Pacific City is a lovely beachside community with plenty of outdoor activities for both visitors and locals. This idyllic community is perfect for those who love spending time in nature. There are plenty of hiking trails, beaches, and parks to explore.
Oregon’s Pacific City is a true hidden gem for those who are looking for a small town on the coast. It’s close to major attractions and the local coastline is extremely picturesque.
A little-known fact is, that, Pacific City is a popular spot for surfers. There’s a natural breakwater nearby that’s perfect for enjoying the waves.
So, join us for this epic travel guide for Pacific City, Oregon!
Where is Pacific City?
Pacific City is located on the Oregon coastline. It is around halfway between Newport and Rockaway Beach. Although U.S. Route 101 aka the Oregon Coast Highway follows the Oregon coastline, for the most part, it actually does not pass through Pacific City.
Instead, US 101 turns a bit inland and goes around the area where Pacific City and a few other coastal towns are located.
It’s great because the US 101 is still very close but you don’t actually get the traffic passing through the town. This helps to preserve the charming small-town nature of the place.
Getting to Pacific City
Regardless of the fact that the highway does not pass through town, you’ll be approaching Pacific City from US 101. Once you see the signs simply turn off the highway and it’s only 3 miles from there. Almost impossible to miss.
As far as airports go there’s nothing major close so you’ll have to land in a big city and drive from there. There is actually the Pacific City State Airport for GA aircraft, so if you are flying your own plane, then you can land directly in town.
Things to do in Pacific City, OR
All right, here comes the fun part. Let’s explore what are the top things to do in Pacific City, Oregon.
1. Enjoy the beach
Pacific City is a coastal city. So it’s only natural that visiting means spending time on the beach. If you get up early you might have a chance to catch the beautiful and mysterious fog that likes to make an appearance in Oregon.
Walking barefoot on the beach in the fog is a very interesting experience, although it’s not for everyone.
Of course, when the weather permits you will be able to enjoy the beach as a proper beach. Grab your swimming great, and your towel, apply some sunscreen, and off you go for a day of sunshine and swimming.
Surfing is also popular in the area. There’s a breakwater nearby so the waves are usually pretty great. Those travelers who enjoy surfing should not leave their gear at home.
Also, just off the coast is the locally famous Chief Kiwanda Rock. It’s a huge rock in the ocean that is visible from almost everywhere in Pacific City.
2. Explore Cape Kiwanda
To fully enjoy Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area we highly recommend visiting at low tide. The sandstone formations and the tide pools will be fully visible during this time.
You can explore the beautiful sand dunes of Cape Kiwanda when you stay in Pacific City. The climb atop can be a little demanding but most people have no problem getting to the top.
Once you arrive at the top of the dunes you’ll get epic views of the surrounding area and the power of the ocean. You can observe as the waves crash against the sandstone formations and erode the landscape.
A truly eye-opening experience when one can realize that not all power lies with humans. There are multiple outlook areas in the State Park that provide great views.
However, some people might feel that fence is a little too restrictive. Even though it might look like there are plenty of safe areas behind the fence we highly advise against going over the fence.
The ocean is constantly at work against the sandstone and the sandstone doesn’t stand a chance. Beyond the fence, the landscape can crumble at any point. You don’t want to be caught in the middle of that.
3. Go on a horseback riding experience
Somehow horse riding on the beach in the morning mist is always attributed to romantic movies. And if you manage to experience this you’ll also feel pretty romantic.
You can sign up for a horseback excursion at Green Acres Beach & Trail Rides. They offer 1-hour and 2-hour rides as well as a camel ride.
You’ll get a chance to explore the coastline and the nearby Bob Straub State Park while the experienced staff will help you on your journey.
If you like horseback riding then this is a must-do in Pacific City. The scenery makes it an unforgettable experience.
4. Grab a beer at Pelican Brewing Company
Discover the local brewery that’s called Pelican Brewing Company. They pride themselves in the fact that their brewery’s idea was born right here at the beach in Pacific City.
What started out as an interesting venture by three friends ended up being a major player in the craft beer industry.
Today the Pelican Brewing Company operate businesses in multiple cities and they have fans all around the world. And it all started right here.
5. Join a fishing excursion
Do you want to get a first-hand experience on the water? Then we highly recommend you join a fishing trip.
