Located in San Mateo County between San Francisco and Half Moon Bay, Pacifica is the most panoramic coastal city in the Bay Area. Spread out over six miles of coastal beaches, hills, and valleys, this city is divided into eleven districts, including Fairmont, Westview, Pacific Manor, Edgemar, Sharp Park, Fairway Park, Vallemar, Rockaway Beach, Pedro Point, Linda Mar, and Park Pacifica. It is home to 37,234 residents, with a density of 2,941 people per square mile.
Pacifica was originally incorporated by the Ohlone Native American population, housing two villages, Pruristac at San Pedro Creek and Timigtac on Calera Creek. It was discovered by Spanish explorers at the same time as the San Francisco Bay in 1769. Slowly, immigrants from Ireland and Italy came in pursuit of fertile farmland. The construction of the Ocean Shore Railway brought in more settlers around the station. Upon being incorporated, the city consolidated nine surrounding communities. Although the name Pacifica means “peace” in Spanish, the city wasn’t named by Spanish immigrants. Pacifica won a name contest in 1957 when it was a newly incorporated city.
There are several historical buildings located in Pacifica. The Sanchez Adobe was constructed in the 1840’s, making it the oldest structure in San Mateo County. It was built using timbers from a Spanish shipwreck discovered on Point San Pedro. It has been used as a hunting lodge, artichoke shed, and a speakeasy over the years. Sam’s Castle was built in 1908 by Henry Harrison McCloskey, who modeled it after his wife’s childhood Scottish home. It was restored in 1959 by Sam Mazza, who used it to house his collection of art and antiques.
Today, Pacifica is famous for its coastline, unique shopping options, and welcoming residents. There are beaches, parks, and countless trails to hike. Surfing is a part of life in Pacifica, especially on Linda Mar and Rockaway Beach. Golf and skateboarding are equally appreciated here, and it’s one of the most popular surfing destinations in Northern California. Over half of the city consists of protected open space, including 1,000 acres of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Visitors and locals can enjoy everything from scuba diving, paddle boarding, kayaking, paragliding, cycling, and bird watching.