A century-and-a-half ago, this was the place where Oregon Trail pioneers, who had trekked from the Midwest, would come for their first glimpse of an ocean. In the late 1800s, the bountiful salmon fishing took hold here, and since the 1960s, when surfing culture swept the West Coast, this endures as a revered spot. Throughout the ages, Pacific City has remained a classic little beach town whose visitors claim it as their own.
And, no wonder – its charms are many. For starters, Haystack Rock, about a half-mile from the beach, punctuates the view. It is one of three features on the coast that share the name, but this 327-foot monolith resembles a smaller, northern coastal cousin of Yosemite’s Half Dome. It is a lone sentinel off the shore of the Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area, which is renowned for its beauty, from tidal pools that show off myriad forms of ocean life to a sand dune offering sweeping vistas from Nestucca Bay to Cape Lookout.
A perfect place to experience it all is the Cottages at Cape Kiwanda, with prime views of Haystack Rock, the pristine cape, and the Pacific. The eighteen cottages offer an intimate, luxurious, yet unpretentious atmosphere, with custom-crafted cherry tables and dovetail-joint dressers, hand-blown glass sconces and leather sofas. The two- and three-bedroom suites comfortably accommodate up to six, and some welcome man’s best friend, too.
The sound of the sea, the sand between your toes, and the fresh, salty air easily rejuvenate, but don’t stop there. Let inland life slip away with a warm soak in one of the cottage’s Jacuzzi tubs. Step onto the heated tile floor, wrap yourself in a thick, soft robe and head to the oceanfront mini-spa for a massage.
While you’re relaxing, let your thoughts wander. How will you make the best of your stay? You don’t have to think too hard, though. The concierge team makes it easy, whether it’s setting you up with one of the cottage beach cruisers, finding the best local seafood, a kite, a surfboard to rent or the best hiking spots. If that’s not enough, the cottage’s fitness center will let you get in a workout. And with your own washer and dryer, you don’t have to worry about keeping the beach duds fresh.
Once you’ve worked up an appetite, you can stay cozy at the cottage, with a fully equipped kitchen, and have the best view at every meal from the beachfront deck and patio. When you’re done, kick back with a movie, play games on the Xbox 360 and crawl into a bed appointed with indulgent-yet-eco-friendly bamboo linens. You’re sure to dream that you’ve found the best place – your own little beach town.