Grab some small, portable lawn chairs, a thermos of hot cocoa, and binoculars, then head to the point: Mori Point in Pacifica is fantastic for winter whale watching. Part of the Golden Gate National Park system, Mori Point itself is an exposed promontory with stunning ocean views.
To reach it you have two options—the up and up via Bootlegger’s Steps or the more gently sloping Coastal Trail. Just be cautious when you reach the point; the cliffs are more than 100 feet high in places.
Linger to your heart’s delight, keeping your eyes on the horizon and scanning for grays. Strolling south leads to acres of open bluffs to explore.
BONUS: 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!
Mori Point is located just off Hwy. 1 in Pacifica (map). Dog-friendly!