Explore | Pacific City, Oregon

My favorite beach on the Oregon Coast is easily Pacific City. Of course, I’m biased on this matter. My parents purchased a quaint beach house in Kiwanda Shores when I was just two years old, and it’s served as a convenient escape from the stresses of daily life for many years since. Pacific City epitomizes so much of my upbringing: from crabbing with my dad and sprinting up “Sand Mountain” with my siblings, to swimming in the ice cold ocean water and gorging on greasy pizza from the Pelican Pub afterwards. This beach was the backdrop to my childhood.

I returned last weekend for a day trip with a friend and was swiftly reminded of all the reasons I can’t help but love this town. Though it’s certainly popularized in the past ten years, PC has maintained its signature small town feel. We arrived around 9 PM on a Thursday night. After picking up an obligatory gallon of chocolate peanut butter Tillamook ice cream from the local (i.e. only) market, we headed to the house to enjoy the peace and quiet.There is something essential and refreshing about stepping outside into the salty air and observing the darkness, interrupted solely by the stars that shine across its freckled face. It’s a stark contrast from Portland, where the city would certainly still be buzzing and awake (for our standards).  Out at the coast, everything is underscored by the rhythmic crashing of the waves and the relentless patter of raindrops on the roof. It’s the perfect refuge.

Pacific City is home to Haystack Rock, but this is only one of its defining features. There’s a mountain of sand that frames the right side of the beach and tons of secluded spots to explore along the way. Beach goers hike up the sand dunes, where you can absorb the booming breadth of the coastline. Waves crash loudly against massive rock barriers scattered across the shore, and lush green trees stand tall and sway in the gushing wind. It’s a gloomy, gorgeous masterpiece that can’t be found anywhere else.

The natural end to a day at the beach is grabbing a beer a from the Pelican Pub and Brewery. This past weekend I tried out their tasting board, equipped with all of the classic home-brewed beers and one seasonal selection. They were so delicious, I had to physically peel myself away for the retreat back home to the city. I miss it already…

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