7.2 out of 10

Pacifica

37.6144148867255 -122.488604882582
Great for
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Clean & Green
  • Schools
  • Peace & Quiet
  • Safe & Sound
Not great for
  • Pest Free
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Beach Lovers
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees

Reviews

4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"Foggy and Affordable"

I’ve always thought that it would be pretty cool to live in Pacifica. You can work in the city and then return to your seaside nook and enjoy the beach weather. Well, SF style beach weather, which pretty much means drizzly fog virtually year
round. Don’t get fouled by the fact that this is a California beachside town—it is not like Santa Monica or Venice down near LA. Unless you are from Alaska, you will hardly be sunbathing on the beach in this weather unless you are invulnerable to the cold weather.

Pacifica is one of the real oddities in the Bay Area, a city where you find a relatively affordable apartment, send you kids to a good school and don’t have to deal with urban crime problems. People usually call this a down market town and warn that you will pretty much get socked in by fog year round—not to mention the not so great commute—but if you don’t mind the foggy, windy weather and are okay with slightly run down look of the place you will probably find this a welcome change from the usual astronomical home prices and urban feel of other places.

I need to qualify some things, however. Rent prices in Pacifica or not cheap, they are moderate. A quick look at the offerings on Craigslist or similar listings reveal that a 2 bedroom apartment in the area will run you between $1500 and $2200. That is not as expensive as a lot of places but isn’t cheap either. The housing crisis apparently hit this area pretty hard. My understanding is that about 2 thirds of all homes are for sale due to foreclosure right now. So there are probably some deals to be had for those who have the money to take advantage of these kinds deals at this point.

As to recreation and that sort of thing?

Pacifica is a great place for outdoorsy types like surfers and mountain bikers. Surfers come here for the beach—which though lousy for sunbathing, gets some pretty good waves. The mountain bikers will love the trails that criss-cross the area.

And night life?

I would say the bar scene here is actually better than in the Sunset District (which often gets compared to Pacifica). You have dives like The Standby and the Surf Lounge. You have wine bars like the appropriately named Grape in the Fog, and you have sports bars like the Seahorse Saloon and Vallemar Station (also a steakhouse). You even have a place where you can get hammered and try to hammer some bowling pins, the Sea Bowl (and some people say we don’t have culture here).

As to restaurants, you actually have all your basics covered in terms of fast food and East Asian food (Chinese, Sushi, etc.) But you also have a pretty good assortment of Italian places like Portofino and Barolo.

Pretty much, you have all you need to take care of you during the week and you are so close to the city and its delights that you got your weekend entertainment covered as well.

But yes there is a little bit of fog.
Pros
  • Relatively Affordable
  • Nice Hiking Trails
  • Good hiking
  • Good Schools
Cons
  • Bad Commute
  • Foggy weather
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Beach Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 4/5
2yrs+

"A beachcombers dream"

Located just 12 miles south of San Francisco, there’s a sense of natural beauty about Pacifica that you don’t normally see in the Bay Area. It sits on the coast of the Pacific Ocean, to which case it offers a six-mile stretch of coastal beaches, hilly terrain and beautiful oceanside real-estate. If you look past the gorgeous aesthetics, the city also has active business quarters, 11 major shopping centers, reliable child care services and spirited school districts. And to top it all off, the San Francisco International Airport is situated only five miles away from the city’s limits.

For many Bay Area locals, Pacifica is known as a popular seafarer and surfer destination. But for the residents of Pacifica, it is much more than that. The district hosts almost a dozen neighborhoods which include Fairmont, Westview, Pacific Manor, Edgemar, Sharp Park, Fairway Park, Vallemar and Rockaway Beach, Pedro Point, Linda Mar and Park Pacific. If you’re looking to move to the area, the city offers a range of lower middle to upper middle-class housing options, from two-story secluded town houses to old, simple, one-story homes with moderately plain front yards. The estimated household income in Pacifica is nearly $90,000, while housing prices average about $650,000. Most residents in this neighborhood are predominately white, while a small minority have an asian and hispanic background. The crime rate is low, making this an attractive choice for all types of families.

For young families, you’ll be interested to know that the Pacifica School District offers a handful of both elementary and middle schools within the city’s limits, most of which enroll about 550-600 students. Its high schools consist of two public schools, which are part of the greater Jefferson Union High School District and one private school. Students who reside in northern Pacifica typically attend Jefferson High School or Westmoor High School, which is nearby the adjacent Daly City. Others south, commonly enroll in either Terra Nova High School or Alma Heights Christian High School.

Rockaway Beach is one of the city’s most scenic beaches and offers beachcombers a place for recreation, dining and shopping. The area is also a popular mountain biking and hiking destination among the outdoorsy crowd, offering a myriad of trails crossing over the hillside and into the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Moreover, Sweeney Ridge is one of the biggest open ranged parks in the whole Bay Area. It’s dozens of trails and climbable steep ridges make it a hikers dream.
Pros
  • Beautiful and scenic
  • Good hiking
  • On the beach
Cons
  • Foggy weather
  • Little to no nightlife
  • Overpriced
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
2yrs+

"Beauty and the Beach"

Who says that Los Angeles is the only beach city in California? Pacific, located about ten minutes south of San Francisco by car, is about as scenic as Northern California gets. The winding roads leading up to the town are straight out of just about any Mazda commercial, and eventually the switchbacks open up to the beautiful seaside village, for which the towering hills offer the perfect vantage point.

Bowling and shopping are among the activities available for non-beachgoers, but the true attraction is, of course, the Pacific Ocean. Chilly as it is, the breaks are clean, the air is salty, and the views are stunning.

The only major caveat with this beach is the fair-weather surf. While the area is popular in the summer, the drainage pipe makes it downright disgusting and potentially dangerous to surf in after any form of rain. That being said, you'll see some die-hard surfers out there year round, rain or shine.

This town also hosts some of the most beautiful, Malibu-esque houses and condos that Northern California has to offer. Needless to say, living here is not cheap. But the visit is absolutely worthwhile and gives a completely different perspective of the SF Bay Area.
Pros
  • Beautiful and scenic
  • On the beach
  • Good hiking
Cons
  • Foggy weather
  • Overpriced
  • Little to no nightlife
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
  • Beach Lovers

Unranked Neighborhoods in Pacifica

"Good Stretch of Coastal Highway"
37.6472269606286 -122.48622205366
"An okay place, but not worth the money."
37.6511241335022 -122.491608738201
"Coastal blvd in pacifica"
37.6354804591263 -122.49098053851

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