(Courtesy of Pacifica Chamber)

Modern Guide to Pacifica: Surf, Sand, Craft Brews + Barbecue [Updated]

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Pacifica's reputation as that sleepy, foggy town off Highway 1—the one you only visit if you're learning to surf the small waves off Linda Mar Beach—is only partially true. Sweeping coastal views, gorgeous hikes, and small-town charm make the 20-minute drive from San Francisco worth a day trip for non-surfers too. Plus, the fog typically burns off by noon.



September in particular is a great time to visit—the family friendly Fog Fest features live music, local vendors and food, while Pacifica has some of the best weather of the year.


TO-DO

Bill Lewis will be creating a sand sculpture live at this year's Fog Fest. (Courtesy of twitter.com/fogfestival)


Pacific Coast Fog Fest

This annual community festival is back for its 31st year on Sept. 24 and 25, celebrating sun, sand and surf during sunny September. With food booths ranging from tacos to teriyaki, and plenty of arts and crafts on display from local vendors, the city of Pacifica comes to life in this music-filled, family friendly festival. This year's theme, In Fog We Trust, even features a sand sculpture by Bill Lewis from Santa Cruz Sand being created right in front of your eyes.—Mikaela Luke // Pacific Coast Fog Fest, Sept. 24–18; Palmetto Avenue (Pacifica), pacificcoastfogfest.com


Mori Point

Hike through the wildflowers in the hills of Mori Point and take in views of the rugged California coast. Park on Mori Point Road, and walk down the nature preserve path that leads out to the ocean. The stairs on your left lead to a lookout with jagged rocks and pounding surf below. Continue on the coastal trail where, at the top of the hill, you'll find a stone maze— kind of a miniature version of the famous labyrinth at Lands End. Be warned, the hike back down is rather steep. Call it a day here, or continue on for a longer workout. // Mori Point, Mori Point Rd. (Pacifica), parksconservancy.org


In clear weather, there's always a chance you'll see a whale or dolphin near Sharp Park Beach. (Courtesy of californiabeaches.com)

Sharp Park Beach

As you descend from Mori Point, walk out onto the deserted black sand beach of Sharp Park Beach. Sit for a few minutes and see if you can spot any whales or dolphins. // Sharp Park Beach (Pacifica), californiabeaches.com


Linda Mar Beach is one of the best in the area for beginning surfers. (Courtesy of californiabeaches.com)

Linda Mar Beach

Linda Mar Beach is one of the best in the area for beginning surfers. When the waves are small (which they are most of the time throughout the summer), take a lesson through NorCal Surf Shop or Homebreak Surf Shop. If the waters are raging, bring a blanket and watch the talented local surfers—the waves break close to the shore. // Linda Mar Beach, 5000 Pacific Coast Hwy. (Pacifica), cityofpacifica.org


Mussel Rock Park Beach

Mussel Rock Park Beach is the place for paragliders who get a rush from riding the gusts of air off the rocky cliffs. Take a lesson with Airtime of San Francisco—this is a killer photo op for Instagrammers. // Mussel Rock Park Beach (Daly City), californiabeaches.com



SHOP

Pacifica is a quirky vintage lover's paradise. Set aside an hour to make your way through Vintage Cove (1612 Palmetto Ave.) for old furniture, wall hangings, and lanterns; In the Attic (1925 Palmetto Ave.) for retro trinkets, teapots, bottles, and clocks; and Resurrected Boutique (450 Dondee Way, Suite 2) for eclectic clothing, jewelry, and vintage Disney figurines, as well as girly soaps, bath products, and candles.



EAT + DRINK


High Tide Cafe and Crepery

Grab breakfast at High Tide Cafe and Crepery, a local surfer hangout right on Linda Mar Beach. You can't go wrong with one of their scrambles or banana pancakes paired with coffee or a fresh-squeezed juice. If it's warm, venture out to the back patio and check out the beachy murals. // High Tide Cafe and Crepery, 5500 Pacific Coast Hwy. (Pacifica)



Gorilla Barbecue

If meat is your thing, don't miss Gorilla Barbecuethe cult favorite, housed in a shipping container off the Pacific Coast Highway, with a longer line than ever thanks to a recent episode of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. Arrive early for the best selection of perfectly cooked pulled pork, ribs, brisket, and more. The mac 'n' cheese is a must. // Gorilla Barbecue, 2145 Pacific Coast Hwy. (Pacifica), gorillabbq.com


Camelot Fish and Chips

Camelot Fish and Chips is a hole-in-the-wall British pub worth fishing out of its otherwise nondescript shopping center locale. Go for the selection of British and Irish beers and ciders and, of course, some of the best fish and chips around. Take it to go for dinner on the beach, just a block away. // Camelot Fish and Chips, 70 W. Manor Dr. (Pacifica), camelotfishandchips.com


Belly up to the bar at Puerto 27 to enjoy Peruvian food and happy hour deals. (Courtesy of puerto27.com)

Puerto 27

For more a upscale restaurant vibe, belly up to the pisco bar at Puerto 27, which serves fresh, authentic Peruvian food. Order a ceviche, lomo saltado (marinated sirloin with onions and potatoes over rice), and a pisco sour. The stylish atmosphere and a panoramic views of the ocean make this your best option in Pacifica for a date night or a fun dinner with friends. Go for happy hour or lunch to maximize your window seat. // Puerto 27, 525 Crespi Dr. (Pacifica), puerto27.com


Pair your craft beer with a burger at Devil's Slide. (Courtesy of devilsslidetaproom.com)

Devil's Slide Taproom

Devil's Slide Taproom has the best offering of California craft beer in town. Grab a seat on the dog-friendly patio and order a hyper-local beer from Mavericks Brewing or Half Moon May Brewing Company. // Devil's Slide Taproom, 5560 Pacific Coast Hwy. (Pacifica), devilsslidetaproom.com



Surf Spot

If you're looking to pair your drinks with live music, grab a seat on the patio at Surf Spot where bands typically play blues and rock on weekends. // Surf Spot, 4627 Pacific Coast Hwy. (Pacifica), surfspoteats.com



P- Town Cafe

Recharge with a coffee from the big red caboose that is P-Town Cafe. This place is a bit touristy, but it's fun to visit and the coffee and breakfast sandwiches are respectable. // P-Town Cafe, 152 Reina del Mar Ave. (Pacifica)


Chit Chat Café

For an all-local experience, check out Chit Chat Café where you can get coffee to go for a walk by the water. // Chit Chat Café, 5 W Manor Dr. (Pacifica), chitcchatcafe.net


Who can resist a sweet treat from Mazzetti's? (Courtesy of mazzettisbakery.com)

Mazzetti's Bakery

Beloved by Pacifica residents, Mazzetti's Bakery is has your sweet fix with cheesecake, hot cross buns, and their signature derby cake, layered with chocolate and vanilla and topped with whipped cream, strawberries, and bananas. // Mazzetti's Bakery, 101 Manor Dr. (Pacifica), mazzettisbakery.com

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