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Trip Report Pacific City/Oregon Trip Report

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After some great tips from Fodorites, a group of nine adults from Texas headed to the coast of Oregon. Back in January, we reserved a home overlooking Cape Kiwanda and the dory boat comings and goings in Pacific City. I had been there last year and really loved the "off the beaten path" feel and also lower rental prices there. We drove via Tillamook, stopping there at the larger grocery stores to stock our pantry/refrig. There is a small local grocery store in PC but it is better to supplement your grocery list vs. shopping there for everything. The selection is smaller and the prices are higher.

We had a trail down to the Cape and to the beaches below from the house but it was not for the faint of heart. That being said, the hikes to the beach and to the top of the Cape were really fun and beautiful. We took the Three Capes Scenic Loop even with the road construction/closing that made us back track at one point. We toured Short Beach and looked for agates, and loved the Air Museum just outside Tillamook. We used Haystack Fishing Guide for two days of dory boat fishing. Joe and Wendy own Haystack and go out of their way to help you either take your fish home or ship it for you. We used them last year and did not think twice about using them again. There is also a horse riding service just north of Pacific City on the Three Capes road. (Watch for the signs along the road.) it is well less than half the price of the other services in Lincoln City etc. The horses are well cared for and the people that own it are very nice and accommodating. The Tillamook Cheese Factory is for me a tourist trap. The Blue Heron Cheese and Wine shop, just outside Tillamook, still has a tourist feel to it but their cheeses are quite good.

We cooked most of our food but did eat out several times. For breakfast, a group went to the Grateful Bread bakery and most said the bread was great but the breakfast was just ok. We ate a really good burger at the Sportsman's Pub which is the resident dive of PC. I would not suggest going there after 9pm. The Riverhouse Restaurant is very small but had really good food at great prices. You could get anything from soup and sandwich to lovely entrees. Everything there was from scratch. Some had nachos at the Mexican place in PC and said they were good but I cannot speak to a meal there. The highlight of our trip was dinner at the Delicate Palate Restaurant. It has a restaurant side and a bar side and both have the same kitchen but are in different areas of the small Inn complex. The wine, cocktails and food were gourmet level and could be located in any city in the country and stand up to the competition....simply fantastic. (Note from last year: steer clear of the Oar House.) The Pelican Pub has great beer but the food is not so good. Their fish sandwich was the best but they had just removed it from the menu and replaced it with fish tacos. Since we did not eat there this year I can't tell you any more about them. There is a wine tasting room in PC that also has good tastings of local beer and is a good place to visit.

After a wonderful five days on the coast, we drove through McMinnville which is now the home of the Spruce Goose for those interested, and a plethora of wineries. We stopped in Dundee at Argyle wine tasting room and some headed to Eggers Acres for cherry picking and eating. We continued to the southern edge of Portland then headed toward Government Camp and then on to Hood River. The entire drive had diversified views and vistas and made for a lovely day in and out of the car. In Hood River, we stayed at the Best Western Plus which was quite nice and had a free full breakfast included with the rate. The breakfast was quite good and far beyond what you have come to expect in a free meal. We went to Full Sail Brewery for the tasting (which is not free) and for dinner. The beer cheese soup was a highlight but the fish and chips a disappointment.

After our free breakfast at the Best Western, we drove east on the Oregon side to The Dalles and crossed over to the Washington side. We drove back west to Stephenson and crossed back over to the Oregon side ($1 toll). We took the Scenic Historic Highway back to Portland before our departing flight early the next morning. We had planned to go as far as Biggs Junction before crossing into Washington but felt like the time was getting away from us. Along our route that day we stopped for views of the Columbia River Gorge, Mt. Hood, several waterfalls etc. We pricelined an airport hotel so we could get to the airport quickly. We stayed at the Radisson Airport which was by no means the best but was adequate for our needs and you could not beat the $45 price tag per room. Our last night of the trip we ate at a very small NE neighborhood restaurant gem called D O C. It is an Italian place that offers a small changing menu. We had the five course tasting menu with wine pairings instead of the a la carte option. Unlike most tasting menus, people were given different tastings/pairings so you virtually could taste everything on the menu when the dinner was complete. We were not shy in sharing our family style plates and wines but it may not work for others. The food was spot on and the somm Austin Bridges did an excellent job with his unique wine selections. On the negative, it was fairly loud in the restaurant and when you enter, you literally enter through the area that they cook from. That being said, I would go back for the wine pairing alone.

Thanks again for all of the help in setting up our time frame and our driving routes. Fodorites you are the greatest!

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