N. Oregon Coast Travel Tips: Marvels of Manzanita Area are Many
Published 09/18/2015 at 5:24 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff
(Manzanita, Oregon) - Squished between the ominous Neahkahnie Mountain, one of the most beautiful beaches on all of Oregon’s coast and the northern end of the Nehalem Bay, Manzanita is a constant stream of discoveries. There’s that large bay full of water sports possibilities, a towering mountain smothered in mystery, miles and miles of immaculate sand and a really long spit, making Manzanita one non-stop tour of natural beauty.
Not to mention, the tiny town itself manages to boast a small but consistently glittering helping of culinary, lodging and shopping opportunities. All of these attractive amenities are just a short walk from the beach, should the weather turn on you.
The beach begins at the end of Laneda Ave., but another road runs along side the shore from that elbow until it dead-ends in the tree-smothered neighborhoods beneath Highway 101 and looming Neahkahnie Mountain. On the way, access to the sand is easy, with just a few steps down sandy or slightly rocky passages to this endlessly fascinating beach.
Interesting logs always seem to wash up with regularity, as if drawn to the place.
Above, on the highway, there are incredible viewpoints overlooking the ocean, Manzanita and even glimpses of Nehalem Bay. Just around the corner (just north of these viewpoints), you'll find more viewpoints, where mighty breakers slam into the rugged, ancient basalt headlands of Short Sands Beach. If things are a bit on the stormy side, keep an eye on this view into Short Sands (sometimes called Smuggler’s Cove).
If the weather is cooperating, these viewpoints are perfect for taking in the views and the sunsets, and of course, the beaches. Even if the weather is crummy, awesome views can be had from the dry, warmth of your car.
A Secret Tip: park your car at the gravel pullout just north of the big overlooks, and walk down the pathways heading straight out towards the sea. There, at the top of these cliffs, are a handful of unbelievable oddities and awe-inspiriing sights. More on these secrets.
Down below, the Nehalem Bay Spit runs for a couple miles to the south from town, with entrances at one hidden end of Manzanita, and then the main entrance to the park a mile away - just outside of the tiny town of Nehalem.
Head further south and you'll bump into the inland hamlet of Wheeler, which boasts a lot more than its few blocks in length let on.
A secret artists' haven, dining in front of incredible bay views and loads of funky secrets are just part of the fun in this whimsical, captivating burgh on the Nehalem Bay. Walk the atmospheric sidewalks of Wheeler and fall in love with its quaint, old buildings and unusual shops.
Kayaking is king on the Nehalem Bay, and there's a boat launch for larger craft. Or simply sit on these docks or the park above them and take in the placid atmosphere. Even more on this area below and at the Nehalem Bay, Manzanita Virtual Tour, Map.
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