Incredible Things to Do in Pacific City, Oregon

January 3, 2022

Categories: Pacific City | North Oregon Coast

Beautiful sunset, Cape Kiwanda, Haystack Rock at Pacific City, Oregon

Photo by drburtoni ~

Pacific City is a quaint coastal town located in Oregon. The town offers a variety of restaurants, scenic views, and even attractions for children from toddlers to teens. This lovely beach town is a perfect destination for anyone who wants to be near the ocean, enjoy outdoor activities, and relax with peace and quiet. Whether you're looking for family fun or an adventurous getaway, Pacific City has it all!

Places to Explore in Pacific City, Oregon:

  1. Cape Kiwanda: This cape is a must-see for any visitors to Pacific City. The views of the coast and the dunes are spectacular, and there's also a great hiking trail that leads you to the top of the cape. Visitors can enjoy watching surfers as they ride some of the world's best waves on winter days.

  2. Neskowin Beach State Park: This park features a mile-long sandy beach that's perfect for sunbathing or looking for agates on the shoreline. Visitors can access this state park via Highway 101 southbound at Newport Avenue through Neskowin. There are also places nearby where visitors can grab lunch or dinner after their day at the beach, like Surf Sister Cafe & Market located next door to the Neskowin Store while visiting this beautiful spot along Oregon coastlines. It is a 10-minute drive from Pacific City, and you can explore the Neskowin Creek nearby. The Neskowin creek is a popular spot for kayaking and fishing, and exploring tide pools that are abundant with all sorts of sea life like starfish, crabs, urchins, and anemones.

  3. Cape Lookout State Park: This is another must-see spot on the Oregon coast. During low tide, you can walk to the base of this cape and explore its rocky shoreline, which features some dramatic views along with it. On clear days, you might be able to spot whales from here as well! It is a 20-minute drive from Pacific City, via Sandlake Road.

  4. Nestucca River Paddling: A great way to explore the Nestucca River is by paddle boat. The Nestucca River flows from the Coast Range Mountains down to the Pacific Ocean near Pacific City, making for a beautiful paddling experience any time of year. Visitors can take a rent a kayak or stand up paddle board at Nestucca Adventures. This is an excellent opportunity to see some of the wildlife that Oregon's coast has to offer up close. Kayaking Pacific City by Nestucca Adventures

  5. Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge: The Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge is a great place to visit if you want to see some of the wildlife that Oregon's coast has to offer up close. This refuge is home to wildlife, including birds, elk, deer, and bears. Visitors can take a walk along the boardwalk and see some of the marshes, lagoons, and dunes that make up this refuge. Visitors can take a self-guided tour with the help of an informative brochure they'll find at the information center located just off Highway 101, southbound near Pacific City.

  6. Bob Straub State Park:  Located in Pacific City, this coastal day use park features a parking lot with picnic tables, beach access, restrooms, and 2.5 miles of beautiful soft sandy beach. You'll find trails amongst the dunes with gorgeous ocean views, great for hiking and horseback riding. The Bob Straub State Park and it's 484 acres is also a great option for exploring and fishing the scenic Nestucca River.

  7. Winema Beach Walk:  Winema Beach is another excellent place to visit if you want to see some of the wildlife that Oregon's coast has to offer up close. Visitors can walk along the beach and explore tide pools, which are abundant with all sorts of sea life like starfish, crabs, urchins, and anemones - many different species may be spotted here! It's a very family-friendly spot; children will love exploring this area at low tide.

  8. Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area: The Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area park offers visitors plenty of opportunities for hiking through trails or climbing on sandstone cliffs that make up Cape Kiwanda itself. Many people come here just to enjoy the stunning views from atop one of these gorgeous bluffs while watching seabirds soar overhead. This park area is also known for its excellent surfing, so if you're looking to catch a wave, make sure to bring your board! Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area is located a 5-minute drive just north of the Pacific City center.

  9. Green Acres Beach and Trail Rides: This is a great place to go for horseback riding on the beach. Visitors can choose from various trails that will take them through some beautiful scenery, and there's even a trail that leads to the Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Riders must be at least six years old, and no experience is necessary. This is an excellent activity for families or groups of friends! Horseback riding on the beach in Pacific City, Oregon

Things to Do in Pacific City, Oregon:

  1. Explore tide pools: The rocky coastlines near Pacific City are perfect for exploring tide pools. You never know what kind of sea creatures you might find lurking among the rocks and seaweed.

