Pacifica CA

Located just 15 minutes south of San Francisco, Pacifica feels worlds away from other communities on the West Coast. Bordered by rocky ocean bluffs and mountains, Pacifica is known for it’s biking, hiking and most of all surfing. Beginner surfers can catch a wave at Pacifica State Beach, while Rockaway Beach is one of the best surfing locations around, and one of the cleanest beaches in the area. Families will also delight in the several nearby shops and restaurants. Meanwhile, don’t miss a stop at Sharp Park for its pebbled beach and large crashing waves.

Pacifica CA provides a wide range of recreational opportunities from surfing, kayaking, paddle boarding, scuba diving, fishing and paragliding, to hiking, bird watching and cycling. Pacifica is known to be the fourth richest area in the world for marine mammal life. Watch the sunset from the expansive beaches, or breathe the fresh air from the hilltop peaks. Visit beautiful Pacifica CA! For a list of all the great area beaches, click here.

Weather – When to visit Pacific

Average temperatures in Pacifica vary little. If you’re looking for the very warmest time to visit Pacifica, the hottest months are July thru September. The warmest time of year is generally late August to early September where highs are regularly around 78°F with temperatures rarely dropping below 57°F at night. The busiest time for tourism in Pacifica, CA, is June thru August. Prices for hotels and flights will be most expensive during these months, though you can save if you purchase well in advance.

Pacifica CA Attractions

San Pedro Valley Park

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A vast area embracing the middle and south forks of San Pedro Creek, which are Steelhead spawning grounds, this park is nestled amongst the Santa Cruz Mountain range and the foothills of Pacifica. The park offers group picnic areas, family picnic sites with barbecue pits, a self-guided nature trail, hiking trails, a visitor center, and views of the picturesque, seasonal Brooks Water Fall.

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Pacifica State Beach

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This long and wide sandy beach is backed by dunes for the northern half. The tall point north of the beach is called Rockaway Point and has hiking trails that meander through the hills to various viewpoints above Rockaway Beach. Surfers in wetsuits are a common sight here. There is a paved multi-use trail that runs behind the beach and stretches far north for bikers to enjoy.

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Rockaway Beach

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Rockaway Beach is a popular brown colored sandy beach in Pacifica, CA. Right next to the beach are restaurants and hotels so you can spend the day or even a weekend here. There are hiking trails to explore on the rocky point south of the beach and on Mori Point north of the beach.

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Mori Point

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Mori Point is an open space on a high bluff in Pacifica that was acquired by the National Park Service in 2004. Since then the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy has turned this into an urban destination for hiking and taking in 360 degree coastal and city views. 

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Sharp Park Beach

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Sharp Park Beach is located along Beach Boulevard in Pacifica, CA. The park is a narrow strip of land with grass and picnic tables and benches above the sandy beach. 

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Things to do in Pacifica

Silicon Segway

Called one of the best tours in the world! This excursion has spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean, two beaches and weathered bluffs. Starting from flat Rockaway Beach, ride through a rock quarry and wildlife area, climb twelve switchbacks up Strawberry Hill. See wildflowers, historical sites, surfers and more. Telephone: 650-355-8655 Web: Silicon Segway

University of Surfing

University of Surfing has been teaching since 2004. Their amazing crew of Instructors are all experienced teachers that are patient, kind, knowledgeable, local and safe! They use the right gear at the right tide and fully licensed and insured. Telephone: 650-703-2653 Web: University of Surfing

Pacifica Paddle Sports

They use only high quality, well maintained gear, and ensure that each customer is fitted to the most comfortable and efficient boat. Their sea kayaks, stand-up paddle boards, and canoes offer a unique perspective of the coastal shorelines, with access to destinations that larger boats can’t reach. Telephone: 250-665-7411 Web: Pacifica Paddle Sports

Moonspinner Sailing

Moonspinner Sailing is a private yacht company offering Whale Watches, Afternoon Sails and Sunset Sails on a beautiful 45′ Lagoon catamaran yacht. Moonspinner is the premier yacht for viewing the Mavericks contest in comfort and luxury.  Telephone: 650-787-9263 Web: Moonspinner Sailing

Boardsports California

Since 2002, the Boardsports team has offered kite boarding, windsurfing, and SUP stand up paddling instruction, rentals, and retail sales. With exclusive teaching rights at two of the best beach locations in Alameda & San Mateo, they assure you the best lesson and gear buying experience in the Bay Area. Telephone: 415-385-1224 Web: Boardsports California

