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Pacific City

Northern Oregon Coast

Northern Oregon Coast, Oregon

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Pacific City

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  • Pacific City and Nestucca Bay Arial Photo/Illustration. Google Earth.- Pacific City
  • View of Pacific City's beach, Haystack Rock, and Cape Kiwanda from the Pelican Pub.- Pacific City
  • Pacific City Beach with Haystack Rock out in the distance.- Pacific City
  • Pelican Pub in Pacific City.- Pacific City
  • View of Cape Kiwanda from the beach at Pacific City.- Pacific City
  • Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area and Haystack Rock out in the distance.- Pacific City
  • Surfer at Pacific City, Oregon.- Pacific City
  • Surfers at Pacific City, Oregon.- Pacific City
  • Surfer at Pacific City, Oregon.- Pacific City
  • Surfer at Pacific City, Oregon.- Pacific City
  • Surfer at Pacific City, Oregon.- Pacific City
  • Sunset at Cape Kiwanda with Haystack Rock in the distance.- Pacific City
  • Sunset at Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area.- Pacific City
  • View north to Cape Lookout from Cape Kiwanda.- Pacific City
  • Sunset at Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area.- Pacific City
  • Sunset at Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area.- Pacific City
  • Sunset at Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area.- Pacific City
  • Night sky over Cape Kiwanada and Haystack Rock.- Pacific City
  • Night sky over Cape Kiwanada.- Pacific City
  • Night sky over Cape Kiwanada and Haystack Rock.- Pacific City
  • Pacific City at night.- Pacific City
  • The Little Nestucca River County Boat Launch is the closest launch to the reserve.- Pacific City
  • Nestucca Bay: A peninsula that has been newly acquired by The Nature Conservancy sits to the right on this view southwest down the main Nestucca.- Pacific City
  • Looking into the east portion of Nestucca Bay.- Pacific City
  • The confluence of the Nestucca and Little Nestucca rivers seen from the northern tip of the Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge.- Pacific City
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Surfing. Pelican Brewery. Adjacent to Cape Kiwanda.
Cons: 
Motor vehicles permitted on beach.
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Region:
Northern Oregon Coast, OR
Congestion: 
High
Location type: 
Sandy beach
Rocky shore
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Team

Since the turn of the 20th century, Pacific City* has been a major draw for tourists and vacationers in Oregon who are attracted to the big surf, the iconic Cape Kiwanda, Bob Straub State Park, fishing and paddling on Nestucca Bay, and the relaxed atmosphere so prevalent on the Oregon coast.

The estuary and lowlands of the Nestucca River were first settled by the Nestugga tribe of Native Americans, who harvested the bounty of salmon. European settlers began to occupy the Tillamook Valley just to the north by 1854, and in 1876 the tribe's roughly 200 people were moved to reservations on the Salmon and Siletz Rivers to the south. Ten years later the Linewebber and Brown cannery was founded, along with other fishing operations, with production that resulted in 12,000 cans of salmon harvested from the Nestucca Bay. Commercial fishing had completely wiped out the bay's bounty by 1926, forcing fisherman to take to the open ocean. Instead of establishing a marina within the Nestucca Bay, the local fisherman chose beach-launched dories to chase their catch, and although commercial fishing via dories has nearly come to a complete halt in Pacific City, it remains the town's most well-recognized tradition. Today you can still see recreational dories launched on the beach from time-to-time, which is why driving is still allowed on the beach. Unfortunately, in an effort to keep the tradition alive by permitting motor vehicles on the beach, the ocean sands often resemble a parking lot more than a wild and scenic seashore.

While historically the Nestucca Bay was the heart of this coastal town, the recreational hub has moved to the grouping of the Pelican Pub, the adjacent grocery market, and the Inn at Cape Kiwanda. Here the beer flows up to the rafters, and it is only a short walk to the sandy dunes of Cape Kiwanda. For the surfers, Pacific City has slowly built a name for itself as a surfing destination, and winter swells that break over the reef can easily create waves that measure over 12 feet. Nice right hand waves are known to break off Cape Kiwanda's southern end, peeling into the beach on clean west swells. The cape also provides protection from NW winds. A much larger beach break known as Gas Chambers further south gets hollow and can pack a punch at low tide.

* Interestingly, the Pacific City was originally called Ocean Park when it was planned by Thomas Maleny in 1893. By 1909, however, the name was changed to Pacific City to avoid confusion with Ocean Park, Washington, located on the Long Beach Peninsula.

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Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(4 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(38 within a 30 mile radius)

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