Welcome to Pacifica
A coastal town with dazzling vistas, miles of hiking trails, and a warm community charisma
Riotous wildflowers bloom along the rugged coast of this centrally located seaside city just 15 miles from the energetic bustle of downtown San Francisco. Community-oriented, the relaxed coastal atmosphere of Pacifica permeates every aspect of life. The city is conveniently set along the famed California State Route 1, an idyllic road that takes travelers down California’s stunning coast.
The setting of the earliest European discovery of the San Francisco Bay, Pacifica’s hills provided Gaspar de Portolà with yet unseen views of the bay in 1769 and accelerated the area’s settlement. Since then, Pacifica has evolved into a stunning scenic vacation community, drawing in visitors for decades with its panoramic vistas, miles of gorgeous hiking, renowned surfing beaches, and remote getaway vibes.
Pacifica was incorporated relatively late in the game, 1957, and consequently, much of the residential housing was built around the middle of the 20th century. Oceanview homes price at around 1-2 million dollars here and have plenty of luxury features for a much more affordable price than many other coastal locations. From stylish bungalows to updated single-family townhomes, residents of this affluent community have their pick of highly desirable properties.
What to Love
- Only 15 minutes from the SFO airport and conveniently located along Highway One
- More than 50% of the city is protected land and greenspace
- Community-driven, quiet lifestyle with the plentiful commercial options
People & Lifestyle
After a long day out on the 100+ miles of hiking trails, catching waves, and dining at local mom-and-pop eateries, residents can fall asleep to the serene sound of the ocean waves, often only a block from their home. Outdoor enthusiasts will love the ample opportunities to explore nature, and all residents are taken in by the charming bohemian personality of the town.
Dining, Shopping, & Entertainment
While Pacifica is more known for its recreational offerings and a small collection of local shops, the city is also a short drive away from some of the Bay’s exciting shopping areas. The nearby Hillsdale Shopping Center in San Mateo, for instance, houses brands like Apple and lululemon, and also has a state-of-the-art luxury theater, VR game facility, and bowling for shoppers to enjoy.
Dining is undoubtedly an unforgettable experience in Pacifica, and culinary choices run the gamut from mouthwatering BBQ to family-owned bakeries. As would be expected with a vibrant coastal city, Pacifica has a great selection of seafood, particularly if you’re browsing the menu at Nick's Seafood
. Along with signature crab sandwiches and gorgeous Pacific Ocean views, Nicks hosts live music and cocktails on the weekend, making it a hotspot for locals and visitors alike.
If you like the unusual, then you’ll love the venue of Gorilla BBQ
, a local haunt that’s set inside a converted railcar. Featured on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives
, Gorilla BBQ has gained national recognition for its savory, slow-cooked meats. Some of the best, breathtaking views of the ocean go hand-in-hand with the house cocktails, local wines, and craft beers at Moonraker
, Pacifica’s fine dining go-to. In need of a sweet treat or dessert for a special occasion? Mazzetti’s
boasts 45 years of family-owned experience when it comes to their decadent baked goods, which includes things like pastries, cakes, pies, donuts, cookies, and danishes.
Things to Do
Whether you want to catch your share of salmon and striped bass off the Pacifica Municipal Pier
or try your hand at riding the waves at the surf-famous Pacific State Beach
, those staying or living in Pacifica have a bevy of recreational options. Pacifica is also a popular location for scuba diving adventures, and ocean lovers will want to check out Anderson’s Scuba
to get the best in equipment, training, and dive trips.
If you’re determined to stay on land, you still don’t have to miss out on the astonishing brilliance of the Pacific Ocean. Hikers are always impressed with the staggering number of trails in Pacifica, including the alluring Devil’s Slide Trail
, which additionally allows bikers and equestrians along the path. Perfect for families, the San Pedro Valley Park
is a paradise of meadows and creeks, picnic sites, and self-guided nature trails tucked in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountain Range.
Those who prefer community events and getting the chance to socialize can expect to be impressed by the scope of the Fog Fest
, Pacifica’s annual town-celebrating event. The festival is a weekend event, and attendees are treated to a parade, live music and entertainment, food vendors and merchants, and family-oriented activities.
Pacifica is home to several excellent schools. Top educational opportunities include:
- Pacific Bay Christian School, 5-12, highly rated private high school
- Vallemar Elementary School, K-8, highly rated public elementary school
- Ingrid B. Lacy Middle School, 6-8, highly rated public middle school