Best Restaurants in Pacifica

$-Inexpensive     $$-Moderate     $$$-Pricey     $$$$-Ultra High End

$$ – $$$ Nick’s Rockaway

Nick’s Dining Room offers breakfast, lunch and dinner daily in a relaxed atmosphere with extraordinary views of the Pacific Ocean. Fresh seafood is always available and their extensive menu is sure to contain something for everyone.  The best crab sandwich can be found here! Nick’s bar and lounge is open daily for cocktails and appetizers and features live music and dancing on the weekends. Telephone: 650-359-3599 Web: Nick’s Rockaway

$$ – $$$ Puerto 27

The talented Executive Chef at Puerto 27, Jose Calvo-Perez is a San Francisco native. While in high school, Jose aquired his passion for food as he worked alongside his father at their San Francisco Fresca restaurant, from there it’s history. Come enjoy the ornate dishes, delicious cerviches, an exquisite infusion of international flavors rooted on his Peruvian heritage with beautiful views of the Linda Mar Beach. Telephone: 650-733-7343 Web: Puerto 27

$$$$ Moonraker

Under the direction of Executive Chef Jason Yeafoli, the restaurant features classic seafood cuisine with a modern twist with a selection of local California wines, beers and Pacifica-inspired cocktails. The best clam chowder and a happy hour starting at 4:30 each afternoon. Telephone: 650-359-1245 Web: Moonraker

$$$$ La Costanera

Perched on Montara Beach overlooking the Pacific Ocean, La Costanera is a contemporary Peruvian restaurant serving coastal cuisine of Latin America. Experience the culinary richness of Peru at La Costanera, a modern Peruvian fusion restaurant. Telephone: 650-728-1600 Web: La Costanera

$$ – $$$ Original Joe’s Westlake

Original Joe’s Westlake continues to prepare unpretentious, old-school Italian-American fare in an open kitchen for all to see. A few old-time favorites are showcased on the menu, including Steak ala Bruno, Calamari Steak Dore and house-made raviolis, now combined with Original Joe’s classics like Eggplant Parmigiana, Joe’s Italian Chopped Salad and Prime Rib French Dip. Telephone: 650-755-7400 Web: Original Joe’s Westlake

Best Pacifica Nightlife

A Grape in the Fog

A Grape in the Fog is a charming wine bar in Pacifica, California, where we celebrate the best of coastal living and lovely boutique wines from,around the world. Located one block from Rockaway Beach, they boast a constantly changing wine menu available by the glass, flight or bottle. Telephone: 650-484-5850 Web: A Grape in the Fog

Longboard Margarita Bar

They specialize in an array of delicious margaritas using fresh ingredients including fresh squeezed lime juice, agave nectar and our fresh fruit purees made in house. Along with our margaritas, we offer 11 beers on tap as well as a full bar to meet any taste. They provide live entertainment every weekend ranging from 70’s and 80’s rock and popular music to all of today’s favorite hits. Telephone: +1 650-738-5905 Web: Longboard Margarita Bar

Winters Tavern

Winters Tavern is all about the music. Featuring all types of original music from national and international touring bands to local Bay Area talent ranging from  bluegrass to metal, jazz to hardcore punk, surf to garage and beyond. They specialize in fresh, local and west coast real micro brews.  Telephone: 650-355-6162 Web: Winters Tavern

Vinyl Room

Stop in and sip a cool cocktail, mingle and groove with live weekend DJs, Wednesday Karaoke and Salsa dancing on Thursdays. Specializing in private parties and events, we offer dancing, cocktails and an all around good time. Telephone: 650-347-7656 Web: Vinyl Room

Bootie SF

Bootie was the first club night in the United States dedicated solely to the burgeoning artform of the bootleg mashup — and is now the biggest mashup event in the world, with monthly parties in 8 cities on 3 continents. Mixing and matching every conceivable musical genre, era, and style into one big dance party where everyone feels welcome. Web: Bootie SF

Best Pacifica Hotels

Inn At Rockaway

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The Inn at Rockaway is newly renovated inside & out and offers 43 rooms with some views of the Pacific Ocean. Just steps from restaurants and shopping. It is also conveniently located a hop, skip & jump from Rockaway Beach Cove where you’ll find some of the best surfers catching a wave.  For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room visit the Inn At Rockaway.

