Located just 15 minutes from San Francisco, the beautiful beach-front town of Pacifica is the perfect destination for a quick three-day getaway.
For the best values, visitors are advised to opt for a mid-week visit, during the busy summer months. Otherwise, the fall is a lovely, quieter time to get lost in all that Pacifica has to offer for a weekend away.
While there are so many attractions and things to do in Pacifica, it’s important to build in plenty of quiet time to unplug, relax and rejuvenate. So, take it easy and understand that this list of suggestions for three perfect days in Pacifica is merely a summary of some of the visitors’ favorite pastimes. Whether staying for the day or extended visit, Pacifica is the perfect mini-vacation destination.
– Check into one of six hotels, there’s something for everyone’s taste and budget (please see hotel reference guide below).
– Enjoy lunch at Nick’s and be sure to order the signature grilled crab sandwiches or one of the hand-cut steaks.
– Take a guided Silicon Segway tour around the town and along the ocean bluffs to get your bearings and background of the area.
– To rejuvenate, take a brief power nap or leisurely walk along Rockaway Beach.
– Have a pre-dinner glass of wine, complemented by live music at A Grape in the Fog.
– Book a table with a spectacular, panoramic view for the sunset and dinner at Moonraker Restaurant, Pacifica’s beachfront dining establishment.
– First thing in the morning, head out to the Pacifica Pier with fishing gear, crab trap, tackle and bait, which are all available for rent at Coastside Bait & Tackle. They also provide instruction about set-up needs to catch fish and crab (in season). As a public pier, a fishing license isn’t required.
– For a hearty breakfast, check out the menu at Ash’s Vallemar Station, which features large portions of the best, freshest fare.
– Hike/walk the gentle path of the new Devils Slide Trail. Interpretive signage and stunning views of the Pacific are the focus.
– Once back from Devil’s Slide Trail, stop off at the Devil’s Slide Taproom in the Pedro Point Shopping Center, which offers 32 beers on tap along with some great pub grub.
– After lunch, take a short walk to Linda Mar State Beach where you’ll see surfers and paddle boarders testing their skill at mastering one of the most revered surfing spots in Northern California;
– The afternoon beckons for a short nap on the beach or just sit and gaze out upon the ocean where several whale sightings have been spotted – maybe you’ll get lucky and not only see the whales spouting but see porpoises and dolphins playing just off shore as well.
– For dinner, head to Puerto 27 Peruvian Kitchen and Pisco Bar and be sure to sample a variety of menu items, tapas style.
– Check out who’s performing in town at www.pacificaperformances.org. The Mildred Owen Concert Hall features everything from opera and tango to blues and folk.
– Another favorite entertainment spot in Pacifica is the local theatre group, which offers year-round performing arts that include revivals of favorite plays and musicals as well as some contemporary productions. For show dates and time, go to www.pacificaspindriftplayers.org.
– Enjoy breakfast at the Salada Beach Café where choices range from healthy to homey.
– After breakfast, head out to one of three Golden Gate National Recreation Areas: Mori Point, an easier hike that takes you right along the levy of the Sharp Park Golf Course on one side and the Pacific ocean on the other – venture up to the top of Mori Point for a feeling that you’re “on-top of the world.”
Milgra Ridge,which offers impressive views of the coastal bluffs of Pacifica and the vast ocean that hugs the coastline
Sweeney Ridge, a “hike for the more experienced hiker…from the ridge top, in 1769, a scouting party led by Gaspar de Portola became the first Europeans to see San Francisco Bay. A monument marks the approximate location.
– Where ever you end up walking or hiking, be sure to lunch “al fresco” at the Surf Spot and enjoy fresh seafood dishes and salads. On weekends, the Surf Spot offers a line-up of great bands that entertain the crowds in their vast outdoor seating area.
– Then, as the getaway winds down, take a pick from the several adventure options…bowling at Sea Bowl; walking between Rockaway Beach and Linda Mar State Beach; powering up and down some of the most intriguing mountain bike terrain in California; paddle boarding at Linda Mar State Beach; hitting the links at the Alister MacKenzie-designed Sharp Park Golf Course; or surfing the popular beaches of Pacifica (surf lessons are available for those that need a refresher).
Pacifica offers six lodging options in the budget to moderate price range and all are within walking distance to Pacifica’s beaches. Four are located at Rockaway Beach. The largest with 97 guest rooms is the Best Western Plus Lighthouse Hotel, a full-service hotel situated on Rockaway Beach with spacious accommodations, beautiful ocean views, a swimming pool and the upscale Moonraker restaurant. The Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Pacifica provides very comfortable accommodations with ocean views and a complimentary hot Express Start Breakfast Bar. Offering a dash of Victorian charm is the pet-friendly Pacifica Motor Inn and adjacent to Nick’s Restaurant is the Sea Breeze Motel, which is very convenient for those looking to dance the night away at Nick’s. Situated across from Linda Mar Beach is another full service hotel called the Pacifica Beach Hotel. Under new ownership, the hotel now includes several remodeled rooms, offering spectacular ocean view rooms, Jacuzzi tubs, indoor swimming pool and the new Peruvian Restaurant, Puerto 27. Further north near Sharp Park is Americas Best Value Inn, which is a short walk from Pacifica Pier and the golf course.
America’s Best Value Inn Pacifica: (877) 784-6835/www.pacifica-bestvalueinn.com
Best Western Plus Lighthouse Hotel: (650) 355-6300/ www.bestwesternlighthouse.com
Holiday Inn Express & Suites: (650) 355-5000/www.hiexpresspacifica.com
Pacifica Beach Hotel: (650) 355-9999/www.pacificabeachhotel.com
Pacifica Motor Inn: (800) 522-3772/www.pacificamotorinn.com
Sea Breeze Motel at Rockaway Beach: (650) 359-3903
Travel Tip: For more information about Pacifica, log onto VisitPacifica.com. Also highly recommend is the iPacifica mobile app for Apple or Android devices, which provides information on dining, shopping, galleries, lodging, weather and more.