panificio at Jettywave in Princeton by the Sea

You order drinks from this hut called the Swell Lounge:

The Swell Lounge in Princeton by the Sea
Some tables have a propane-fueled fireplace.
It was cold the day we were there but we had a super-fun time — bring layers and blankies if you’er planning to be in Half Moon Bay in the afternoon on cool days!

Old Princeton Landing Public House & Grill

Another fun restaurant we’ve eaten at is Old Princeton Landing at 460 Capistrano Rd, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019. .

Here’s the menu:

Our local El Granada friend Heidi was our host and we had a great time.

OPL has a surf theme with a bunch of surf boards in the rafters.

There’s a whole bar area and a couple of pool tables:

Neil Young seems to like to pop in from time to time:

Here’s a view from the stage of where Neil would have played:

We drank kombucha (6% alcohol) and it was yummy…like a light cider.

Joanne whipped up a root beer float for us with root beer on-tap and ice cream from a big old tub:

Finished product:

Note: These pics above are from pre-COVID when we ate inside but we’ve since noticed they have dining both out front and in the back outside. Here’s a pic from their back area outside:

Old Princeton Landing Pub in Princeton by the Sea

We had some coffee at nearby The Press (pictured below) at 107 Sevilla Ave, Half Moon Bay, CA 94018. It was very yummy and had nice folks.

What we’d miss in Princeton by the Sea?

Please tell us of anything YOU recommend in Princeton by the Sea!



Maverick Kelly’s 52 Day Trips

Hi! I’m Maverick. My mommy, daddy & me are on a mission to take 52 day trips around the San Francisco Bay Area! Thx for joining in the fun!