Small City By The Sea In The Bay Area Is A Scenic Nature-Lover’s Paradise
It’s Pacifica and here’s a three-day travel itinerary for visiting this community that has scenic hiking and biking, a craft beer pub, a wine bar, a restaurant and bar in old train station with a a karaoke night – and, if you dare – one of the top surf spots in Northern California.
When To Go To Pacificia
if you want the busy season, go in the summer. But there are other times to visit, and keep in mind if you’re in the Bay Area, the best weather is often in the spring and fall. The first Saturday in June is the annual Taste of Pacificia and hotel prices are better in the spring and fall.
Day One In Pacifica
• Check into one of six hotels you’ve chosen; there’s something for everyone’s taste and budget (see hotel reference guide later in this article).
• Have lunch at Nick’s. Be sure to order the signature grilled crab sandwich or one of its steaks.
• Take a guided Silicon Segway tour around the town and along the ocean bluffs.
• Take a leisurely walk along Rockaway Beach.
• Have some wine and listen to live music at the wine bar A Grape in the Fog.
• Watch the sunset and have dinner at Moonraker Restaurant, Pacifica’s beachfront dining restaurant.
Day Two In Pacifica
• 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. There is also information about set-up needs to catch crab (in season). As a public pier, a fishing license isn’t required.
• Hike/walk the gentle path of Devils Slide Trail. There is interpretive signage and stunning views of the Pacific Ocean.
• 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, most of them from West Coast breweries, along with burgers and some great pub grub.
• After lunch, take a short walk to Linda Mar State Beach where you’ll see surfers and paddle boarders at one of the most revered surfing spots in Northern California.
• Look for dolphins and, in the spring and fall, even whales.
• For dinner, head to Puerto 27 Peruvian Kitchen and Pisco Bar with its variety of tapas menu items.
• 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.
Day Three In Pacifica
• Breakfast at the Salada Beach Café where choices range from healthy to homey.
• 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. 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.
• Lunch “al fresco” at the Surf Spot with its fresh seafood dishes and salads. On weekends, the Surf Spot offers a line-up of great bands that entertain the crowds at its vast outdoor seating area.
• For more activities and adventures, do one (or more) of these activities: 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 ( lessons available and note the water is cold and you’ll need a thick wetsuit).
• Eat at Ash’s Vallemar Station, a former train station, which is open for lunch and dinner, serving steaks, seafood and sandwiches. It has a bar and Fridays are karaoke nights. On weekends, it has brunch from 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m.
Hotels In Pacificia
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 theSea 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.
• Sea Breeze Motel at Rockaway Beach: (650) 359-3903
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