Sharp Park is broken into two districts: West and East with Highway 1 dividing the two. As you can see from the photos, I spend most of my time on the West side.
Both East and West offer eclectic choices of living. During the 1800s – long before Pacifica incorporated into a city – Sharp Park was a vacation spot for San Francisco folks. So you’ll see a lot of small cabins that were owned by or rented to weary travelers who came all the way from San Francisco by train or horse. Many of those petite palaces have become McMansions in comparison.
(Don’t laugh too much at my video – it was taken in 2008. I definitely need an updated version.)
One of the most unusual features of Pacifica is the Pacifica Municipal Pier in Sharp Park. It’s over 1100 feet long and it’s a thrill to stand all the way at the end! “I’m king of the world!” comes to mind. During the winter, it may be closed during high waves that actually crash over the top! Definitely a must-see if you’re making your way down the California coast.
Not only is it free to fish – no license required – crabbing November and throughout July – is also free. Some of the fish you can expect to catch are salmon, striped bass; kingfish, sharks and perch are also common. The San Francisco Chronicle has a good primer on fishing and crabbing at the Pacifica Pier.
The Pier is open daily from 4 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Sharp Park Golf Course
Over the years, the Sharp Park Golf Course has created a variety of controversies. During a heavy rain season it transforms from a golf course to a duck pond – more like a lake. The course is in Pacifica but owned and managed by San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department. They were considering raising the course to put a stop to the flooding but a right-thinking Pacifica resident said: Hey, where’s that water going to go if it doesn’t go in the golf course?
Margaret Goodale, “What concerns me is the potential raising of the fairways that may stop the water that now drains to the golf course and lagoon from flowing in that direction. There is a good possibility that the plan shown on the map can increase the amount of water flowing onto Lakeside Drive and Clarendon. San Francisco needs to show it will not harm Pacifica.”
Other controversies have included closure, which comes up every few years or so. Environmentalists want it shut down to protect against a threat to two endangered species, the California red-legged frog and the San Francisco garter snake. Sharp Park advocates who push to keep the 85 year old course open have a detailed history of the course on their website.
The course is well-loved but not well maintained making it a costly target for argument over what the land should actually be used for. And the beat goes on.
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