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Holiday Inn Express Pacifica

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This oceanfront hotel offers rooms with 40” flat panel TV, premium satellite channels and individual climate control with air conditioner. In room amenities include microwave, fridge, work desk, coffeemaker, iron, hairdryer and free internet service makes your business or leisure trip to Bay Area a home-away from home.  For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room visit the Holiday Inn Express Pacifica.

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SF Ocean View Rentals

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All accommodations at SF Ocean View Rentals come with a dining area and seating area with a flat-screen TV. Select units feature a balcony or a patio with ocean views. There is also a kitchen, fitted with a dishwasher and oven. A microwave, a toaster and a fridge are also featured, as well as a coffee machine.  For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room visit the SF Ocean View Rentals.

Pacifica Lighthouse Hotel

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The Pacifica Lighthouse Hotel offers 97 spacious rooms and suites, restaurant, swimming pool, jacuzzi, fitness center, meeting rooms and business center. Conveniently located on the property is the Moonraker Restaurant located on the 2nd floor. With beautiful ocean front dining this restaurant provides a perfect setting for romance and a one of a kind experience. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room visit the Lighthouse Hotel.

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Pacifica Beach Hotel

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A luxurious 52 room hotel overlooking Pacifica State Beach, (better known as Linda Mar Beach), from its hillside oasis, The Pacifica Beach Resort features Victorian style architecture, jacuzzi tubs and balconies overlooking the ocean. Enjoy a swim in the indoor pool area. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room visit the Pacifica Beach Hotel.



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34 Comments

  1. Christen

    I have never heard of Pacifica, but it seems like an awesome little getaway from San Francisco! I will have to check this out the next time I head there to visit one of my friends 🙂

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Ok sounds good Christen! You will love the area for sure!

      Reply
  2. Abbas Jamie

    Leahrae this place looks amazing, it was not on my list to visit but I think I need to reconsider Pacifica. It ticks all the boxes for the type of place I am looking for in a holiday. I must say the lighthouse accommodation pricked my attention. Thanks for this very useful post, will be revisiting your site for more travel tips.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are very welcome. You know I have not stayed at the Lighthouse and have never considered a hostel, but it comes with such high recommendations and ratings for past customers. Definitely worth staying there for sure. Thanks for stopping by beach travel destinations.

      Reply
  3. Ron

    I am impressed with you site. I will be visiting often, I see allot of places that I would like to go. Great layout.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thank you Ron! I am glad you enjoyed visiting beach travel destinations!

      Reply
  4. Rique

    Great Post – i’ll Be Checking back with your Site – as I intend to Travel to The US this Year 🙂

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Great, there are so many beautiful places in the US and California is at the top of the list. Especially if you like beaches 🙂

      Reply
  5. Devara Garrison

    Leahrae,
    Pacifica looks like a very beautiful place to visit. I love the bordering rocks and mountains. I really enjoyed the video as well, makes me want to go on vacation NOW!
    It looks like there’s fun for everyone in my family with the biking, hiking, and surfing opportunities.

    Thanks for the detailed information on the attractions, places to eat, and night life adventures. A Grape in the Fog sounds like the perfect place to go for a little romance after hours. My boyfriend and I really love our wines.

    I’ll have to check out the availability and pricing for the Inn at Rockaway. I like its convenient location to most everything.

    I appreciate your help with planning for my next vacation.

    Best wishes,
    Devara

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are so welcome Devara! I am glad you enjoyed learning about Pacifica, and I am glad I could provide you with the information you need to start planning your vacation. Please let me know if you need anything else! Thanks!

      Reply
      1. Devara Garrison

        Thanks! A plain ticket would be nice! 🙂
        I’ll be sure to bookmark your site for future reference. We love trying new adventures for vacationing.
        The details you include in your articles are so helpful. I don’t feel like I need to do anymore research. You pretty much tell everything people need to know about a place all right here!
        Devara

        Reply
        1. Leahrae (Post author)

          Great Devara! Yes, if I could give away plane tickets, how nice would that be 😀

          Reply
  6. Ilaisaane Tuakalau

    San Pedro Valley Park sounds like a great family area to visit. I am looking at destinations that we could visit. I am planning a round trip from Australia, Hawaii to US…and CA seems to be the place to visit for beautiful beach destinations, especially Pacifica CA, which is gorgeous next to the cliff edge. 

