Cape Kiwanda and Pacific City – Oregon Coast Beach Adventures

Reminiscing the Algarve in the south of Portugal with its sandstone arches, wonderful beaches, and rugged coast, a trip to Cape Kiwanda and Pacific City will have your senses tingling. Cape Kiwanda is just half a mile from Pacific City and the pair make for a brilliant Oregon coast beach adventure! Here’s your guide to visiting Cape Kiwanda and Pacific City. With spectacular views of Haystack Rock, one of the nicest drivable beaches in Oregon and beautiful sand dunes, you will find there are so many things to do in Cape Kiwanda.

Travel blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a guide to Cape Kiwanda and Pacific City in Oregon. You can see Haystack Rock and some of the best drivable beaches in Oregon.

What to know about Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area

On the coastline of Pacific City in Oregon, this park oozes natural beauty in every direction. Unique sandstone formations meet sandy beaches that meet the caressing waves of the Pacific Ocean – a total dream spot!

Travel blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a guide to Cape Kiwanda and Pacific City in Oregon. You can see Haystack Rock and some of the best drivable beaches in Oregon.
Peter K. Ziminski

Three Capes Scenic Route

It’s part of the Three Capes Scenic Route, and also one of the best spots for drivable beaches in Oregon! Other capes on the route include Cape Lookout and Cape Meares. Cape Kiwanda, in particular, offers fantastic views of the ocean after climbing up a towering sand dune. The Three Capes Scenic Loop is a great north Oregon coast road trip year round.

Travel blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a guide to Cape Kiwanda and Pacific City in Oregon. You can see Haystack Rock and some of the best drivable beaches in Oregon.
tusharkoley

Haystack Rock Sea Stack

As for the view? Incredible. You’ll see the sandy dune, contorted rocks and crevices, the iconic Haystack Rock, and even feel the salty sea in the air. Haystack Rock is 327 feet above sea level, the tallest of the three Oregon coastal Haystack Rocks. The other two are at Cannon Beach and Bandon’s Devil’s Kitchen Wayside.

Travel blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a guide to Cape Kiwanda and Pacific City in Oregon. You can see Haystack Rock and some of the best drivable beaches in Oregon.
EB Adventure Photography

Seattle and Portland Getaway

Cape Kiwanda and Pacific City are about a two-hour drive from Portland, so while it can be done as a day trip, it’s better to stay for a weekend. You’ll get a better appreciation for the area and have time to do a hike and enjoy the best views of Haystack Rock and the beauty of this Oregon park and beautiful Oregon coast. It is the perfect Pacific Northwest getaway for nature lovers!

Cape Kiwanda Beach and the park are popular for kite flying, fishing, hiking, wildlife watching, and photography. These activities are easily among the best things to do at Cape Kiwanda. You can soak up the views of this park year-round!

Travel blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a guide to Cape Kiwanda and Pacific City in Oregon. You can see Haystack Rock and some of the best drivable beaches in Oregon.
Jowan Barnes

What to Know about Pacific City

Actually, Pacific City is not a city at all. Its population is barely over 1,000, but that doesn’t stop it from being one of the best places to visit in Oregon. Along the south end of the Three Capes Scenic Route, Pacific City’s main attraction is the Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area.

Travel blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a guide to Cape Kiwanda and Pacific City in Oregon. You can see Haystack Rock and some of the best drivable beaches in Oregon.
Bram Reusen

It’s a quiet place, perfect for weekend trips, romantic getaways, mindful travel, and hiking. You won’t find bustling city streets fill with businessmen in a rush or tall, towering skyscrapers. However, you will find a quaint fishing village, superb nature, and pristine beaches. What this small town doesn’t have is part of what makes it special.

Travel blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a guide to Cape Kiwanda and Pacific City in Oregon. You can see Haystack Rock and some of the best drivable beaches in Oregon.

