I think this Health food store may be the only one in Pacifica. It's conveniently located in the Pacific Manor Shopping Center which is right on the Samtrans bus lines. The store is pretty small but they have a wide variety of food items for sale including fresh organic fruits and vegetables, and a hot soup that they serve for lunch. They have a small bulk food section, a section of vegetarian frozen dinners, and a section of vegan lactose free cheeses. They also have a Deli in the back and stock a limited amount of health and beauty products. All in all, the store is a nice community meeting center for health nuts, although a bit pricy.
OK, I know that we are all supposed to hate Wal-Mart. But the truth is that they have a large selection, cheap prices and convenient hours. I buy everything there and the prices for developing 35mm camera film are really amazing, it's about $3/per roll. Other things I relly buy a lot of there are garden plants of which they have a really great variety. My mother was amazed at the low prices and selection that they have in the sewing section and bought her sewing machine there. I am always amazed at the variety of things that they stock, I bought a huge truck box for the bed of my pickup truck for only about $100 and I got my perscription eyeglasses and frames there for the same price.
Everyone know that Rite Aid has the best icecream, "Thrifty" brand icecream that is all that is left over from the days when the drugstore used to be called Thriftys. They have a lot of really unique and old-fashioned flavors like pistachio, that you just can't find anymore. I love the ice cream stand, it's a really good deal for a cone, and I guess it's sort of a remmenant of when drugstores used to have soda fountains. The store now sells some pretty affordable, assemble youself, college-dormroom-style furniture, like filing cabinets, desks and bookcases. It's also one of the few stores that still stocks the old fashioned aromatic, Pears brand bar soap.
This is an interesting Longs drugstore with a really large stock of plants and gardening supplies. They also have a good plastic model building section in the toy department, which is getting hard to find now a days. They have a pretty cool jewlwry section with a suprising amount of really neat stuff. All in all itas a pretty good store and conviniently located in the main shopping center. The main reason why I don't go to this store much is that they rarly stock the items that are advertised on sale in the Sunday paper sales advertisements.
This is an OK Orchard supply, although not as great of a selection as the ones I am used to. It's a little hard to get to, right off of the freeway. The garden supply area has some really great prices and selection for plans, though it is hard to grow much in the smoggy city of San Jose. I like this hardware store because it is very convenient to the university and the parking is very easy. They have all kinds of lighting fixtures and thins and the sales associates really know their stuff, one time I broke the switch on my ceiling fan right when I was moving out of my rnted apartment and the sales person at Orchard gave me really good detailed instructions about how to install a new switch.
The new King Library located on the corner of the San Jose State University campus, is a comination University/Public library. This is interesting because the public has access to the Univerities library collection. Although this library has a really excellent collection of foreign books, fvideos and music. I don'recommend it for studying. It is another library like the San Francisco Main Library that was built around an open center, so with 8 floors all open to each other the sound really carries. Also most of the floors are filled with screaming children and noisy tour groups and the SJSU students are really unhappy about the early evening closing hours. Some of the peculiar, unique things about this library is that you are allowed to eat in it and there is actually a cafe inside it.
The Boat house on Lake Merritt in Oakland is a really cool place. You can rent a row-boat for $6/hour and row around the lake, which is very good excercise and a really good deal especially if you bring several friends. You can also rent pretty big sailboats for a really resonable price, I think it's like $12 an hour. The great thing is that they still rent them to you if you don't really know how to sail, so it's a fun and very safe palce to learn. The Lake is pretty small, but very pretty and right next to the boathouse there are unique evening Gondala boat dinner rides which are a bit more classy and romantic.
This is a really nice library conviniently located right near Lake Merrit and Oaklands, China Town. So its a great place to check out a book and walk around the Lake or get something tasty to eat in China Town. The best part about the Library is the Reading Room on the top floor which is actually quiet enough to read in and is a great place to study. It has tall windows that look out on the Lake and long wooden tables for reading. It's also a great place to meet chess players and pick up a quick game with some really skilled people.
This Insurance place is one of the best ones I've been to, and has been in town for many years. The place is run by the insurance agent and his son, and they really know their stuff. My mother recently was in a multiple car accident and they made a special point to get her some important paperwork and forms that the local highway patrol had neglected to give her at the scene of the accident, and that were useful in protecting her legal rights. They explained the insurance terms very well and were very patient in answering questions. Abpve all they were very efficient and had the attitude of being on the side of the induvidual rather than the insurance company.
This store is pretty large and has a wide selection of electronics, which is good. Also the location is nice, right in the main shopping center at the intersection of Hwy1 and Hwy 92, so there is lots of parking. The customer service here is terrible though, the owner always wants to give really bad, longwinded advice and gets really upset if you try to buy something different than what he recommends for your electronics project. I pretty much avoid going here unless I'm really stuck. Still Half Moon Bay only has one Radio Shack so there are not a lot of alternate places to shop unless you wan't to go to Pacifica.