Pacifica’s Mori Point
was privately held for decades before becoming an addition to the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy. Improvements are afoot (better marked trails, land preservation plots), but one thing remains the same: Mori’s got mojo for whale watching! Thank its exposed promontory, a perch for stunning ocean views. Reach it via Bootlegger’s Steps—a set of seaside stairs that may elicit a few huffs and puffs. No fences means unobstructed views for spotting grays at Mori Point, and cliffs are more than 100 feet high in places (while gawking, watch where you’re walking). Strolling south leads to 105 acres of open bluffs to explore. We recommend following the Coastal Trail and going up to the peak on the back side (the east side), where you’ll get an even higher vantage of the Pacific. The peak is marked by a small labyrinth that’s looking a little weathered. You can’t really get lost finding your way back, though some of the trails are steep. We recommend taking the unmaintained trail along the bluffs to loop back amid freshly flourishing wildflowers and banner views of the ocean. Peering down, the Pacific unfolds in layers of light blue, navy blue, gray…wait…gray!BONUS:
With the motto "If it's smokin', we're open," Pacifica's Gorilla Barbeque
is a glorious dedication to the fine art of grilling meat. Chances are good you'll stand in line for 15 minutes before getting to the order counter, but it’s worth the wait!To reach Mori Point going south on Hwy. 1 in Pacifica, look for the "End Freeway 1/4 Mile" sign. Make a right onto the second street after the sign (across from the Orchids Gift Shop Gallery). Drive 100 feet and park. Walk west past the gate on a wide dirt fire road for 0.25 mile. When you nearly reach the beach, go left and up the stairs to the promontory. Dog-friendly!