Fun Facts about Cape Kiwanda and Pacific City

  • Pacific City used to be called Ocean City until 1909. This was to avoid confusion with the Washington town called Ocean Park.
  • Pacific City is the home of the century-old Pacific Dory Fleet, with the south of the cape as the Dory boat launching point.
  • It’s a hugely popular spot for surfers and hang gliders.
  • The water is cold throughout the year!
  • Pacific City is not a city. It’s more so a village with a population of just over 1,000.
  • Haystack Rock at Cape Kiwanda Beach is 327 feet tall, almost 100 feet taller than the “more famous” Haystack Rock on Cannon Beach, Oregon.
Travel blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a guide to Cape Kiwanda and Pacific City in Oregon. You can see Haystack Rock and some of the best drivable beaches in Oregon.

Fun Things to do Around Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area

With so much beauty around you, there are so many things to do at Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area.

Travel blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a guide to Cape Kiwanda and Pacific City in Oregon. You can see Haystack Rock and some of the best drivable beaches in Oregon.

Hiking at Cape Kiwanda

Hiking is one of the best things to do at Cape Kiwanda – it’s a must! There’s a parking lot next to Pelican Brewing Company, which is where most people begin the hike. From there, you’ll head for the beach toward the 250 ft Great Dune. Once you’re there, the signage will become clearer, and you’ll easily be able to navigate around the trail.

If you’re looking for those incredible Pacific Ocean and Haystack Rock views, take the left route of the dune. Otherwise, you can continue along the ridgeline for superb coastal views that stretch for miles! If you have time, enjoy both. Either way, the views at the dune and around the area are some of the best of Cape Kiwanda and Pacific City.

Travel blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a guide to Cape Kiwanda and Pacific City in Oregon. There are so many things to do in Cape Kiwanda for outdoor enthusiasts.

Sand Dunes

Exploring the sand dunes is one of the best things to do at Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area! The park has the highest sand dune (the Great Dune) on the Pacific shore in Oregon, standing tall at 240 feet high. Give it a climb for a fun adventure and awesome views!

Travel blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a guide to Cape Kiwanda and Pacific City in Oregon. There are so many things to do in Cape Kiwanda for outdoor enthusiasts.

Kite Flying

Thanks to the everyday wind at Cape Kiwanda and Pacific City, kite flying is one of the best things to do Oregon coast beach adventures. Head to Pacific City Beach or Cape Kiwanda for excellent kite flying!

You can make it a fun activity, shopping, or making your own kite in advance. Then, enjoy a picnic or snacks at the beach while you fly kites. Such a fun way to spend the afternoon!

Travel blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a guide to Cape Kiwanda and Pacific City in Oregon. There are so many things to do in Cape Kiwanda for outdoor enthusiasts.
Rigucci

Surfing

Once again, thanks to the consistent wind, it’s also perfect for surfing. Remember that the water is cold throughout the year so wear a wetsuit! Sharks are also sometimes spotted in the area so keep an eye out before and during your surf.

Travel blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a guide to Cape Kiwanda and Pacific City in Oregon. There are so many things to do in Cape Kiwanda for outdoor enthusiasts.

If you want to rent a surfboard or book a lesson, there are a few places in Pacific City. Check out Moment Surf Company or Seven Surfboards.

Travel blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a guide to Cape Kiwanda and Pacific City in Oregon. There are so many things to do in Cape Kiwanda for outdoor enthusiasts.
EB Adventure Photography

Beach Fires

End off your day with a nighttime beach bonfire. I visited during the winter, and beach fires were permitted at this time. Please check with the state park information for details on any bans, particularly in wildfire season. If you make a fire, it is recommended that you make it in open sand areas and downwind of any vegetation and debris such as driftwood.

Travel blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a guide to Cape Kiwanda and Pacific City in Oregon. There are so many things to do in Cape Kiwanda for outdoor enthusiasts.

