Run Oregon loves running – that’s no surprise. But we also love the Pacific Northwest and all that it has to offer. Running is a part of us, but it does not fully define us. In our “Make a Day of It” feature, we aim to showcase some great local non-running events and highlight where to run and how to make the most of your experience!
Our latest road tip was enjoying The Inn at Cape Kiwanda and Pacific City, OR!
Getting there was an easy 2 hour drive from Portland and we arrived just at sunset, which was an incredible reward! It lasted through a quick walk on the beach, parking the car, checking in, unloading the car, and making it up to our room and we watched it fully disappear from our ocean-view balcony.
The room was a great basecamp and was incredibly comfortable with plenty of space. There was a little kitchenette area with a coffee pot, microwave, mini fridge, and a sink. With real dishes, it was nice to have the option of enjoying coffee, or even meals, in our room. We had a King bed, a dresser, a sofa, TV, a small dining area, an additional living room chair, and, of course, two chairs for relaxing on the deck with a view of the ocean. There was also a fireplace – perfect for ambiance or to take the chill off the cool coastal temperatures.
Every room at The Inn has complimentary wi-fi and Aveda bath products. They also offer complimentary bike rentals and a DVD library, so you can stay in and relax or head out and explore. Every Friday and Saturday night there is a reception to meet guests and staff, with complimentary Pelican Brewing Company beer, Oregon wines, apple cider, and treats from Stimulus Coffee + Bakery.
There are numerous room options from the dog-friendly guest room (which we had) to jacuzzi rooms and family suites. There is something for every adventure! Hint: the O’Neill Surf Suite looks particularly fun with a ‘surf-van’ bunkbeds, Xbox 360, and bean bag chairs!
Having dog-friendly accommodation is key in our family with an elderly dog who is picky about who he can stay with while we travel without him. The ability to bring him along is a huge bonus and to have a go-to place where he is welcome is huge! Everyone at the Inn was dog-friendly, from the front desk staff to the coffee shop crew; we were basically told the entire town is dog-friendly and that we needn’t worry about finding the special spots to take him. It was so laid back, we didn’t worry a bit. Plus, he looked very regal (and at home) posing in front of the sign! Our dog-friendly room also greeted us with dog-specific bowls, treats, towel and blanket.
Pacific City might be my new favorite coastal town. It’s small, with a population of roughly 1,000, and is off the main Highway 101 path enough that it’s not a key destination for tourists, but is packed with scenic adventure. It really is gorgeous. Looming out in the water is Chief Kiawanda Rock, which looks like Cannon Beach’s infamous Haystack Rock, and from various angles, a delicate arch is visible. It’s an iconic ocean view with fewer crowds.
The Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area is minutes away to the north from the Inn / town and features dramatic cliffs and dunes overlooking the ocean, beach, and town.
To the south is Bob Straub State Park (6 minute drive from the Inn or ~1.75 miles), which is the best access to the Nestucca Spit Loop, a 7-ish mile route of beautiful beaches and trails. Watch for seals, clammers, and crabbers!
Just slightly further south is the Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge, great for hiking, birding, and other wildlife viewing.
This is all just minutes away from Pacific City. Other day trips are easily accessible for running at Cape Lookout (~15 minutes drive), exploring at Cape Meares Lighthouse (~50 mins drive) or popping up to Tillamook for some great trail running (check out the Ultramook course for inspiration!) and cheese and ice cream (30 minutes drive).
There is endless adventure from kayaking/ canoeing / paddling on the Nestucca River, cycling around town, whale watching, visiting antiques shops, and of course the other beach-goer activities like making sand castles, flying kites, building a fire, reading books in a chair by the water, or, *gasp* taking a nap! Pacific City stole my heart.
There are really great options just across the street from the Inn. Pelican Brewing Company is a stone’s throw away and is open until 10 PM Sunday-Thursday and 11 PM on Fridays and Saturdays. They have a great tap list, as well as an extensive food menu from burgers and flatbreads, to clam chowder, salads, and desserts.
Also across the street from the Inn, but perched on an overlook is the beautiful Meridian Restaurant and Bar at Headlands Coastal Lodge & Spa. The space is a modern-meets-rustic cozy atmosphere with a great view of the ocean. They are open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as happy hour. Their food is locally sourced and it was the best salmon I’d had in quite some time. Our waiter was full of tips for what to do in the area and made us feel like we were the most important guests in the dining room.
Located at the Inn itself is Stimulus Coffee & Bakery, which is a bright and cheerful spot with cabinet breakfasts and bakery items. We made a quick order and were able to take it back to the room to enjoy it on our deck. They also have a good selection of vegan items, smoothies, and great to-go adventure goodies.
Throughout the rest of Pacific City you’ll find a burger spot, a pizza joint, an Asian fusion restaurant, another bakery, a marketplace just next door to the Inn, and a gas station.
Any Races Nearby?:
The most convenient race is none other than the Three Capes Relay! It’s coming up fast – in February, on Leap Day no less! – beginning at Cape Meares and ending in Pacific City, it’s the perfect excuse to grab some friends and get your run on over there.
Otherwise, drive a quick 30 minutes south to Lincoln City to easily take in the Lincoln City Half Marathon in April, Cupid’s Arrow, or the Jingle Bell Jog, or 30 minutes north to Tillamook for the Salmon Run or Ultramook, depending on the time of year you prefer to be at the coast!
As I’ve mentioned, Pacific City as a destination has won me over, with its beautiful views great outdoor adventures just minutes away, and the relaxed vibe, but staying at The Inn at Cape Kiwanda was really a treat as well. It was a quiet space with everything we needed and we really enjoyed it’s easy access to not only the beach, but to an incredible restaurant for dinner and a great brewery as well. It’s easy to find, easy to park, easy to check in (and out!), and overall incredibly friendly.
If you haven’t been before, I’d definitely recommend checking them out. It’s a great value and it feels like more than a hotel room or even studio apartment – it’s a cozy basecamp.
The Inn at Cape Kiwanda Details:
Phone: (888) 965-7001
More about The Inn at Cape Kiwanda:
Inn at Cape Kiwanda is part of Kiwanda Hospitality Group, the lodging branch of the Nestucca Ridge Family of Companies. Since their arrival in Pacific City, Oregon in 1990, Mary J. Jones and Jeff Schons have carefully built the Nestucca Ridge Family of Companies into a collection of distinct coastal businesses, including the award-winning Pelican Brewing Company and its flagship brewpub in Pacific City. The partners, employees and companies of Kiwanda Hospitality Group are dedicated to creating memory-making beach vacations, meetings and dining experiences for visitors, guests and local residents.
Many thanks to The Inn at Cape Kiwanda for allowing us to check out their property! Please read our transparency page for info on how we do our reviews.