It is no secret how dearly I love the Oregon coast. I’m not sure whether it is the peaceful beaches, the lighthouses, or the hospitality, but I can’t get enough.
I’ve highlighted all of the best places on the Oregon Coast; today, I’d like to go in the details of a weekend getaway to one of the best of the best, Pacific City. It’s just the perfect little spot.
What to do in Pacific City? Relax!
Honestly, you can count on one hand the number of things to do in Pacific City. (Oregon = less is more.) Really, it truly is a place to visit and do nothing and you’ll have a lot of fun. Try hiking the dune. A tough 45+ degree hike, the hustle up the sandy slope rewards you with one of the best views of the coast – the bonus is you’ll burn off all the calories you’ll be consuming over the weekend. By far my number one experience on the Oregon coast.
Speaking of consuming calories, three hot spots in Pacific City to eat, drink, and bliss out:
- Reading while sipping in the local coffee shop. With fantastic pastries and snacks as well as excellent tea & coffee, time spent in Pacific City’s Stimulus Cafe is time well spent.
- Snacking on some pastries at the Grateful Bread bakery. Your accommodation will likely have breakfast, but that’s fine – have second breakfast, you’re on vacation. Cookies, breads, pies… you can’t go wrong here.
- Sampling the tasting tray at the Pelican Brewpub. Oregon has plenty of craft breweries, and the Pelican is the only one literally on the beach. It’s one of the better eateries in town, though the service on our last trip was “just ok.” The tasting tray isn’t always on the menu but just ask.
Getting out of Town
If you want a bit of a “daytrip” out of Pacific City (all that sitting around and relaxing does wear one out, I know), consider heading north. Your end destination is the Tillamook Cheese Factory, where you’ll find a popular creamery that has free cheese tastings as well as plenty of ice cream flavors. If you want to buy cheese at the factory, the large blocks of misshaped pieces are the only product discounted, and this is the only place to get Tillamook cheese curds, but they are often sold out.
Tillamook has several other foodie finds, including Tillamook County Smoker, where you can try a variety of jerky from a shop in factory! On your way there, take your time and stop at anything that catches your eye on 101, the coastal route. Two spots I loved:
- Munson Creek Falls: Oregon has many wonderful falls, but there are few along the north coast. Munson Creek Falls (above) is one of the exceptions – easy to miss, so have your phone GPS at the ready; the hike is a short 15 minutes each direction, and easy but somewhat muddy train, but enjoyable.
- Bear Creek Artichoke Shop: Foodies, everyone knows about Tillamook Cheese, but Bear Creek is a true local find. It’s just a bit of a shack along the road, but inside you’ll find rows of jams, dips, jellies, and sauces; you can easily spend an hour in here snacking. They also have flowers, toys, and other boxed & jarred gourmet foods. So much fun.
- Octopus Tree & Cape Meares Lighthouse: If you managed to get a good start on the day and have time after Tillamook, you can head on up to the Cape Meares Lighthouse, a gorgeous spot with a rather unique feature: the Octopus tree (below), an old Indian ceremonial tree that’s quite a sight.
A Good Night’s Sleep
I always sleep peacefully at the Oregon Coast – there are the crashing waves and the crisp, moist air. But my favorite hotel on the entire Oregon Coast is the Inn at Cape Kiwanda. It’s located literally across the street from the Pelican Brewery, and rooms have ocean views, refrigerators (for those fresh cold brews), all with a tasteful nautical theme. The lobby has movies to borrow for free for your in-room DVD (kind of fun to flip through them instead of a Netflix queue) as well as a nice fireplace sitting area. Romantic Oregon chic.
Another great B&B that I haven’t stayed at, but friends give it rave reviews, is the Craftsman Bed and Breakfast, which I hear has super-comfy guest rooms and plenty of areas throughout the hotel to just relax and enjoy a brew or Oregon pinot, such as the lovely garden. Don’t miss the freshly baked treats in the lobby each afternoon, which are just as good as the yummy breakfast.
Spring/summer/fall are the best times to visit the coast, but in winter you’ll find many Groupon and Livingsocial deals that are hard to pass up. And the Oregon Coast is always charming, no matter the weather.
All photos by author.