Pelican Brewing Company

After a day of exploring and seeing the best of the coastline, head to Pelican Brewing Company. Right on the beachside of Pacific City Beach, you’ll find this hip taproom and restaurant! The Pelican brewery opened back in 1996 and has received numerous awards for its craft beer since! The Pelican Pub has local beers, like the Pelican Pilsner which is a delicious easy-drinker, plus seasonal craft beers and other drinks.

Travel blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a guide to Cape Kiwanda and Pacific City in Oregon. There are so many things to do in Cape Kiwanda for outdoor enthusiasts.

As for food, there’s a nice variety of options like pizza, pasta, seafood, and even brunch. Who doesn’t love brunch!? Sit inside or out and soak upfront seat views of Cape Kiwanda! Check their hours and prices here.

On Beach Driving in Pacific City

There are two places where you can access the beach by vehicle. There’s an access point on the south side, right across the bridge on Pacific City Avenue, or the north side of Pacific next to Pelican Brewing Company.

Travel blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a guide to Cape Kiwanda and Pacific City in Oregon. It is one of the best Oregon Coast beach adventures.

I love that this is one of the drivable beaches in Oregon, but make sure you have the right type of vehicle (like a truck or jeep) to avoid getting stuck – it happens, and you don’t want to be that person! Oregon coast beach adventures are highlighted by a beach driving experience.

Travel blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a guide to Cape Kiwanda and Pacific City in Oregon. It is one of the best Oregon Coast beach adventures.
Checubus

Also, pay attention to the signs and only drive where it’s permitted. Drive slow! Also, let’s all be responsible and keep drivable beaches in Oregon, something for everyone to enjoy.

Travel blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a guide to Cape Kiwanda and Pacific City in Oregon. It is one of the best Oregon Coast beach adventures.

Cape Kiwanda Safety

It’s advised to not go beyond the fences as there are many dangerous spots. The cliff has been known to crumble without any advance notice. It can be dangerous, and there have been fatal accidents when people have climbed past the safety fences. When you visit, for your own safety and protection of this delicate land, don’t go beyond the fencing. The views are spectacular without the need to risk your life.

Travel blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a guide to Cape Kiwanda and Pacific City in Oregon. It is one of the best Oregon Coast beach adventures.
Bandersnatch

Best Time of Year to Visit Cape Kiwanda

Honestly, I think any time of the year is fantastic to visit Cape Kiwanda! But here are some things to keep in mind. If you’re craving the sun and relaxing by the beach, stick to the summer months (particularly July and August, as there is the least amount of rainfall). However, we all know, those in the Pacific Northwest are not hindered by a little rain or fog.

Travel blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a guide to Cape Kiwanda and Pacific City in Oregon. It is one of the best Oregon Coast beach adventures.

However, summer is also the high season in Oregon, so keep in mind that trails, beaches, and attractions will be a lot busier during these months.

If you want the best of both worlds, early spring such as late April or early May, or during early autumn. Really, it is a year round destination for Oregon coast beach adventures.

Travel blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a guide to Cape Kiwanda and Pacific City in Oregon. It is one of the best Oregon Coast beach adventures.

Cape Kiwanda Road Trip Vlog

Watch the highlights of this Cape Kiwanda State Park road trip. There are so many favourite spots to see in this area of the Pacific Northwest.

A special shout-out to Braedin Toth for the amazing photos and video from this Cape Kiwanda road trip.

Accommodation at Cape Kiwanda and Pacific City

Hart’s Camp Airstream Hotel & RV Park

Just a few steps from the beach, this is one of the best places to stay in Pacific City! It screams vintage vibes with its funky, metal RVs. Each one is updated with modern amenities, and every RV site has a campfire pit and picnic table.

Travel blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a guide to Cape Kiwanda and Pacific City in Oregon. It is one of the best Oregon Coast beach adventures.

That’s not all though! There are lots of things to do at Hart’s. Hang out in the outdoor common areas, complete with a large fire pit, benches, gazebo, and games such as giant Jenga, Uno, horseshoes, and cornhole. How fun!

