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Pacific City, Oregon Travel Guide
Last Updated: Mar-05-2019, Hits: 4,850, Rating: 4, Reviews: 1, Votes: 1 Bookmark and Share
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Lincoln City, Oregon Travel Guide
Location: North America
Geography: Beach
Vacation Type: Family, Relaxation
Popularity: Moderate Tourism
Costs: Budget
Attractions: Scenery, Camping, Fishing, Hiking, Surfing

Facts and Stats:
City Population: 1,059
Land Area: 3.8 sq mi
Government: Constitution-based federal republic
Country Dialing Code: +1
Area Code: 503
Languages: English
Electricity: 110V
Currency: United States Dollar
Time Zone: PST (UTC-8)
Current Time:

Pacific City is a very small unicorporated town on Oregon's Pacific coast. Once a fishing village, its main draw today is Cape Kiwanda State Park and the long stretch of beach that fronts the town.

Pacific City is located in Tillamook County on the Northern Oregon Coast. It is bifricated by The Big Nestucca River which runs about 50 miles from the Coastal Mountain Range. The river then merges with The Little Nestucca River creating a large wildlife estuary before finally emptying into the Pacific Ocean. At the northern edge of town is Cape Kiwanda State Park.

Brief History:
The Pacific City area was originally inhabited by the Nestugga Indian tribe who actually lived in the community now called Woods on the Big Nestucca River just north of Pacific City. In 1845, many miles away, an English settler named Mr. Johnson would alter this tribe's world. Mr. Johnson deserted his ship he worked on and ventured down the Willamette Valley, eventually staking a land claim in Champoeg. One day, while burning brush on his claim, he set off a blaze that got out of control. The westward winds sent the fire into the Yamhill basin where it burned all the way to the Oregon Coast. The fire consumed 1.5 million acres and is the largest forest fire in U.S. history.

The Nestugga Indians, who were already ravished by disease were forced from their land. They took their canoes down the Nestucca River to the sand spit where the river meets the ocean. This area is now Bob Straub Park. Despite the fact that the fire wiped out all of the game that they traditionally hunted, they were able to survive mainly on fish.

By 1854, settlers began to arrive in the Tillamook Valley, and in 1876, Chief Nestugga Bill and the 200 surviving Indians were relocated to a reservation near Lincoln City.

In the following years, many more settlers arrived in the area by ship or by making the arduous trek through the mountains from the Willamette Valley. In 1882, a road was completed from Grand Ronde, making the trip a little easier.

In 1886, the Linewebber and Brown cannery was built to take advantage of the plentiful salmon in Nestucca Bay. Logging and dairy farming also supported the local economy.

In 1893, Thomas Malaney platted the town of Ocean Park and a hotel was built to cater to vacationers from the Willamette Valley.

In 1909, the town's name was changed from Ocean Park to Pacific City in order to avoid confusion with Ocean Park, Washington.

In 1926, commercial fishing ceased due to overfishing. A state law, which is still in effect today, banned commercial harvesting in the Nestucca Bay and its tributaries. Local fisherman began using dories - small, shallow-draft boats - to fish in the ocean. This became known as the famous Dory Fleet. Commercial fishing vessels eventually caused most of the dory boats to disappear, however, some locals still use them today.

For a while, new ways to reach the town (airport, new roads) created a lot of growth in the area. That growth eventually tapered off, and today, Pacific City remains a quaint village that now relies mainly on tourism.

Getting There & Around:
Other than private plane, there is pretty much only 1 way to get to Pacific City. Whether coming from the north or south, you will take Hwy 101 to Brooten Road. Take Brooten about 3 miles into town.

There is bus service to Tillamook and other towns in Tillamook County. For more information, go here.

The table below shows the approximate mileage between Pacific City and other locations.

Lincoln City22 miles
Tillamook24 miles
Newport47 miles
Salem58 miles
Seaside73 miles
Astoria90 miles
Portland98 miles
Eugene121 miles
Bend189 miles

Keep in mind that any travel on Hwy 101 tends to be slow going.

Weather in Pacific City is characterized by wet winters, relatively dry summers and mild temperatures all year. Westerly winds are predominant from the northwest during the summer and from the southwest in the winter. These winds from the ocean bring heavy rainfall in winter and fog in the summer. May-September are the best months to visit. Below are the current conditions and weather forecast.

Month Avg High Avg Low Average Rainfall Ocean Temp
January 52 38 11.85" 49
February 54 39 9.65" 49
March 56 39 9.16" 50
April 59 40 6.04" 51
May 63 44 4.66" 53
June 67 47 3.16" 57
July 71 50 1.44" 58
August 72 50 1.45" 58
September 71 48 3.58" 57
October 65 44 6.16" 55
November 56 41 12.57" 53
December 51 38 12.81" 52

Tips & Additional Information:
  • Watch out for deer and elk when driving on the coastal highways.
  • Due to risk of hypothermia and rip currents, swimming in the ocean at Pacific City isn't a great idea. It is fine for wading, and those who are surfing or participating in other water sports, will likely want to wear a wet suit.

  • User Reviews (1)

    Reviewed by: sloshed
    Review date: Mar-13-2016

    We stayed a couple miles north of Pacific City in Tierra Del Mar which is a small, sleepy community of beach houses. Our house, Beachside Bliss, was excellent and was right on one of the best beaches I've seen in Oregon. Pacific City is small and there isn't much in the way of stores. If you have any doubts as to the availability of certain products, you'll want to stock up in Tillamook. 

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