There are plenty of fishing charter and fishing tour businesses in Pacific City and you are in safe hands when you book with them.
These fishing trips will take you out onto the water where you can catch fish, crabs, and other creatures that live under the sea.
It’s a really fun experience and even people who are not into fishing find themselves enjoying the trip.
6. Explore in a kayak
Do you want that water experience but not so much into fishing? Then the local company called Nestucca Adventures is just for you.
They offer Kayak rentals that will allow you to explore the Nestucca River. The Nestucca River offers a calm and quiet kayaking experience. Usually, the flow is not hard and the nature around the river is spectacular.
If you keep your eyes peeled you’ll probably see some wildlife as you make your way up against the calm stream of Nestucca River. It’s a worthwhile experience.
7. Take a stroll in Bob Straub State Park
Bob Straub State Park is right next to Pacific City, Oregon. It’s a popular spot for strolling around and taking in the scenery. You can also swim here if the weather is good and you bring your swimming clothes.
It’s one of those places where you can experience a huge sandy beach and dramatic waves. A true Oregon Coastal memory.
8. Do the Pacific City Trail
If you don’t fancy heading out to state parks there is even a local trail you can complete. It’s called the Pacific City Pathways Trail and it’s a simple looping trail that will take you through an old forest.
It’s not a hard trail but definitely requires some effort to be completed. As you make your way through the forest you’ll arrive at openings that offer great views of the coast and Chief Kiwanda Rock.
9. Hike Mt. Hebo
If you want to hike something higher then aim for Mt. Hebo. It’s just in the neighborhood of Pacific City. We recommend the Pioneer-Indian Trail which starts at Hebo Lake.
It’s a moderately difficult hike with amazing views. The best way is to make your way to the top of Mt. Hebo then turn around and have a slow hike back to your car.
Do note that in bad weather the roads can get really snowy here. So if you are not comfortable driving in those conditions skip this hike.
10. Explore Tillamook County
Finally, we’ve given you some good tips, but if you are staying here for a long period of time you should go out and explore the whole of Tillamook County. It’s an amazing place and there’s plenty to do and see.
Tillamook County is full of amazing state parks, epic coastal regions, and historic areas. If you want to explore the whole place even two weeks will not be enough!
How many days to spend in Pacific City?
Pacific City is a charming little town. If you love the scenery and have the will to fully explore the area then we can highly recommend at least one week in Pacific City.
Want to take it slow? You can definitely spend up to two weeks in the town, however, for that you’ll have to really fall in love with the area. It is a small town and spending two weeks here is only advisable if you love slow-paced vacations.
Those who are on an epic Oregon Coastal road trip can spend 2-3 days in town. In 2 to 3 days you’ll explore everything that’s nearby and will be ready to move on to your next stop.
Where to eat
We can’t let you visit without some food recommendations! Do note that the place is full of local restaurants so it’s very hard to pick out some that we liked better than others.
The Riverhouse Nestucca
One of our favorite places was definitely The Riverhouse Nestucca. It’s a cozy little restaurant that serves excellent seafood dishes. Their stakes are also very tasty.
It may look like a simple restaurant but don’t be fooled. This is one of the best places you can eat in Pacific City. It’s however, on the pricier side.
Ben and Jeff’s Burgers and Tacos
Looking for a quick bite? Then Ben and Jeff’s Burgers and Tacos is the perfect place to go. Both the tacos, the burgers, and the quesadillas are excellent here. This is one of the best places you can come to when you don’t want a traditional restaurant experience.
It’s also close to the beach so you can pick up some food to go and head straight to the beach.
Where to stay
It’s very hard to pick out one place among the excellent choices in the city. There’s a mix of local lodgings and high-quality hotels here.
If you want an intimate experience we highly recommend that you book one of the local apartments. They are usually well-equipped and the homeowners are ready to fulfill all your requests. It’s one of the best ways to experience the town.
Then again there are some amazing luxurious hotels overlooking the beach. They provide everything for a relaxing stay. From spas to massages you’ll be taken good care of. So in case you want to really relax you might want to go to one of the hotels.
Pacific City – FAQ
Yes! Pacific City is an incredibly welcoming place. The town is authentic and charming, and the locals are friendly. It’s on the Oregon Coastline so picturesque scenery is a given.
The town is known for the beach, the great surfing waves, the friendly locals, and the epic scenery.