It’s a hip spot great for friends, couples, or anyone looking for a good time and fun place to stay in Pacific City! Fun fact, you might even see wild bunnies roaming the beach and RV grounds! Find out more about staying at Hart’s Camp Airstream Hotel & RV Park.

Travel blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a guide to Cape Kiwanda and Pacific City in Oregon. It is one of the best Oregon Coast beach adventures.
Bandersnatch

Cape Kiwanda and Pacific City FAQ

How far is Pacific City from Portland?

To drive, it takes just about two hours to get to Pacific City. There are also some bus routes which would take around three and a half hours.

Is Cape Kiwanda open year-round?

Yes! The park is open throughout the year, regardless of weather or season.

Can I drive on the beach in Pacific City?

Yes, in some parts! Follow the signage and guidelines when doing so.

Are dogs allowed on the beach?

Yes, you can bring your dog to the beach. Play fetch, run together flying kites, and have fun! Please be a responsible dog owner and leash when necessary and clean up after your dog.

Travel blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a guide to Cape Kiwanda and Pacific City in Oregon. It is one of the best Oregon Coast beach adventures.

I highly recommend you take a weekend trip to Cape Kiwanda and Pacific City. The gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean, along with Haystack Rock, the Great Dune, and the sandstone cliffs make this place divine! Plus, there are so many things to do at Cape Kiwanda to easily fill up a weekend itinerary. Add this to your list of the top Oregon coast beach adventures for nature lovers.

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Leave a Comment

  1. Chloe wrote:

    You look like a super model! The scenes here are absolutely stunning, I wish I could sit back and have a beer or two!

    Posted 1.16.17 Reply
  2. These pictures are all amazing x

    Jessica — NinetyCo

    Posted 1.16.17 Reply
  3. Robin Rue wrote:

    That sounds like a really fun trip! I love that you could drive on the beach – most of the beaches here won’t allow people to drive on them.

    Posted 1.16.17 Reply
  4. Emerald wrote:

    These are gorgeous pictures Bella, really! Sounds like you had an amazing time and making new friends is always good!

    Posted 1.16.17 Reply
  5. Alli Smith wrote:

    The video is must-watch and I love that song. I’ve never visited the Oregon coast and it looks like so much fun. As usual, the photography is amazing!

    Posted 1.16.17 Reply
  6. This looks like it was such a beautiful, wonderful trip! Gorgeous photos!

    By Lauren M

    Posted 1.16.17 Reply
  7. Desi wrote:

    You pictures are amazing!! It looks like such a fun trip. I’ve never been to Oregon but I’ve heard great things about it.

    http://www.teacupsandtulips.com

    Posted 1.16.17 Reply
  8. Cape Kiwanda is such a scenic place. It would really be a nice place to visit on a vacation.

    Posted 1.16.17 Reply
  9. Chelsea wrote:

    Girl these photos are dreamy! Looks like you had an amazing time!

    Posted 1.16.17 Reply
  10. Jamie wrote:

    Obsessed with all of your photos, they’re so moody and beautiful!
    Loved following along on your road trip via all of your photos!

    xx, Jamie

    Posted 1.16.17 Reply
  11. Tara wrote:

    What an nice family vacation road trip this is a beautiful place I’d love to go to. The pictures are great. I love everything about this post and how fun you are having.

    Posted 1.16.17 Reply
  12. Sara wrote:

    These photos are stunning and it sounds like you had a great time in Oregon! I’m glad you made new friends – nothing quite like a multi-day trip to bond you to another person!