  2. Hang Gliding at Cape Kiwanda: If you've always wanted to try hang gliding, this is the perfect place for it. The high cliffs at Cape Kiwanda offer a bird's-eye view of beautiful Cascade Head and Nehalem Bay.

  3. Take an artsy class: Pacific City has no shortage of art galleries, including one that offers pottery painting (and wine) classes! Stop by on Saturday or Sunday afternoons to paint your mug in under two hours. You can even take home a tasty bottle of Washington red while you work away from home.

  4. Go camping: The Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area is just south of town and features over 40 miles worth of dunes and trails ready for exploring or riding ATVs across them.

  5. Hit the waves: Pacific City is located right on the Oregon Coast, so it's a great place to surf, paddleboard, kayak, and more. Rent some gear from one of the local shops and get out onto the water. Haystack Rock and beach at Pacific City Oregon by Beachcombers NW

  6. Discover history: The Cape Meares Lighthouse is an hour north, and offers incredible views of the coastline as well as tours of the lighthouse itself (check their website for lighthouse tour cancellation updates). If you want to learn about Pacific City's earliest inhabitants, stop by Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area to see petroglyphs carved into a cliff face dating back thousands of years.

  7. Haystack Fishing: One of the most unique things to participate in Pacific City is going haystack fishing. Rent a boat from one of the local marinas in Pacific city and search for a spot with a good current. Then, use your net to snag some dinner (or just have fun trying!).

  8. Take a drive: The Oregon Coast is beautiful any time of year, but it's incredibly stunning during the winter when storms roll in, and the waves are high. Oregon Coast Tours at Pacific City is a great way to see everything the area offers. Take a drive along Highway 101 and take in all the sights and sounds that make this part of the country so unique.

  9. Wildlife Photography:  The Oregon Coast is home to wildlife, including whales, sea lions, otters, and more. If you're an avid photographer, be sure to bring your camera along and snap some shots of these creatures in their natural habitat. You can also explore wildlife views at  Cape Kiwanda and Nestucca Bay National Wildlife area.

  10. Sand Lake Recreation Area: Just a few miles inland from Pacific City is the Sand Lake Recreation Area, which offers off-road vehicle fun on the sand dunes, fishing, camping, hiking, and more. The state area is an excellent place to visit if you want to get away from the coast for a while and explore some of Oregon's beautiful forests.

  11. Neskowin:  Just north of Pacific City is the charming town of Neskowin, which features more than 20 miles worth of beautiful beaches for you to explore. If you'd like a bit of culture with your day in the sun, visit Cascade Head Scenic Research Area and see some ancient petroglyphs dating back thousands of years.

  12. Lincoln City:  Just a 30 minute drive south of Pacific City lies Lincoln City, which offers all sorts of shopping opportunities along its promenade, as well as several casinos that are open 24 hours so you can gamble anytime! There are plenty of restaurants on offer if you want to grab dinner or lunch while visiting.

Where To Stay? 

Book a private vacation rental! Find a great selection of beautiful oceanfront and ocean view Pacific City beach rentals at Beachcombers NW. Relax in a vacation home on the sand or the hill-side over looking the ocean. Here's just one example of the many rental options you can choose from:

Pacific City beachfront vacation rental - Bailey's Place

Bailey's Place on the beach in Pacific City - Sleeps up to 14 guests!

Getting Around:

Driving from Portland takes about two hours by car (depending on traffic), and you can fly into the airport for a direct flight to Oregon. Renting a car or bike is easy in Pacific City, but be sure that if you plan on crossing state lines (for example, from Washington to California), it's legal where you live! Also, note that helmets are required when biking through this part of the country.

Experience Adventures:

For some incredible things to do that are only available through local adventure companies! Hang Gliding at Cape Kiwanda & Ziplining over 800 feet long across the dunes are just a few exciting experiences you can have in Pacific City. These tours are led by professional guides in Pacific City, who help make your experience unforgettable.

How Long Will It Take?

For most people to really see everything there is to offer in Pacific City (including both Neskowin and Lincoln City). it takes about 3-4 days at a decent pace.  However, if you want to take your time and enjoy the area, a week or more is not out of the question!

There are plenty of things to do in Pacific City and so many places to explore along the North Oregon Coast for days on end. So whether you're looking for some adventure, culture or just some relaxation by the ocean, this is the place for you!


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