Pacific City: Our Little Beach Town

Where is your little beach town? Is it crowded and filled with touristy stuff, isolated and wrapped in stunning beauty or lined with high-rise hotels? What brings you to your little beach town? is it the waves, water, sand, views and brisk salty air? I have been to beach towns form Belize to Friday Harbor, Abaco Bahamas (in the sweet 1970’s) to Waikiki, Paia,  and Tortola. Each has a personality and vibe all its own.  If you find yourself looking for a beach town experience in the Pacific Northwest, you’ll be hard-pressed to discover a jewel more unique than Pacific City, Oregon.

IMG_1580As a standup paddler you have the Nestucca River at your back and the haystack rock centered on a sandy-bottomed surf break ahead. It can be a sun-swept mellow beach, a dream-like foggy experience, or a gnarly wind-tossed storm surf drama. You can find all sorts of accommodations from tent or rustic cabin camping at the Kiwanda RV park, to every sort of beachfront cottage or home you could want.  We have often camped with friends when visiting Pacific City over the past decade, but this visit was just right for exploring the Inn at Cape Kiwanda just above our favorite espresso place, Stimulus Espresso Cafe.

pelicanThe hub of the surfing and beach-going area of Pacific City is the busy parking lot next to the famous Pelican Pub. The ambiance and sense of  community that is evident throughout the entire town of Pacific City seems to be distilled just perfectly in this corner of the dune strewn oceanfront.

It was a terrific experience for me, as a standup surfer and avid low-tide hiker and Kiwanda Dune climber to stay at the Inn at cape Kiwanda. The story of that experience can be found in this article. (click to read more)

I learned that the Inn is just one of the Nestucca Ridge Family of Companies, an organically grown collection of coastal businesses dedicated to memory-making beach vacations, meetings and ownership experiences.  Mary J. Jones and Jeff Schons came to Pacific City in 1990 and immediately knew it would be there home forever. Since that day, their vision has guided the creation of all the businesses that are part of their family of companies today. Their commitment to excellence at a wide range of price point and lodging options was evident from the first moment I stepped into the lobby of the Inn.

IMG_1573ki-flipflopIt is an elegant, flip-floppy kind of place. There are fresh flowers framing the fireplace and a cozy braided rug covering polished wood floors. The two story span of windows welcomes natural light and frames a breath-taking view . A high-powered pair of binoculars is positioned on a tripod inviting me to gaze out at the details and birds on haystack rock.

I know that the standard of excellence at the ultra-luxurious, oceanfront Cottages at Cape Kiwanda is  top-notch spa quality luxury in  2- and 3-bedroom oceanfront suites complete with gourmet kitchens and full media centers. The Inn is the more casual accommodation. It might be more casual but the attention to detail and preserving the unique local flavor of Pacific City is obvious.

The first thing I noticed was impeccable cleanliness – the forte of any great hotel property is cleanliness, great customer service and having everything in top working order consistently. The Inn holds its own among the collection of boutique properties envisioned by Mary and Jeff and managed by expert and passionate,  Jeremy Strober, the Director of Lodging and Marketing. From the desk staff in the reception area to the gentleman changing a parking area light-bulb, everyone had a smile and the time answer questions and meet needs.


View of the Inn at Cape Kiwanda

After a windy and sandy hike up the Cape Kiwanda Dune, nothing felt better than a hot shower – and top-quality towels and bed linens. Washing sand and salt out of my hair with the Aveda rosemary-mint shampoo and conditioner had me feeling spa-spoiled for sure.

The flat screen TV and free dvd was tempting, but a cold glass of beer from the in-room refrigerator holding our Pelican Pub growler cool was what got us out on our ocean-view deck to watch the sunset. We were out of the wind but with the feeling that we were “on the beach.”

A late dinner was easy, the Pelican Pub is open until 10 PM every night.  We enjoyed the energy of the almost full dining room but thought that tomorrow night we will go out on the deck about 8 PM and enjoy the sunset there.

If you come to the coast to surf, SUP and paddle, take a look at the “Perfect beach Town article for more about Pacific City.

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