    Posted 1.16.17 Reply
  13. Laura wrote:

    I’ve never been to the Pacific Northwest but it looks absolutely BEAUTIFUL!!! What a fun roadtrip!
    xx
    Laura
    http://www.sequinsatbreakfast.com

    Posted 1.16.17 Reply
  14. Christie Moeller wrote:

    These photos are AMAZING and I love the distressed hem denim!

    http://icanstyleu.com/blog/

    Posted 1.16.17 Reply
  15. That spot looks so quite and relaxing!! Absolutely beautiful. I’ve never been to the Pacific!

    xo Amanda John
    http://strawberrychicxo.blogspot.com/

    Posted 1.16.17 Reply
  16. WhatWouldVWear wrote:

    Bella!!! These pics are beyond dreamy and capture such a great spirit of adventure! LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    xoxo, Vanessa
    http://www.WhatWouldVWear.com

    Posted 1.16.17 Reply
  17. Krista wrote:

    Girl I am dying over this trip – seriously insanely gorgeous!!

    xxo
    Krista
    http://www.hundredblog.com

    Posted 1.16.17 Reply
  18. Looks like you had a great time. It’s beautiful there! (don’t worry about the Subaru…those things take a beating, my husband has one)

    Posted 1.16.17 Reply
  19. This looks like such a beautiful place to visit. The beach is one of my fave destinations ever. I would love to check out this place!

    Posted 1.16.17 Reply
  20. Candy Kage wrote:

    You end up in the most awesome looking fun places. Plus who doesn’t love going to the beach let along getting to build a fire and maybe spend the night. Great looking jeans you have on there.

    Posted 1.16.17 Reply
  21. Anna Hubbard wrote:

    Dude, you’ve been going to so many cool places lately! I love seeing the photos on Instagram!
    -Anna | http://www.fivefootandfabulous.com

    Posted 1.16.17 Reply
  22. Jolina wrote:

    We have always wanted to go to Oregon. It’s so beautiful! It’s a bit far from where I am but I think totally worth it.

    Posted 1.16.17 Reply
  23. Belle Bermudez-Tubel wrote:

    Your pictures as beautiful as always! I wish I could travel as much as you do!

    Belle | One Awesome Momma

    Posted 1.16.17 Reply
  24. Kimberly @ Berly's Kitchen wrote:

    Looks like a beautiful place and a fun trip! It would be a lovely place to visit sometime.

    Posted 1.16.17 Reply
  25. Carrie Colbert wrote:

    Your travel pics are blowing me away!

    Carrie

    http://www.wearwherewell.com

    Posted 1.16.17 Reply
  26. Enyoing everytime i look at your blog..Photos are just amazing and i am so glad you had great time xoxo
    http://www.theninebyivana.blogspot.com

    Posted 1.16.17 Reply
  27. Jenny wrote:

    You’re the cutest, Bella. I’m obsessed with your photos as always.

    Posted 1.16.17 Reply
  28. Uhhhh these are stunning Bella! I want to go there!

    Rachel | The Confused Millennial

    Posted 1.16.17 Reply
  29. Wow these pictures are absolutely beautiful! You look gorgeous in all your pictures!

    Posted 1.16.17 Reply
  30. Maggie wrote:

    Wow this looks amazing!! I love these photos!

    http://www.maggiealamode.com

    Posted 1.16.17 Reply
  31. mQs wrote:

    This looks like lots of fun!

    Posted 1.16.17 Reply
  32. Maggie wrote:

    This looks like the best trip! I love the west coast! I want to go to Oregon next!

    Maggie
    http://www.polishedclosets.com

    Posted 1.16.17 Reply
  33. You know I love those videos! Keep ’em coming! xoxo

    Posted 1.16.17 Reply
  34. So fun! You’re so adorable! I’ve wanted to visit Oregon for a while now. Hopefully within the next couple of years! Also, these photos are amazing,.

    Posted 1.16.17 Reply
  35. Ali Mageehon wrote:

    Beautiful photos! The Oregon coast is so wonderful – especially this part of it. Glad you had a good time!

    Posted 1.16.17 Reply
  36. Katie Runyan wrote:

    WOW, gorgeous photos! I’m dying to go on a roadtrip myself!

    http://www.katieisadora.com

    Posted 1.16.17 Reply
  37. Brittany Daoud wrote:

    Beautiful, looks like you had amazing weather! I love love love the Oregon coast!

