top of page

Viewfinder Travel


 Discover A New Point of View

Pacifica- Recommendations from a Local

Travel planning northern california coast best restaurants and travel recommendations
Pacifica, California

One summer I was given an opportunity to take a drive down Highway 1 to shoot some coastal scenes for a local magazine. I was expecting it to be fun, but I was honestly not expecting such raw (mixed with cultivated) beauty. Nor was I expecting to see such a change in the coastal vistas and offerings from Pacifica to Paso Robles. In case you are planning a trip to California, and have time to rent a car, put the top down and enjoy the curves, here are some of my discoveries, reviews, and beautiful places to stop- either for photos, or food, or just to take it all in. I would be happy to help you plan your trip! Pacifica: Though Pacifica doesn’t have a “city center” per se, there are some darling walking and eating areas- and let’s not forget the surf! Palmetto Ave has some very cute, small-town shops that I love (including several weed shops these days) , including the Chit Chat Cafe at the pier. The pier itself is quite an interesting stroll (stop a crab catcher to chat and they may give you an explanation of their new-fangled crab traps). If the smell of fresh fish is too much for you, bring your walking shoes, and head South on the trail that balances between the Pacifica Golf Course and the beach. It will take you towards Mori Point, up the stairs, where you can sit on a bench and catch 180 degree views of the ocean. Another wonderful area to spend a morning or lunchtime is Linda Mar beach where you will find a primary gathering spot for surfers, workers and dog lovers at Soul Grind Coffee.. Known throughout the Bay Area as a prime surf spot, the people watching is great! You can choose to walk the path, but a stroll on this beach is hard to beat. If you have kids, don’t miss the Northern area tide pools full of star fish, and all kinds of great shells and discoveries.

Travel design boutique travel itineraries to california coast and wine country
Rockaway Beach, Pacifica, California

Two favorite local cafes are Soul Grind for fresh-roasted, deliciously dark coffee and small bites by the fireplace (their food is fabulous- try the quiches and the pastries), and Beach Monkey cafe for acai bowls and delicious coffee. A relative newcomers to the scene is the Humble Sea for microbrews and a seat in the sun. If you happen to be in our neck of the woods mid-afternoon or evening, Rockaway Beach might be your best bet. Breakfast is served all day at the Breakers Cafe across from Nick's. Or grab lunch at the Pacifica Brewery where you can sit outside on a nice day, at our much sought after Gorilla BBQ, made famous by Guy Fieri on Diners Drive-ins and Dives, in the orange caboose on HWY 1. Then work off some of that pork, strolling the path in our quarry, and visit the beach before stopping in at A Grape in the Fog Wine Bar, or grabbing a romantic, happy hour cocktail with ocean views at the new Moonraker or drinks and plates to share at Peruvian Puerto 27 over the hill towards Linda Mar. Puerto 27 's location has turned over and over for years- finally, Puerto 27 has found the right formula: beautiful view, good food at varying price ranges, excellent bartenders who know their stuff, huge windows/light, and friendly staff. Come for the drinks, come with a date, come after a day of surfing, come with family or friends. It is a small plate/ family style so easy to share. Fresh oysters, and some true-to-Peru dishes. And don't miss the Pisco Sours! {Best dishes are the lomo saltado (steak), ceviches, and the trucha encebollada (whole pan roasted trout)}


bottom of page