The smallest beach in Pacifica, Rockaway Beach is the only one that can boast of its own village. This tiny hamlet of shops, restaurants and lodging options is perched on a peninsula jutting into the pounding waves and protected by massive riprap. The limestone quarries at Rockaway Beach were used as early as the 1700s during the construction of San Francisco's Presidio and for reconstruction after the 1906 earthquake.
While there is plenty of parking right in the village, a great way to approach and visit Rockaway is to park at Pacifica State Beach and take the wide, paved path along the beach and over the ridge. The views of the beach and the hills surrounding Pacifica are gorgeous. The beach itself is tiny but scenic, with driftwood and rocks scattered along the shore. Surfing is good here, and fishing is especially popular at the south end of the beach. This would be one of the better places in Pacifica to watch the sunset, and while you're at it, follow it up with one of the famous crab cakes at Nick’s Restaurant overlooking the water.