    Posted 1.16.17 Reply
  38. Chelsea wrote:

    Gorgeous photos, as per ususal! Braedin Toth’s work is freaking incredible.

    Posted 1.16.17 Reply
  39. Rhea Taylor wrote:

    gorgeous gorgeous place and you too. i love the video as well.

    Posted 1.16.17 Reply
  40. Greta Hollar wrote:

    Such a beauty! These photos are amazing and it looks like you had the most wonderful time!

    Greta | http://www.gretahollar.com

    Posted 1.16.17 Reply
  41. Kasey wrote:

    This looks like an amazing trip! You look gorgeous in these photos!

    Posted 1.16.17 Reply
  42. Channing wrote:

    Wow these photos awesome! Jealous of the trip dying to go to that area of the country!

    Posted 1.16.17 Reply
  43. Molly wrote:

    It looks absolutely incredible!

    Posted 1.16.17 Reply
  44. Nicole Leffew wrote:

    You look beautiful! These pictures are gorgeous! So fun!

    Posted 1.16.17 Reply
  45. chubskulit wrote:

    Love the photos and thanks for the amazing video. I want to do road trip again, it would be nice to be on this setting, ocean!

    Posted 1.17.17 Reply
  46. Miss ALK wrote:

    I’m so so jealous of all of your recent travels! Living the dream girl!

    xoxo A
    http://www.southernbelleintraining.com

    Posted 1.17.17 Reply
  47. omg yes the Oregon coast is a stunner. I live close by.

    Posted 1.17.17 Reply
  48. WOW the coast there is gorgeous! I live in Washington now, but grew up in San Diego. The coasts are so different, but very beautiful!

    Posted 1.17.17 Reply
  49. This is super pretty! I’ve always wanted to visit the WA/OR coasts!

    Alix | http://www.apintsizedlifeblog.com

    Posted 1.17.17 Reply
  50. Hillary wrote:

    These photos are incredible! I love the one inside the car taken out of the back. Such a cool perspective!

    ~Hillary
    http://www.styleinasmalltown.com

    Posted 1.17.17 Reply
  51. Ricci wrote:

    I love these photos!! Looks like you had an amazing trip!!

    Posted 1.17.17 Reply
  52. I love your photos, this looks like a great trip – so different than the crowded beaches I’m used to in New Jersey and California, this looks soooo much better!

    Posted 1.17.17 Reply
  53. Ave T wrote:

    Looks like you had a super fun trip! The photos are so gorgeous and that video is absolutely amazing!

    Posted 1.17.17 Reply
  54. Hannah Stark wrote:

    I have been reading your blog for a while and you seriously have the best adventures! I am so jealous!!

    xoxo, Hannah

    Posted 1.18.17 Reply
  55. Beautiful location! I grew up in Southern California so any beach will always be my happy place. We have family in the Portland area and have visited the beaches in Oregon when we visit them. Such a beautiful area!

    Posted 1.18.17 Reply
  56. Lisa Marie Heath wrote:

    I’m so close to Oregon and haven’t been there yet! My boyfriend went for a work conference (I believe to Bend) and fell in love! We’re discussing a trip there soon so I can see it

    Posted 1.18.17 Reply
  57. Anosa wrote:

    Sounds like a really lovely visit and such beautifyl pictures taken. I definitely would love to visit one day

    Posted 1.18.17 Reply
  58. rika agustini wrote:

    Oh wow… beautiful place! And you look cute on every pic! Amazing!

    Posted 1.18.17 Reply
  59. Amanda K wrote:

    I haven’t been to Oregon before. All these photos are so beautiful!

    xx
    Amanda || http://www.fortheloveofglitter.com

    Posted 1.19.17 Reply
  60. Vivian Tang wrote:

    I’ve visited PNW but not Oregon. Your photos make me want to go! They are absolutely beautiful, and the video is breathtaking!!

    xx, vt | http://www.viviantang.co

    Posted 1.22.17 Reply