Introduction to Pacifica, California

Pacifica, California, in San Mateo county, is 5 miles SW of South San Francisco, California (center to center) and 11 miles S of San Francisco, California. It's bordered by the scenic Pacific Ocean and bluffs on the west and Sweeney Ridge to the east. The municipality features several scenic valleys. 50% of the city is dedicated open space. The community consists of numerous distinct neighborhoods. Residents can easily commute to San Francisco. The residents have majestic views.

Pacifica History

The area was inhabited by the Ohlone and Costanoan Indians. Beginning in 1603 Mexican settlers created ranches in the area. In 1842 the Sanchez Adobe was constructed. Limestone removed from the Rockaway Beach area was transported by the Ocean Shore Railroad to help rebuild San Francisco after the devastating 1906 earthquake. The city was incorporated in 1957 by combining nine unincorporated communities.

Pacifica Attractions

  • The Sanchez Adobe is a good example of Spanish era architecture and is a National Register Historic District.
  • The Shelldance is a prominent bromeliad nursery.
  • Fog Fest includes arts and crafts, a variety of entertainment and attracts a large crowd.
  • Prime Time Pacifica.
  • The Pacifica Spindrift Players perform a variety of plays.
  • Sanchez Art Center.
  • Coastside Farmer's Market.

Pacifica Activities

Pacifica is a well known surfing location with Pacifica State Beach/Linda Mar Beach attracting a large number of surfers. The beautiful Rockaway Beach is popular for outdoor activities, dining and shopping. Nick's Seafood Restaurant is regarded as a Pacifica landmark. The city is a great place for mountain biking due to the numerous trails that traverse through the hillsides. Sweeney Ridge, located in the Golden Gate National Recreational Area is a major location for mountain bike riders. The beaches and Pacifica Pier are excellent fishing locations.

Hiking along the scenic beach areas is a popular activity. The hiking trails along the hillsides offer great views of the Pacific Ocean. Mori Point, San Pedro Valley County Park, the Milagra Ridge and Sanchez Adobe are recommended areas for hiking. Bean Hollow State Beach offers fishing, tide pools, areas for picnicking and a nature trail. The Burleigh H. Murray Ranch State Park is located in a scenic valley and includes a variety of wildlife.

Gray Whale Cove State Beach includes a sheltered cove surrounded by cliffs. Often visitors are fortunate enough to see whales passing by. Half Moon Bay State Beach is a scenic destination and is popular for sunbathing, picnics, fishing and camping. Montara State Beach features tide pools and provides opportunities for surf fishing.

Pescadedro State Beach has scenic coves, tide pools and includes fishing areas. Pescadero Marsh Natural Preserve attracts bird watching enthusiasts. Pomponio State Beach, Portola Redwoods State Park and San Gregorio State Beach are notable destinations in the area. The Sharp Park Golf Course is popular with golfers.


Total Population 38,283
Male Share of the Population 48.4%
Female Share of the Population 51.6%
Senior Citizens 12.5%
Employed Population 16+ 20,503
Age of the Population 42


% of people married 51%
Average household size 3

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 40.7%
Median Earnings25+ $53,157
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $18,469
Median Earnings With High School Degree $43,208


Median Family Income $113,750
% Above Poverty Level 94.5%
% Below Poverty Level 5.5%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 29 minutes
% Working from Home 5.8%
% Walking and Biking to Work 1.4%
% Using Public Transportation 7.4%


People Living Alone 25.5%
Median Gross Rent $1,806
Median House Value $613,700


Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 46.4%
US/American 0.2%
English 7.2%
Irish 14.8%

Pacifica Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Medium City 5 miles SW of South San Francisco, California (center to center)
Nearest Large City 11 miles S of San Francisco, California
County San Mateo
Standard Zip Codes 94044
P.O. Box Zip Codes 94045
Phone Area Codes 650
Time Zone Pacific (-8 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 37.613
Longitude -122.485

Pacifica Climate

Nearest Weather Stations


  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

Distance 1.4 miles
Jan Temp 45 to 56 F
Apr Temp 46 to 63 F
Jul Temp 52 to 70 F
Oct Temp 52 to 68 F
Annual Precip 29.5 inches
Distance 4.7 miles
Jan Temp 43 to 56 F
Apr Temp 48 to 64 F
Jul Temp 55 to 71 F
Oct Temp 52 to 70 F
Annual Precip 20.1 inches
Distance 6.5 miles
Jan Temp 43 to 57 F
Apr Temp 48 to 66 F
Jul Temp 55 to 71 F
Oct Temp 53 to 72 F
Annual Precip 23.3 inches

Neighborhood and Nearby Area Names

According to the US Postal Service, Pacifica, its neighborhoods, and/or surrounding areas are also referred to as:

Sharp Park (94044)

Note that not all alternate names are acceptable for use in US Post Office addresses.

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
Brisbane 4,421 $96,477
Colma 1,837 $95,208
Hillsborough 11,148 $250
Millbrae 22,177 $106,051
San Bruno 42,090 $89,805
South San Francisco 65,537 $89,186
These schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles). Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.
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Pacifica High Schools

(Sorted by Number of Students)

Serves 1,463 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 23.4

A Non-traditional School
Serves 631 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 23

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