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Less Obvious Pacific City: Sandy Wonders of the N Oregon Coast Town, Unique Hikes

Published 03/03/2019 at 5:23 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Less Obvious Pacific City: Sandy Wonders of the N Oregon Coast Town

(Pacific City, Oregon) – For over two decades now, Pacific City has a been a glowing destination spot, filled with a variety of aspects for fun and repose crammed into one tiny place. The star attraction of the north Oregon town is Cape Kiwanda, but its sandy stretches are nothing to sneeze at. Just south of the Bob Straub state park access and on the other side of Kiwanda are miles and miles of soft grains and granules.

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Sometimes, what you really need is the archetypal long walk on the beach, or perhaps a good, long hike.

Around the Bob Straub access, the sands get sculpted into something rather cool and even extraordinary at times. The slope of the beach here mixed with the wave action causes the breakers to carve interesting tiers into the beach. It’s like the beach is multileveled, giving it an unusual look.

From here southward, you’re essentially on the Nestucca Spit, which will make for a five-mile loop if you hike the entire thing and then back. Gobs of forestland that’s murky, mossy, green and full of ethereal atmosphere accompany you, and you’ll encounter plenty of wildlife, such as seals and shorebirds.




On the northern side of Kiwanda, the beach runs on for a few miles, through Tierra Del Mar, until it dead-ends at the Sand Lake area. The first beach access after the cape is the killer: a delightful little secret known as McPhillips Beach (above), which is an unmarked gravel road about one mile north of Cape Kiwanda. You can drive on this beach, and admittedly this comes in handy as that lets you get close to the northern face of the headland, which has some of the most remarkable aspects of the entire attraction.

One of the real stars of Pacific City is the Inn at Cape Kiwanda hotel, which really helped fire things up back when it was a sleepy little (and sometimes rather uninteresting) destination, launching it into the hotspot we all know today.

This is a good central spot to stay when playing in these sands, and it comes with excellent oceanfront views in the first place. Aside from the lovely lodgings, there’s the Stimulus Espresso Cafe’ offering Stumptown Coffee and fresh pastries, and heartier grub across the street at the Pelican Brewing Company. 33105 Cape Kiwanda Dr. Pacific City, Oregon. 888-965-7001. www.InnAtCapeKiwanda.com.

For even more sandy wonders on this part of the north Oregon coast, continue up the Three Capes Tour to the Sand Lake dunes area and its miles of massive sand dunes. The beach is also very unique, and the one-mile hike to Cape Lookout yields some awe-inspiring blackened sands. More photos of these spots below:

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