For those looking for a relaxing destination that feels worlds away – choose Pacifica. It is a mere 20 minutes from San Francisco and the airport but you will feel your cares dissipating almost immediately. Coming over the hill so often shrouded in clouds, Pacifica’s beautiful coastline emerges, a welcoming beacon.
Whether you spend a few hours or a weekend there is so much more to do, leaving you reasons to return often. Rockaway Beach is the perfect location for your home base. Stroll along the ocean, enjoy a delicious meal or have a glass of wine before or after browsing the shops. Here are a few of my favorite activities:
Hiking: Pacifica is one big park with hiking trails and views in ample supply. Mori Point is a lovely hike for all levels and can be accessed near the Pacific Pier. For a more challenging hike continue up over the ridge toward Rockaway Beach for amazing coastal views. The final car crash scene from the film Harold & Maude was filmed here. Sweeney Ridge, Milagra Ridge and San Pedro Valley Park offer a variety of trails from which to choose.
Surfing: Linda Mar Beach is a prime surf location and a fun place to watch them ride the waves. And if you are so inclined you can sign up for surf lessons.
Crabbing: Learn to catch crab from the Pacifica Pier where you can catch up to 10 crab per day.
Segeway: There is something exhilarating about riding a Segeway over the hills of Pacifica and along the ocean front promenade of Linda Mar Beach. It is an experience that should not be missed!
Golf: Sharp Park Golf Course has 18 holes designed by Alister Mackenzie, who designed the Augusta National course, following the coastline.
Dining: Great restaurants can be found in Pacifica. The Surf Spot features delicious fresh creations with artisan cocktails and a cool surf vibe and live music. Puerto 27 serves Peruvian food and Pisco cocktails with ocean views. Nick’s Restaurant serves up favorites such as crab melts and other satisfying fare with strong cocktails and live music on weekend nights. Moonraker has ocean views and upscale dining featuring fresh seafood. After dinner visit A Grape in the Fog for an imaginative selection of wine by the glass
Accommodations: The Best Western Lighthouse Hotel is steps from the beach, with ocean view rooms and Moonraker Restaurant. There are 97 spacious rooms and suites, a swimming pool, a hot tub, a fitness center, meeting rooms, and a business center.
Holiday Inn Express & Suites is a two-minute walk to the beach and has clean, comfortable rooms, some with ocean views. Upgrade to a studio suite with electric fireplace, ocean view, sofa bed and/or hot tub-bathtubs. It is a perfect home away from home with office space, a microwave, and a fridge. A complimentary hot breakfast is available to start your day right.
Pacifica Beach Hotel, a boutique hotel, overlooks Pacifica State Beach from its hillside location. Its distinctive Victorian architecture, hot tub-bathtubs, and balconies overlooking the ocean make it a popular choice.
The Pacifica Chamber of Commerce is located at Rockaway Beach. There, they can help you tailor the perfect Pacifica outing.
Don’t miss Pacifica’s Fog Fest held September 28 – 29, 2013 at the Palmetto near the Pacifica Pier. Admission is free and the event is held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Enjoy food and beverages, arts and crafts and musical entertainment.
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About the Author: Karla is the author of several travel columns covering cocktails, wine, food, horse racing, and exotic car events, as well as undiscovered travel locations. Discover more from over 400 travel articles of places to explore.
©Karla Erovick 2013 article, photos