Why Half Moon Bay Is Like a Slice of Scotland

Jan 12, 2018

Famous for its Celtic castles, cutting-edge cuisine and a whisky tradition that will outlive us all, it is no wonder Scotland is among the destinations on The New York Times “Places to Visit in 2018” list. If you can’t skip across the pond, head to Northern California, where the legendary golfer Arnold Palmer built the area’s first and only luxury golf course in the 1970s. Since becoming the Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay in 2001, this AAA 4-Diamond resort has embraced Scottish culture beyond the links. Here are our favorite perks at this luxe hotel nicknamed “Scotland by the Bay."


Once the morning fog rolls off the bluffs, the Bay Area’s only seaside hotel boasts panoramic views of the Pacific’s waves, reminiscent of the North Sea’s craggy cliffs.


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Guests can get a bird’s-eye view of the property, with jaw-dropping photos to boot, by enrolling in the hotel’s Drone Experience -- lessons on flying the techie toy are held on the Ocean Terrace.


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While in future royal Meghan Markle’s home state, experience the Gilded Age’s American nobility by touring nearby mansions and chateaus rivaling ancient castles dotting The Highlands.

No trip to Scotland is complete without a round of golf, and this hotel is home to not one, but two Scottish-inspired golf courses bellying up to the shoreline.


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Nongolfers can spectate from private balconies or terraces with fire pits overlooking the links.


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Six days a week, the resident bagpiper ushers in the evening with a sunset serenade on the first hole.


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Snag Adirondack chairs (and cocktails) near the fire pits to enjoy the show with new friends.


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Or swing by the front desk for s’mores kits and roast marshmallows over the open flame.


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Like the island nation, the resort’s restaurants specialize in seafood.


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Beyond Scottish whisky, guests of this hotel can sample local liquors, wine and craft beer at the surrounding distilleries, vineyards and brewing companies.

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