Want to show your Valentine date a whale of a good time this weekend? There’s a spot for that. Winter’s when the largest mammal on the planet—the gray whale—makes its very long migration from the chilly Arctic to balmy Baja California. Bring some lawn chairs and a thermos of hot cocoa (and Baileys), and head to Mori Point in Pacifica—famous as the setting for the final scene in the ’70s cult film Harold and Maude (Harold sends his car over a cliff in an oddly romantic culmination of his love story; we don’t recommend trying this stunt). Mori Point was privately held for decades until becoming an addition to the Golden Gate National Park system. What it lacks in official trail systems, Mori more than makes up for in stunning ocean views thanks to the exposed promontory. Plant your chairs at the base and scan for 50-foot grays in the distance. A short and easy trail leads up to the promontory, but be careful, there’s no fence and the cliffs are more than 100-feet tall in places. Strolling south leads to 105 acres of open bluffs to explore. Dramatic affair.
BONUS: Just south in Pacifica’s Rockaway Beach, the recently opened, and James Bond-inspired, Moonraker restaurant (105 Rockaway Beach Avenue), sets a sunset mood with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the surf, and a happy hour from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.: $1 per oyster on the half shell and half-price on specialty cocktails (normally $9). Try your own “Moonraker,” made with Original Moonshine White Corn Whiskey.
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 unmarked 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 .25 mile. Go left and uphill on the new trail up to the promontory. Mori Point is dog-friendly!