Get Hip To Pacifica With Our Ultimate Day-Trip Guide!

Anyone who lives in Pacifica knows the routine: You tell peeps you live there and you're met with a groan and a "omigod it's so foggy there!" Okay, it's foggy sometimes, as it is everywhere near the ocean in NoCal. But Pacifica is so much more than fog! It's also home to amazing surfing, hiking, horseback riding, eating, drinking, and lots more. And, for all of your city dwellers, it's just a quick 15- to 20-minute drive from San Francisco. In essence: It's the perfect quickie day trip for Bay Area residents who want a low-key and super-cheap getaway (Um, one of the items on our must-hit list is a beachside Taco Bell!). Granted, if you're on the hunt for the latest Isabel Marant booties or the like, alas, you're better off within city limits. But if you're hankering for some sea air, breathtaking sunsets, and tasty grub, by all means hop in your Zipcar, head south on the 1, and take our handy-dandy Pacifica hit list (after the jump) with you. We'll see you on the road!
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Nor Cal Surf Shop Surf Lessons

Pacifica is most famous for its amazing coastline beauty, and there's no better way to experience it than by diving right in on a long (or short) board. If surfing is a whole new concept for you, Nor Cal Surf Shop will teach you water safety, surfer etiquette (no angering the locals), and, of course, wave-riding techniques. You can rent all your gear at the shop and a pro surfer will show you the ropes.
Nor Cal Surf Shop Surf Lessons, 5440 Coast Highway, Pacifica; 650-738-9283.

Photo: Via Nor Cal Surf Shop
2 of 13
Mori Point Hike
Take the Plametto/Francisco exit and drive straight towards the ocean to find the beachside trailhead for Mori Point and its breathtaking view. A short walk along the ocean leads you to a rustic staircase. And while it's a tough climb to the top, it's relatively short and totally worth it. If you still have some energy, meander through the beautifully restored fields of wildflowers. And definitely don't forget your camera.
Mori Point is between Sharp Park and Rockaway beaches in Pacifica.

Photographed by Kristen Philipkoski
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If you're ready to class-up your Pacifica visit, put away the hiking boots and don some slammin' heels for swanky new spot Moonraker, located smack dab on Rockaway Beach. The view of rolling waves is mesmerizing, even at night when lights shine on the whitecaps. The menu is, naturally, seafood heavy, with a mouthwatering variety of oysters, clams, and crabs. Paired with a flute of Scharffenberger sparkling and a sunset, it's the perfect way to top off your day in Pacifica.
Moonraker, 105 Rockaway Beach Avenue, Pacifica; 650-557-7025.

Photo: Courtesy of Moonraker
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Trillium Farm Horseback Riding
Whether you've never been on a horse or are an experienced equestrian, Trillium Farm is a site to behold thanks to its gorgeous facility filled with top-of-the-line trainers and beautiful horses. Travel just 20 minutes outside of San Francisco and feel like you're on a ranch in Montana, with the bonus of being on the Pacific ocean. Ask for the much-loved Etsuko for majorly-skilled instruction.
Trillium Farm, 650 Cape Breton Drive, Pacifica; 415-412-2789.

Photo: Via Facebook/Trillium Farm
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Gorilla BBQ
There was already a line out the door for Gorilla BBQ when The Food Network's Diner's, Drive-Ins, and Dives featured this train-car joint. Now, it's even longer, and with good reason. Patrons rave about the ribs, pulled pork, and chicken with Gorilla's magic rub and super-special BBQ sauce. They even serve Philly cheesesteaks made with brisket and killer mac and cheese sprinkled with crushed Goldfish...the ones from the grocery store, not the pet shop. Watch how much Guy Fieri liked it here.
Gorilla BBQ, 2145 Coast Highway, Pacifica; 650-359-RIBS.

Photographed by Kristen Philipkoski
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The Prettiest Taco Bell On Earth
For a quick tostada between sets, Linda Mar surfers are lucky to have a Taco Bell with a million-dollar view just steps away from the waves. This fast-food joint is literally on the beach — you step off the back patio onto sand! If you don't go in for quick-and-dirty tacos, we suggest ordering a diet coke and enjoy the view for a spell. It's the cheapest, loveliest oceanside dining you're likely to find anywhere.
Taco Bell, 5200 Coast Highway, Pacifica; 650-355-4210.

