Secluded beach… Check. On-site brewery and pub… Check. Cape Kiwanda might just be heaven on earth.
If we were to design our dream escape at Two Lane America, it would probably be driving a curvy 2-lane road with some of it cutting through the beautiful forest before coming out to big, wide views of the ocean. In this perfect dream trip, we’d eventually stop at a secluded beach where there’d be cold, tasty craft beer and mouth-watering food waiting for us as we took in the views of the surf.
Yeah, Cape Kiwanda is that dream come true.
We’d heard good things about Pacific City, OR, specifically Cape Kiwanda and Pelican Brewing Company, but we never dreamed it would be this perfect of a destination. After driving through dense woods and occasional seaside views as we left Tillamook, OR, we came around a bend in the road and Cape Kiwanda appeared like some sort of mythical oasis.
The sun was shining and the breezes were blowing. Families ran up the sand dunes for better views of the coast. There wasn’t a frown to be seen for miles and miles. Hell, even the dogs just seemed happier here.
After hanging out on the beach for a bit, it was time to try this Pelican Pub & Brewery we’d heard about from every single person we met along the way.
Well, we see why this place has such a reputation. For starters, Pelican Brewing Company’s location directly, we mean DIRECTLY, on the beach is pretty much unbeatable. Whether you eat inside or outside, you’re going to have some breathtaking ocean views.
So a brewpub consists of three things… Atmosphere, beer, and food. Rarely does a place knock all three out of the park, so with the atmosphere being so dang spectacular, we expected at least the beer or food to miss the mark a bit.
Their beer was delicious which is probably why they’re consistently winning so many awards for it. The food? Yeah, well it was delicious too.
What really pushed Pelican Pub & Brewery over the edge from great to out-of-this-world was their ability to pair the beers and foods so well together, even using the beers in the preparation of certain menu items.
From Pelican Pub and Brewery:
Our executive chef and brewmaster make it their daily mission to understand how food and beer flavors complement one another. This means not only how the beer pairs with the food, but how to incorporate beer into preparing menu items in order to achieve the most flavor. This could be the Kiwanda Cream Ale batter in our famous Tower of Rings, the Beer Blanc sauce that tops our blackened cod or the brownie sundae made with Tsunami Stout. Whatever you order, there has been thought put into how our beer can be integrated into the dish to create a unique culinary experience.
Cape Kiwanda felt like the kind of place we could quickly throw our cell phones into the ocean and just disappear for a few months. Really fall off the grid and spend our days at the beach, just taking breaks for beer and grub at Pelican.
Sadly, this was not an option for us this time. We had to get back on the road too soon and couldn’t even stay the night. If we were to stay the night, however, it seemed pretty obvious to us we’d want to stay at the Inn at Cape Kiwanda, right next to the beach off Highway 101.
Each of their 35 guest rooms have private balconies with views of the Pacific Ocean, gas fireplaces, and all the modern amenities you could ever want.
Just a couple hours outside Portland, Pacific City, OR and Cape Kiwanda may be the hidden gem of the entire west coast and a destination we’ll be dreaming of for years to come.