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Your Guide to Pacifica State Beach

Your Guide to Pacifica State Beach

Make the most of your trip to Pacifica State Beach with our guide to this standout California beach. Team


2 min read

June 20, 2023

Pacifica State Beach, also known as Linda Mar Beach, is nestled in the small coastal city of Pacifica in San Mateo County, California. This gorgeous beach spans approximately 0.75 miles and lies along the Pacific Coast Highway, offering a relaxing, scenic drive for those journeying to its sandy shores. Its picturesque location on the Pacific coast, encircled by rolling hills and residential neighborhoods, gives Pacifica State Beach a unique charm.

The history of Pacifica State Beach is as fascinating as its natural beauty. Inhabited by the Ohlone people for thousands of years, the area was eventually visited by Spanish explorers in the 18th century, who established missions and ranches. The beach and its surrounding area were utilized for various activities over the years, including farming, fishing, and even dynamite manufacturing. Since the mid-20th century, the beach has been popular with local residents and tourists alike, becoming a favorite spot for beachgoers, surfers, and nature lovers.

Take a short trip from San Francisco on over to the shining jewel of San Mateo County, Pacifica State Beach.

How to Get There and Fees to Consider

Reaching Pacifica State Beach is relatively straightforward. For those coming from San Francisco, it's a short 15-mile drive south on Highway 1. From the south, drivers can follow Highway 1 north from cities like Santa Cruz or Monterey. Public transportation options are also available, with SamTrans buses providing service to Pacifica from various locations in San Mateo County.

As for fees, there is a charge for parking in the beach's main lot, which varies depending on the time and day of the week. As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, the fee during peak hours was $7 for 4 hours or $9 for all-day parking. However, parking fees are subject to change, so it's a good idea to check the official website for the most current information. Remember that some of the money goes towards the beach's maintenance and preservation, making it a worthy contribution.

Bask in the stunning views, morning or evening, at Pacifica State Beach.

Top 3 Activities at Pacifica State Beach


Pacifica State Beach is renowned for its excellent surfing conditions, making it a must-visit for all surf enthusiasts. The beach offers consistent, rideable waves for surfers of all skill levels, from beginners to professionals. If you're new to the sport, several local businesses offer surfboard rentals and lessons.

Catch a gnarly wave at Pacifica State Beach and its great conditions to facilitate surfing.

Wildlife Watching

Nature lovers will appreciate Pacifica State Beach for its abundant wildlife. It's not uncommon to spot various bird species, including herons, egrets, and hawks. Moreover, the beach is part of the Pacific Flyway, a major north-south flyway for migratory birds in America. During the winter months, keep an eye out for grey whales migrating off the coast. And don't forget to check out the tide pools at the north end of the beach during low tide – they are full of fascinating marine life.

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Enjoying Picnics and Fitness Activities

With its picnic tables and barbecue pits, Pacifica State Beach is an ideal place for a beach picnic with family and friends. Pack your favorite food and enjoy a meal with a view of the magnificent Pacific Ocean. For those seeking a bit more action, the beach's flat, wide expanse is perfect for activities like beach volleyball, frisbee, or simply a jog along the shoreline. The nearby Pedro Point Headlands also offer hiking trails with stunning views of the beach and the Pacific Ocean.

Whether you're an outdoor enthusiast or a casual reader planning your next weekend getaway, Pacifica State Beach is a versatile destination with its rich history, diverse wildlife, and numerous recreational opportunities. From surfing to picnicking, there's something to entertain everyone at this beautiful California beach.

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