6.2 out of 10


37.5441525225668 -122.499011836838
Great for
  • Peace & Quiet
  • Clean & Green
  • Parking
  • Schools
  • Parks & Recreation
Not great for
  • Gym & Fitness
  • Pest Free
  • Public Transport
  • Childcare
  • Nightlife
Who lives here?
  • Beach Lovers
  • Retirees
  • Country Lovers


4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 1/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 1/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 1/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 2/5

"Lighthouse, a Taste of Peru, International Travelers and Fog, Fog, Fog"

If you are an Alan Claude fan and dig visiting lighthouses, there is a pretty good one here. The Montara Lighthouse is just off of Highway 1 and it has a hostel right next to it, so you will run into the usual set of oddball international travelers from places like Norway and Brazil. It is a great spot to visit just for fun when you head down to Fitzgerald Marine Reserve.
And if you want to end the day with a Romantic dinner at a beautiful high end beachside restaurant, be sure to try La Costanera—a really classy, three story Peruvian seafood place. Perfect if you catch it near sunset when the setting sun just makes it too beautiful for words.

As to living here, I can only imagine. Though I always here people in Pacifica talk about how nice it gets to the south of their foggy town, I would take what they say with a grain of salt. When your daily existence is basically wall to wall fog, any little bit of clearing starts to feel like a glaring sun. My guess is that it is pretty foggy most mornings and most evenings and that you get a little bit of break midday. Afterall, they didn’t put the lighthouse here because of the clear conditions.

Home prices look like they average around $650K so higher than Half Moon Bay but not astronomical by Bay Area standards. I hear the local schools are strong but since I don’t have any crumb munchers of my own, I really have no way of knowing what that means in reality.

Overall, I would put it like this: if you want to live by the beach and feel well removed from the world but still be within an hour’s commute of SF, this place could be perfect for you. (Except when rock slides take out PCH at Devil’s slide—which happens about twice a year or so I hear—then you’ll pretty much spend half your day getting to the city through alternate means.)

But if you don’t like those things just go for the Romantic dinners and the lighthouse.
  • Cool Lighthouse
  • Quiet
  • Beautiful Location
  • Expensive Homes
  • Bad Commute
  • Remote
Recommended for
  • Country Lovers
  • Beach Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 1/5
  • Schools 4/5

"Less neighborhood, more deserted grassland"

Situated in San Mateo County, this oceanside real-estate is a deserted grassland more than it is a place to live. The residential quarters only span about 7 square blocks, with a total population of under 3,000 residents. However, those that live within its quarters are a bit wealthier than you’d expect. Most residents belong to the middle to upper middle-class income bracket. While most residents are predominately white (88%), household incomes average around $160,000/year while most homes range just below the million dollar mark.

While much of the neighborhood sits on a bit of an incline overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Montara’s residential quarters could be a lot more polished. It seems that everywhere you turn, the whole town is overflowing with unkempt shrubbery and ugly side yards. Homes are commonly large, two-stories in fact, but have dirty or chipped house fronts. They are typically plotted on large properties with plenty of yard space, except for the fact that people care little about the appearance of their front yards. Moreover, roads lack sidewalks and kind of trail off into the dead grass or bushy vegetation that sits on the side of the road. But if you look past all of this untidiness, the town makes up for it with its acres of ocean front views, miles of beach terrain and beautiful coastline weather.

Farallone View Elementary School is the only school that lies within the city’s limits. According to greatschools.org, the elementary school has mustered a 4-out-of-5 star review with high test scores and a great student-to-teacher ratio.
Recommended for
  • Retirees
  • Beach Lovers

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