The fall season is arguably the best time to visit The San Francisco Peninsula. From a sea of orange pumpkin patches and farms to delicious pumpkin-inspired menus, there are countless ways to experience autumn here on the Peninsula!
Plan a visit and indulge in all your favorite fall activities and pumpkin-flavored sweet treats. Whatever your interest is, here are five reasons to start planning your fall getaway.
1. Pumpkin Patches and Farms on The San Francisco Peninsula
Here is where the fun begins! Open daily starting September 9, 2022 from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM, Farmer John’s Pumpkin Farm is one of the most popular pumpkin farms in Half Moon Bay. The farm offers more than 60 varieties of pumpkins and squash that are perfect for carving or baking pie! Meanwhile, Lemos Farm specializes in family-friendly activities, which turns this farm into “Halloween Palooza” with a haunted house, Ghost Train, and tons of pumpkins from which to choose!
Also located in Half Moon Bay, Arata’s Pumpkin Farm is another great farm to visit this fall. Arata’s allows you to lose yourself in their six-acre corn field and pumpkin river! Or plan a visit to Andreotti Family Farm. This family-owned farm produces almost every winter vegetable you can imagine and during the fall season, they offer a pumpkin patch and u-pick sunflower field. Want more options? Check out all of the u-pick and pumpkin farms in the area.
2. Fun Family Activities This Fall
Plan a visit to the beautiful Filoli Mansion & Gardens! Located in Woodside, Filoli is offering a wide variety of events this fall including their Orchard Days every weekend from September 24 - October 30, 2022 from 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM. Every year, Filoli’s fruit trees produce pears, apples, grapes, persimmons, and more. Additionally, by visiting on Orchard Days, you’ll gain special access to the Gentleman’s Orchard where hundreds of heritage fruit trees grow.
Each weekend during Orchard Days is centered around a theme and features several community partners. Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month on September 24-25 with live music, food trucks, dance demonstrations by Folclórico Colibrí, a display of Dia de los Muertos Ofrenda, and more!
Other weekend activities include learning about pollinators, California agriculture with Pie Ranch, and spooky creatures with Norcal Bats, The Bay Area Puma Project, and Bay Area Herpetological Society.
Check out our events page for more fun seasonal events.
Orchard Days at Filoli
3. Fall-Inspired Menus
Over in Half Moon Bay, the Half Moon Bay Brewing Company is offering their popular Pumpkin Harvest Ale. This full-bodied Amber Ale is made with locally-grown sugar pie pumpkins roasted with a secret blend of spices, which result in a subtle pumpkin pie spice flavor balanced by a biscuit of maltiness. Their menu also typically offers seasonal favorites such as pumpkin soup, pumpkin cheesecake, and other specials made from local squashes. They are open for take-out and outdoor dining on their beautiful patio overlooking Pillar Point Harbor!
Pumpkin Harvest Ale at HMB Brewing Co.
Any cheese lovers out there? Harley Farms Goat Dairy in Pescadero is home to award-winning goat cheese! Keep an eye out for seasonal specialties such as the Pumpkin-Spice Fromage Blanc, a slice of deliciously creamy cheese with a pumpkin flair. Harley Farms is open daily from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM, and tours are available.
4. Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Celebrations and Events
Celebrate pumpkin season in the Pumpkin Capital of the World! The 49th Annual Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off is back again this year on October 10, 2022 from 7:00 AM to 11:00 AM. Pumpkin growers will gather for an opportunity to compete for the heaviest pumpkin at this incredible annual event. The winner will take home a $9 per pound reward for their champion mega pumpkin and a special $30,000 grand prize will be awarded if a pumpkin breaks the world record, which is currently 2,703 pounds, set at a 2021 weigh-off in Italy.
The grand champion pumpkin (along with the top four overall) will be on display at the Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival on October 15-16, 2022 from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. This iconic festival is free for everyone and will feature nonstop entertainment, live music, pumpkin carving, harvest-inspired fine arts and crafts, and so much more!
Annual Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off
5. Pumpkin Glass Blowing in Half Moon Bay
Are you looking to take home a beautiful glass pumpkin? Plan a visit to Half Moon Bay Art Glass this fall and check out hundreds of one-of-a-kind glass pumpkins available for purchase, each one personally handcrafted by owner, Douglass C. Brown, who works year-round to create this spectacular display. Interested in making your own pumpkin? You can make your own glass pumpkin or one of eighteen different other hot glass projects at Half Moon Bay Art Glass. Classes are on the weekends and sometimes Friday based on demand. Prices are as low as $40 and children 6 and above may make a holiday ball or a molded heart. Also, be sure to mention LEMON40 for a 40% discount!
Douglass C. Brown, owner of HMB Art Glass