Although today it forms a suburb of the urban area of Lowestoft, it was until 1934 a village and parish in its own right. Pakefield lies along the A12 main road and is on the North Sea coast. The former parish church, All Saints and St Margarets, is located on the coast.
The coast is an important tourist destination with a number of holiday destinations, including a Pontins holiday camp.
The area has a number of local shops and businesses, including The Seagull Theatre. As well as the church of All Saint's and St Margaret's, Pakefield has a catholic church dedicated to St Nicholas.
At present Pakefield has two schools Pakefield Primary and Pakefield Middle. A fourth high school for Lowestoft is planned for the Middle School site following a reorganisation of the school system in Suffolk. There has been local opposition to the plan to build at Pakefield