Fall Fun in Pacific City
With stormy weather or blue skies, Pacific City shines in the fall. Here in this sleepy coastal hamlet just a few miles west of Highway 101 you’ll find sandy beaches, the “other” Haystack Rock, a wide variety of outdoor fun and craft beer brewed just for the season.
Pacific City is home to Oregon’s only beachfront brewery, Pelican Pub & Brewery, known for delicious drafts and an incredible setting. The large patio area looks out onto a beautiful expanse of beach and 235-foot Haystack Rock rising from the sea. It’s a favorite spot for surfers as well as local fisherman, who launch and land their dory boats right off the beach in search of off-shore salmon. (It’s one of only a few remaining surf launch fleets on the West Coast.)
Drop in for the pub’s Fall Brewers Dinner on Saturday, October 18, when Chef Rick Lowell showcases the cuisine of Burma. He’ll be joined by culinary adventurers and Burmese cuisine experts Robert Carmack and Morrison Pilkinghorne, authors of “The Burma Cookbook: Recipes from the Land of a Million Pagodas.” Diners will enjoy adventurous recipes expertly paired with the Pelican Brewery’s award-winning beer.
The brewery’s so-called Mother of All Storms is predicted to arrive in mid-November in Pacific City, but there’s no need to bundle up. This tempest is the release of a tantalizing Kentucky bourbon barrel-aged barley wine that’s sure to warm your bones. The weekend long celebration kicks off Friday, November 14, with a four-course Extreme Beer Brewers Dinner, showcasing high octane beers as a complement to a mouth-watering seasonal menu featuring some of Oregon’s most celebrated fall ingredients.
On Saturday, November 15, the pub’s Barrel Room is the place to get your hands on the new release, while enjoying live music and nibbles and sampling vertical flights of Mother of All Storms and Stormwatcher’s Winterfest draft. (Doors open at 6 a.m. and sales of this much-loved limited release start at 8 a.m.) Cap it off on Sunday, November 16, at a “Mother’s Day” brunch with pairings of strong ale.
For both events, the adjacent Inn at Cape Kiwanda, Cottages at Cape Kiwanda or Shorepine Vacation Rentals have a variety of weekend getaway packages. And during the entire month of October, you can get your hands on a concierge Halloween package that includes a carved pumpkin (or DIY kit), pumpkin pie, cocoa and a six-pack of Pelican brew.
Outdoor adventure also beckons in Pacific City. If the weather cooperates, head to Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge for a glimpse of migrating birds, including the overwintering dusky Canada goose and resident wildlife, such as deer, elk, river otter and harbor seals. The Pacific View Trail leads to an observation deck with views of Haystack Rock, the bay, the Coast Range and the Little Nestucca River. If you’d rather keep out of the elements, grab your camera and take in the spectacular views along the Three Capes Scenic Loop. This 40-mile drive starts at Cape Kiwanda before skirting Cape Lookout, Netarts Bay, Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge (home to the tufted puffin), Cape Meares (with tours of its 19th-century lighthouse) and Tillamook Bay.
Photo by Justin Bailie