Photographed by Kristen Philipkoski
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Grape in the Fog
This super-cozy wine bar is just a block away from Rockaway Beach. It's a draw for locals and tourists alike who want to get nerdy about wine in a rustic, laid-back establishment. The staff knows their stuff and will skillfully guide you through AGITF's boutique wine list. Check out quiz nights on Monday, and live music on Fridays, when flights of wine are only 12 bucks. Try the delish gumbo, which comes in the meaty and vegan variety.
Grape in the Fog, 400 Old County Road, Suite 1, Pacifica; 650-735-5854.

Photo: Via Facebook/A Grap in the Fog
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La Playa Taqueria
Get your South-of-S.F. Mexican fix with the huge and delicious fish tacos at La Playa. We like ordering up two for a perfect post-surf session refueling. Or saddle up to the spot's cute bar for a margarita...or three. Bonus: The taqueria is conveniently located next door to Nor Cal Surf shop, so it's the obvious go-to after returning your surf gear.
La Playa Taqueria, 5460 Coast Highway, Pacifica; 650-738-2247.

Photographed by Kristen Philipkoski
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Sea Bowl
If the Pacifica fog has driven you indoors, duck into the iconic Sea Bowl, a haven for 10 pinners, beer drinkers and onion-ring eaters for five decades. It's the perfect spot for a birthday shindig, with surprisingly delicious food and great beer on tap. Not a bowler? Try Sea Bowl's billiards or arcade games. Or just eat, drink, and watch everyone else in their funny shoes.
Sea Bowl, 4625 Coast Highway, Pacifica; 650-738-8190.

Photographed by Kristen Philipkoski
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Ocean Yoga
Being located adjacent to a gun store, this strip-mall storefront might not look like a place that can bring peace to your tired, cold soul. But looks, as they say, can be deceiving. Once inside this little oasis you'll be convinced. We're especially addicted to Wini's class on Sunday morning, which starts nice and late at 10:45 a.m. Her no-BS style and New York accent will coax you into poses you've never thought possible. Also check out Tatiana and Jackie, and don't miss out on a massage by Ron, the super-sweet studio owner.
Ocean Yoga, 90 C Eureka Square Shopping, Pacifica; 650-355-9642.

Photo: Via Ocean Yoga
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Shelldance Orchids
Walking through Shelldance's three greenhouses feels like you've landed on a planet on Star Trek where the plants are about to come alive and scurry about. In fact, Shelldance's owner Nancy Davis consulted and provided plants for the film Star Trek: The Wrath of Kahn! Note that only the plants in the front of the facility in the shop are for sale. But feel free to roam through the the enormous collection of succulents and orchids for a little solitude and tons of gardening inspiration. The space is available to rent out for events, as well, and we think it'd be the perfect spot for a fabulous boho wedding.
Shelldance Orchids, 2000 Pacific Coast Highway, Pacifica; 650-355-4845.

Photographed by Kristen Philipkoski
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Annabee's Doggie Boutique & Cafe
If you have a doggie who needs to up his or her sartorial game, Annabee's has you covered. Whether your pup has a casual event and requires a new hoodie, or has a more formal engagement for which satin ruffles would be more appropriate, you are in good hands here. And don't forget your hostess gift: Annabee's carries truffle mac and cheese treats and whole doggie cakes that are so pretty you'll need a reminder not to eat them yourself!
Annabee's Doggie Boutique & Cafe, 5410 Coast Highway, Pacifica; 650-735-5566.

Photo: Via Facebook/Annabee's
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Colombo's Italian Deli
Here's another business in a strip mall that greatly exceeds expectations. Colombo's is the real deal when it comes to Sicilian-style sandwiches, especially ones of the meat-and-cheese variety. Just be prepared to share or take half home — they're huge! Colombo's also carries Italian specialties like panettone cakes, cubotto chocolates, panforte, torrone candy, pastas, wine, and lots more. And the staff couldn't be friendlier.
Colombo's Italian Deli, 484 Manor Plaza, Pacifica, 650-355-5023.

Photographed by Kristen Philipkoski

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