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      It is gorgeous and sounds like you have a wonderful vacation planned!  If you need any help with your plans, please let me know.  Thanks!  Leahrae

      Reply
  7. Karim

    Hi; 

    Wow amazing, I heard about Pacifica but I did not imagine that it will be so paradisiac, It’s really the place to be for any cost

    What is important is that the stay will not be boring as we can enjoy hiking, biking or ever surfing even if we are beginners.

    I will share this post with my family and friends to let them discover this amazing land.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Great Karim!  I am glad you enjoyed my Pacifica CA post.  Please come back again for more great beach destinations!

      Reply
  8. abioye olalekan

    Awesome Information and what an incredible blog post!I I always enjoy all of your writing and this one is no exception because your articles are very helpful and informative.  I really love the way you outlined the reviews of Pacifica CA and I must say this is an eye opener; I cannot help but agree with everything that you have written in this review.  I am ready to start planning my vacation to this area.

    Nice to see another great review.  Thanks for your in-depth analysis.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thank you so much and I am glad you enjoy visiting beach travel destinations 🙂

      Reply
  9. Andrea Kaufman

    This article makes me want to visit the Pacific coast again. I’ve only been there briefly, in San Francisco. My goal is travel with a RV up the Pacific coast from California to the Canadian border. I live on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and the Pacific world, the coast, vegetation and the way the beaches look like,is so completely different from the Gulf of Mexico.
    I can see that there are a lot of activities offered, from sightseeing, beach walking,surfing, restaurants … I am wondering, are there any campgrounds?
    The only thing that worries me a little bit going to the California coast are the wildfires in summer ….

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Yes, I live on the East coast as well, and yes the west coast is so much different. Both beautiful, just unique in their own way. There are plenty of campgrounds along the way. Visit this link for a whole list of them. Thanks for stopping by my Pacifica CA review.

      Reply
  10. Mary

    Your site is very informative. Thank you for sharing the beauty of the nature that many people may not know about yet. I haven’t been to the beaches in California, but I would like to go some time in the future.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Great Mary, you have to put California beaches on your bucket list. If you like beaches and beautiful scenery, then this is a place that is a must do. Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply
  11. Jacob Highley

    Wow, excellent information here, I especially like the Pacifica Paddle Sports, looks really fun.

    I knew there was a lot to do in CA, but I had no idea there was this much! I really appreciate you taking the time to make such a comprehensive list, it really helps!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are welcome Jacob, glad you enjoyed! Thanks for stopping by beach travel destinations.

      Reply
  12. Nia M

    I’m so glad I found your page! I will be in Ca next month and I’m preparing my to-do list for my trip. I am definitely going to San Pedro Valley Park. I know the weather will be a little chilly but I live in the south and I live at the beach so I can skip the beach trips this time around. Thank you for being so detailed in this post and doing all the work for me! Thank you so much!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are very welcome Nia! I am glad I could help you. I agree as I live in warm weather on the beach as well, so heading somewhere warm is not super important. But, I do love a good beach and you will find it in Pacifica!

      Reply
  13. Daniella

    Hi Lea,

    Wow, another great place to visit! I’ve planned many trips effectively thanks to your informal website. Each time I want to travel, I jump into your site to find all the info I need.
    This time I am not traveling, it’s my girlfriend who is planning a trip. She didn’t have any idea of where to go this year. So I’ll show her this article, I am sure she will find it interesting!

    Thank you for this excellent post!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I think your girlfriend will love northern California and all of its beauty. Please let her know that I would love to help her plan. Or if she has any questions, let her know I am here to answer them for her 🙂

      Reply
  14. Garrett

    What a beautiful and informative page! It’s wonderful to have the rating and information all in one place. The video is awesome!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thanks Garrett! I am glad you enjoyed 🙂

      Reply
  15. Ken

    Adding to my California travels. Hotels are good options. I would like to see some RV locations in the area since that is our our mod of travel.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Hi Ken, there are plenty of options for you with an RV. You can visit RV Camping in Pacifica California for a list of all the RV parks in the area. Hope this helps and please let me know if you have an additional questions.

      Reply
  16. Effie

    Leahrae I am amazed by the beauties hidden a few minutes outside the gates of San Francisco! Your presentations are always so detailed and informative. Excellent ideas for weekends !! Keep up with the good work !!!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thank you Effie! I am so glad you enjoyed your digital visit to Pacifica CA!

      Reply

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