by Kaylee Hultgren | November 30, 2009

Though just 25 miles south of San Francisco, this charming seaside community is free of big-city pretensions.

For small meetings, the 54-room Beach House Hotel Half Moon Bay, overlooking the working fishing marina of Pilla Point Harbor, offers 1,800 square feet of space and free wireless Internet. Next door, Sam's Chowder House can host groups of up to 300 in five private event spaces.

Nestled downtown is Pasta Moon, serving classic and creative Italian dishes (Harley Farms Goat Cheese Ravioli is one highlight) to gatherings of up to 45. Venture 15 minutes south for a group tour of Harley Farms itself.