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Your guide to Manzanita
All About Manzanita
Located on the north Oregon Coast, Manzanita epitomizes a Pacific Northwest beach town: rugged shoreline, forest hiking trails, life-affirming sunsets. The tiny village, sandwiched between the Pacific Ocean and the coastal headlands of Neahkahnie Mountain, is well equipped with treasured breakfast spots, casual cafes, a winery, and even a golf course. Nearby towns also offer interesting museums, such as the Tillamook County Pioneer Museum in Tillamook.
But Manzanita is most famous for its spectacular landscape, which covers seven miles of pristine beaches as well as an array of fascinating geological formations. At the northern end of the beach, you can explore Neahkahnie Mountain, a great lookout point for numerous beaches and forests. Take a closer look at Oregon’s waterways on the Tillamook County Water Trail, which is a National Recreational Trail that features 250 miles of navigable waterways along Oregon’s North Coast. The nearest entry point is at Nehalem, which is just a 10-minute drive away.
The best time to stay in a vacation rental in Manzanita
With moderate weather year-round, there is no bad time to book Manzanita rentals. The summers are warm and sunny, making it the most popular season for travel. The spring and autumn offer slightly cooler weather, but the beach will be quieter, and it is still possible to enjoy many of the area’s outdoor activities, such as hiking, swimming, and birdwatching. The leaves at Nehalem Bay State Park begin to change color in the fall, creating a kaleidoscope of red, orange, and yellow. In the winter, the ocean can be rough, but it also offers some of the best swells for experienced surfers and is a great time for storm watching. Between December and April is whale migration season.
Top things to do in Manzanita
Nehalem Bay State Park
This state park is a popular place for hiking, biking, and horseback riding along the 1.8-mile long Nehalem Bay Trail Loop. Along this route, you may spot wild deer, elk, coyotes, and a variety of birds. Much of the park is located on a sand spit with rolling dunes and shore pines, and it’s also a great place for kayaking and fishing.
Short Sand Beach
This secluded beach is only a seven-minute drive from the Manzanita town center. Surrounded by the Oswald West State Park and sheltered by Smuggler Cove, it has become one of the most popular beaches for surfing and boogie boarding. During the summer nights, you may even see “glowing sand” caused by bioluminescent plankton.
Neahkahnie Mountain is just north of Manzanita in the Oswald West State Park. Part of the Oregon Coast Trail, the Neahkahnie Mountain Loop leads you to a breathtaking viewpoint passing by the waterfall at Necarney Creek, as well as the cliff at Devil’s Cauldron, where you can watch the ocean churn and froth below. You may even spot a gray whale along the way.