One of my favorite coastal loops – I headed up that direction over the Christmas Holiday. As I was driving north along 101, I was blasted with a winter storm. Trudging north of Lincoln City, I noticed the weather beginning to break up. I turned off of 101 towards the ocean via Brooten Road on my way to Pacific City and the sun came out. I’ve visited Pacific City numerous times throughout my life and I always remember it being sunny there – even in the middle of the winter. Sure enough, this trip promised the same.
My first stop was at the beach at Pacific City. As you walk down to the beach to your right is a large sandy cliff and tide pools. This is a great place to watch surfers and the launching of dory boats. The amazing Pelican Brewery is right next to the parking area. The menu is diverse and they have a pretty tasty Kiwanda Cream Ale. I did sample the Mother of All Storms – and that it was! A little to strong for my taste but still pretty good.
There’s also a great hotel across the street and an excellent coffee shop.
There’s nothing like walking along the Oregon Coast with a hot cup of coffee. I did stay at the Inn at Cape Kiwanda. The views were great – and they are dog friendly! It was nice to stay in a well-appointed clean room and not feel like I was stuffed in the “dog” room. Watch for the little black bunnies.
Traveling north from the hotel, I found what I would consider a locals beach – as there are no markings on the road. There’s a little paved road that dips down into the trees, into a parking area with beach access. It’s about a mile north of Inn at Cape Kiwanda – just before the stop sign. It looks as if you can drive out onto the beach, but I didn’t have a current permit on hand. There was nobody there. It’s pretty exciting to find a quiet beach site along the very found Oregon Coast. With any situation like this, there’s always the dilemma of whether to share or not. I hate to see areas overused, but in today’s climate of closed down parks and campgrounds, I feel that our only defense is to try to publicize places enough to keep them open. So here is McPhillips Beach –
Continuing north along Sandlake Road, you will come across the turn off for Clay Myers Natural Area at Whalen Island. I can’t wait to return to canoe this area. You would definitely need to canoe or kayak during high tide, but I think it would be amazing. The campground and park area is really quaint. There is definitely a lot to explore here.
Heading north, you will drive up to amazing scenic vistas and down along Netarts Bay. I would recommend taking time to stop or stay at Cape Lookout State Park. They offer cabins, yurts and a pretty nice campground. There’s a lot to explore in this area and during the winter months, there’s hardly anyone there.
I’m going to stop here for now because an adventure is just that – an adventure. I hope you enjoy this area as much as I do!