Stay Eat Events Weather Beaches

One Oregon Coast Spot Has a Wild and a Calm Face

Published 07/29/2011

(Rockaway Beach, Oregon) – It's a bit of living history you can bounce around on – nearly 100 years old (although you technically shouldn’t be walking on it at all).

The south jetty of the Nehalem Bay, at Rockaway Beach's Manhattan Beach, is a cozy, calm and yet paradoxically dramatic spot on the Oregon coast. It’s also off the beaten path enough that you won’t find many others there, quite often leaving the beach to just you as the lone inhabitant.

It all starts at the parking lot – if you can find it. Indeed, as you reach the northern end of Rockaway and head into that mass of trees that encircles the inner area of Nehalem Bay, there’s a huge sign that says Manhattan Beach. But even from this access point, it’s a little hard to find. It’s easy to get lost in the neighborhood of homes here.

The parking lot is an unassuming gravel patch, sort of stuck in a kind of corner at the bend of a roadway. The dunes here continually spill over onto the parking area, perhaps in an attempt to hide it from the public. It’s entirely possible this beach wants to be left alone.

You have to walk a bit further to get to the beach, and often over an intense labyrinth of huge driftwood that dominate the landscape. They sometimes don’t want you to pass, either, providing numerous obstacles.

Then the ocean appears, and that long stretch of boulders that comprises the jetty at Nehalem Bay.

This, too, is a curious structure in some ways. The ocean can be raging and in a crazed mood, slamming even harder against the jetty on its rocky fingers that jut out into the sea.

But look into the bay mouth, on the other side of the jetty, and it’s paradoxically quite calm.

All those driftwood piles make for plenty of building possibilities. Would-be architects seem to abound here, with humans having created and left behind some magnificent little temporary shelters. Many look quite ingenious.

Look down to the south and you’ll see the iconic Twin Rocks – about seven miles away. These structures change shape all the time, depending on your angle. From this vantage point, so many miles to the north, they look thinner, almost squished. They’re rather comically reminiscent of the opening credits of a spaghetti western flick, where the picture is strangely elongated.

The south jetty here was constructed in 1916 and the north jetty in 1918. The southern one is 4,950 feet long, according to the Army Corps of Engineers, and the north jetty is 3,890 feet.

They went under some restoration in 1981 and ’82, when the Corps and its contractors put more than 347,000 tons of rock into the tips of the jetties. Over the first few decades, lots of chunks of it were periodically taken away by underwater currents and big waves.

More About Manzanita, Rockaway, Wheeler Lodging.....

More About Manzanita, Rockaway, Wheeler Dining.....

A famous little family eatery where the seafood practically gets shuffled from the sea straight into your mouth. Soups and salads include many seafood specialties, including cioppino, chowders, crab Louie and cheese breads. Fish 'n' chips come w/ various fish. Seafood sandwiches with shrimp, tuna or crab, as well as burgers. Dinners like pan fried oysters, fillets of salmon or halibut, saut�ed scallops.
Oregon Coast event or adventure you can't miss
Pacific City, Oregon



LATEST Related Oregon Coast Articles

What Created Ten Tornado Warnings for the Oregon, Washington Coast Last Week?
According to the National Weather Service the answer is quite complex
Lincoln City's Glass Floats Event Reboots This Weekend After Oregon Coast Storms
The hugely popular festival of floats gets started this weekend, beginning October 22. Lincoln City events
What Will Disappear from Oregon Coast After the Weekend
Here's some of summer's remarkable beach sights that were around just a week ago
Oregon Coast is Clear - Saturday's Winds a Dud
But today's storm never lived up to the predicted 60 mph gusts and resultant damage
Two Tornadoes on Oregon Coast; Manzanita Severely Damaged, Video
One briefly in Oceanside that did no damage but another in Manzanita that ravaged the town. Weather
Oregon Coast Highest Wind Gusts, Power Outages, Road Closures
Harsher than many, yet par for the course for the heavier categories the area
Oregon Coast Storm Now Brings High Wind, Surf Warnings for Thurs; Seas at 34 Ft
A series of storms are pushing in, set to kick in harder over the weekend
First Storms of Season May Bring 30-ft Waves to Oregon Coast
Some gnarly waves will be battering the beaches of the Oregon coast later this week

Back to Oregon Coast

Contact Advertise on
All Content, unless otherwise attributed, copyright Unauthorized use or publication is not permitted