pacific city beaches

Pacific City, A Quaint Drinking Village with a Fishing Problem

Pacific City, Oregon is minute in size (population around 1000) and yet it is one of the most popular destinations on the Oregon coast.  This quaint little drinking village has some spectacular monoliths to gaze at (best done with a brew in hand), beautiful beaches to play on, or drive on, and definitely has plenty of fishing.

pacific city oregon

We spent almost a week meandering about Pacific City and found more than a few things to write home about, but here is our “short list”.


Cape Kiwanda is part of the Three Capes Scenic Route (and scenic it is!).  We spent a few too many hours here watching the fog and the waves compete for beauty.

Cape Kiwanda

Kiwanda is the smallest of the three, but it boasts the biggest waves, the famous monolith known as Haystack Rock and is the home of the Pacific Dory Fleet (a Dory is a traditional fishing boat with a flat-bottom and high flaring sides).

haystack rock and dory boat

Ok, honestly I didn’t even know what a dory was until we got here.  But, after watching a Dory launch directly into the surf, take on the waves and then return by gunning it up and onto the sand, I almost considered becoming a fisherman!  It looked like an amusement park ride!

And just on the other side of Kiwanda is more of the lovely and endless Oregon beaches…

pacific city beaches

pacific city beaches

You know us, after days of hikes and beaching it, we had to find the local watering holes!  And, while the scenery from the patio at the Pelican Brewery can’t be beat and the brews are mighty tasty, we were disappointed that we couldn’t find any local seafood on the menu.  It was hard to believe considering the dorymen are literally dragging up their catches just outside the back door!  Despite our disappointment, we ordered the previously frozen rockfish and salmon tacos.  While it wasn’t quite the meal their website raves about, it was still pretty tasty.

pelican brewery

_15A5716     pelican brewery food

pelican brewery

Oh, and they let us take our beer to go so we could enjoy sunset on the beach…so they got extra brownie points for that.

pelican brewery view

The Sportsman’s Pub-N-Grub is the local’s hangout (and where the dorymen like to go)!  It’s about as hole in the wall as you can get and the fish and chips don’t come any fresher, better or cheaper than here.  They serve whatever the dorymen bring them and for us that was lingcod (which isn’t a ling or a cod but none the less, it’s white, flaky and tasty).  And should you be a gambling fool, you can even throw some quarters in the slots while you wait.  Our server was friendly (the online reviews said they wouldn’t be) and they had ice cold regional brews on tap for $3.50!

sportsmans pub n grub

sportsmans pub n grub

sportsmans pub n grub

And finally there’s our campground; perched on top of a hill, surrounded by trees and peppered with the cutest bunnies in every direction!

pacific city rv resort

It was as if we were in a bunny sanctuary…even the squirrels had to take a backseat to these big eared cuties!

pacific city rv resort


As you may have gathered, we’ve taken a liking to the Oregon coast…but can you blame us?

Have you been to Pacific City?  What was your favorite spot?  Tell us about it in the comments below, we’d love to hear from you!

Disclaimer: While we were compensated to film the campground (thanks Thousand Trails!)…all of our experiences and opinions are NOT purchased and are still our own.

Hello there! I honestly don’t know what to say, so I am going to tell you a bunch of random facts instead. I'm a fish eating vegetarian who hates spiders and loves snakes. I almost never took vacations growing up. I wanted to be Pippi Longstocking (still do). I misspell about every other word I write and still struggle with grammar. I love splurging on a good high tea (which is really hard to find these days). And whatever you do, don’t tell me I can’t do something, because then I'll HAVE to do it!

Comments (19)

  • Kathie Attaway

    Nikki and Jason,
    Don’t forget to tell your readers that all beaches in Oregon are public – unlike any other coastal state. Every foot of our beaches are open for exploring – just please make sure to use public access to the beach – don’t tromp through someone’s yard!
    Glad you loved it – Oregon is a gorgeous state! Both west and east of Mt Hood!!

  • Looks like you two had a blast. The place is amazing with so much things to do and enjoy. The view is so picturesque especially on the capes. I would really love to go there. Got to start doing some research about the place.

  • Love the video. Makes me want to plan a trip. What software did you use to edit your video?

  • Godbee Smith

    You need to try the beautiful WHITE sands of the Alabama Gulf Coast in Orange Beach, Al. Great RV parks all around and weather from October to May is
    really mild with a few cold days here and there.

  • RVgeeks

    Love, love, LOVE the Oregon Coast! Thanks so much for the great post… it’s making us nostalgic for all there is to see and do there!

  • Great review and video! I have never camped at that campground – will have to try it! We’ve stayed in Washburne (love it ) and Licoln City when going to Pacific City and other locations for photography. Pacific City is a popular spot for photographers, You have to climb the cliffs though for the right locations with spectacular views during sunrises and sunsets.

  • Hunter

    No Goonies references??!!!

  • Anita

    We did the Oregon Coast in 2011. Favorite campground was Carl G Washburne Memorial Park. State park prices and sized sites with full hook ups and cool trails to the beach just across the 101. But even overflow at The Pacific CIty Resort (read parking lot) was okay since we unwittingly timed our arrival to coincide with the “Hood to the Coast” racers!

  • bruce

    Great story and photos.

    However, there may be a copyright infringement on that sand sculpture.

    I always make beach sharks, too, and that one is good enough to be one of mine.

    I will now mull the possibility of calling my beach attorney.

    O.K. – not going to do it.


  • Paul Van

    We were there in 2008, spent the night in Cannon Beach with a view of Haystack Rock. So beautiful and also convenient to Oregon.

    • paul van

      Meant to say Portland

  • Wow … I don’t think I’d want to leave.


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