Tucked slightly off the beaten path of Highway 101 near the sea-weathered town of Pacific City, the Idyllic Beach House rental properties truly are idyllic for visitors seeking the comforts and convenience of home away from home. The best part for families traveling with canine kin? Pawed travelers are not only welcomed, but pampered with many dog-friendly features.
The two homes, long ago named “Idyllic Beach Houses,” are both fully equipped, each with a few unique amenities. Guardenia House, for example, has a lovely fireplace, a detached “kid’s bunkhouse,” and master bedroom with vaulted ceiling, skylights and floor-to-ceiling picture windows overlooking a dense Sitka spruce forest.
The two-story Pier Street House offers two adjoining bedrooms, a kid’s room, and a pull-out bed in the living room for larger groups. This property has the bonus of a doggie door that pops into the laundry room – perfect for wiping off sandy paws. While both properties are just a block from the beach, Pier Street House is closer, with beach access just a few steps away.
Newcomers to the Northwest may not be as familiar with Pacific City as with the more populated and attraction-laden towns of Newport, Lincoln City or Cannon Beach. But for many, the quieter atmosphere, proximity to several state parks, and relatively empty beaches make the Pacific City area a favorite. Surrounded by Bob Straub and Cape Kiwanda State parks, the Sand Lake Dunes and the Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge, beachcombers, cyclists and hikers don’t lack for adventure here. And if a night on the town is desired, it’s an easy 20-minute drive.
Exploring the “Three Capes Road Scenic Drive” is a perfect way to experience some of the hidden gems of this area. The 40-mile loop starts in Pacific City and cruises through the funky little towns of Netarts, Oceanside, and what remains of Bay Ocean. Once dreamed to be a western Atlantic City, unfortunately Bay Ocean was built on a land spit that over time returned to the sea.
Dogs and humans both can stretch their legs at various points along the way, visiting the “Octopus Tree” and the “shortest lighthouse in Oregon” at Cape Meares Lighthouse & Wildlife Preserve. Cape Lookout State Park offers a 2.5-mile trek to the beach, and Whalen Island County Park is a favorite with birdwatchers. A great ending spot is back where you started — Cape Kiwanda in Pacific City.
Kiwanda is the perfect place to seek starfish and seals, grab a bite and a brew at the award-winning Pelican Pub and Brewery, and of course, challenge your cohorts to a race up the massive 200-ft. sand dune and have a look around before getting your little kid on and running back down, full speed ahead.
Of course, you may want to forget the car, grab the dogs, and just explore the coast on foot. The beach houses’ locale grants this wish easily, and, according to the entries in the guest journal, the two-mile walk up the beach and to the estuary is a favorite with families with dogs (it’s fun to find the “traced paw” pictures of sleeping dogs drawn on the journal pages). It seems this trek is guaranteed to send even the most active dog to dreamland at day’s end.
The beach house proprietors provide plenty of reading and gaming materials, plus booklets of dining and entertainment suggestions. For those who love just lazing around, playing board games, reading or watching movies while soup simmers in the kitchen and the dog slumbers happily . . . you can do that, too. The possibilities are endless, and isn’t that the best part of a getaway?