While Cape Kiwanda is specifically the name given to the 185-acre State Natural Area (part of the Three Capes Scenic Route), many local businesses have embraced it as well, thus expanding Cape Kiwanda's influence slightly further south down the coast and making the name more or less synonymous with Pacific City.
Whether your plans take you to the coast for surfing, kayaking, hiking the sand dunes, or beach combing, our vacation rentals near Cape Kiwanda are an ideal destination for large groups or families looking to get away from it all along the beautiful Oregon Coast.
Where is Cape Kiwanda?
Cape Kiwanda lies roughly 100 miles west of downtown Portland
, making it close enough for a well-deserved day trip. While the specific coastal State Natural Area bearing its name stretches about two miles north from Hungry Harbor Road up to an area directly across from Sears Lake, nearby Pacific City and Cloverdale both contain businesses and other destinations that proudly proclaim association with the Cape Kiwanda name.
Those traveling via small plane can enjoy the convenience of the Pacific City State Airport located on the east side of the Nestucca River, which allows visitors to deplane and hit the beach within a matter of minutes!
Things to Do at Cape Kiwanda
Visitors to the Northern Oregon Coast are often looking for a quiet corner
of the world to escape to where they can surf, walk on the sand, or just kick back and admire the view. A visit to the Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area offers access to hiking trails that eventually lead to views from atop the Great Dune of Nestucca Bay to the south and Cape Lookout to the North. And don't miss the adjacent Marine Garden offering opportunities for tide pooling and observing a variety of cliff-nesting birds.
As you walk along the beach just south of this area, you can gaze upon the monolithic Haystack Rock (also known as Chief Kiawanda Rock), an impressive geologic icon located roughly 500 feet from the shore, out beyond the breakers. Other outdoor activities popular in the area include fishing, crabbing, clamming, kite flying, horseback riding, camping, kayaking, and canoeing.
For great food and handcrafted beers, be sure to visit the oceanfront Pelican Pub & Brewery located right on the beach off Cape Kiwanda Drive. A short journey into downtown Pacific City
will deliver you to quaint art galleries, gift shops, and a few other popular restaurants and coffee shops including the Grateful Bread Bakery, Sportsman Pub and Grub, and the Oar House Bar & Grill.
Nearby Attractions Worth Seeing
As mentioned earlier, Cape Kiwanda is the southernmost stop on the Three Capes Scenic Drive, starting with Cape Meares to the North (home of the historic Cape Meares Lighthouse and the must-see Octopus Tree), continuing with Cape Lookout State Park, and concluding with Kiwanda. This pleasant, meandering drive offers ocean vistas, small towns, trailheads, and sand dunes.
Another worthwhile destination is Lincoln City
, located just 24 miles south of Cape Kiwanda. Offering seven miles of pristine beaches, a popular casino, antique stores, kite-flying festivals, and other unique events like Finders Keepers (running mid-October through Memorial Day) where nearly 3,000 handcrafted glass floats made by local artisans are secretly left under cover of night for visitors to discover the next day, Lincoln City is definitely worth the trip.
The Oregon Coast is a destination like no other and those looking to enjoy the surf, walk the sands, or hike the trails will find it all and more with our vacation rentals near Cape Kiwanda!
Photo Credit: Doug Kerr via Flickr