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Manzanita Above and Below - An Oregon Coast Icon With Intriguing Secrets

Published 12/05/22 at 6:39 AM
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Manzanita Above and Below - An Oregon Coast Icon With Intriguing Secrets

Latest Coastal Lodging News Alerts
In Seaside:
Includes exclusive listings; some specials in winter
In Cannon Beach:
Includes rentals not listed anywhere else
In Manzanita, Wheeler, Rockaway Beach:
Some specials for winter
In Pacific City, Oceanside:
Some specials for winter
In Lincoln City:
Some specials for winter
In Depoe Bay, Gleneden Beach:
Some specials for winter
In Newport:
Look for some specials
In Waldport
Some specials for winter
In Yachats, Florence
Some specials for winter
Southern Oregon Coast Hotels / Lodgings
Reedsport to Brookings, places to stay; winter deals

(Manzanita, Oregon) - This tiny town on the north Oregon coast is an especially engaging one, with loads of surprises lurking in its various corners. Ancient legends of crashed sailing ships and rumors of hidden treasure mix with fir trees and a paradoxical sense of the cool and the backwoodsy, adding layers to it as well as an intriguing murkiness. (Photo Oregon Coast Beach Connection)

This Tillamook Coast place has architecture that is almost urban in moments yet with definite old timey pioneer vibes as well, as if there were an extremely laidback version of Portland's Northwest district on a beach. Clothing shops can have a bit of swank, as do some eateries that are a tad on the ingenious side (like MacGregors Whiskey Bar). It's rustic – and yet not always.

You simply have to be there to understand. In the end, it's a day at the beach - but full of nooks and crannies to explore both geographically and culturally.

It's generally those pristine sands that matter, where you find yourself beneath the awe-inspiring gaze of Neahkahnie Mountain, exploring miles and miles of increasingly secluded wonders that end up at the extraordinary wildlife watching opportunities of the Nehalem Bay Spit.


That looming mountain is host to a bevy of finds. The Neahkahnie overlooks alone provide some of the best viewpoints along the Oregon coast's entire shoreline.

As you drive above Manzanita, on the curvy, lofty part of Highway 101 that stands hundreds of feet above the surf and yet a few hundred feet below the tip of Neahkahnie Mountain, you will be awed without pause.


Neahkanie in the '40s (courtesy ODOT archives)

Pullout gives way to the next pullout; they seem endless for a few minutes, each with the astounding world revealed. As you round that bend towards Manzanita, the charming little rock walls add yet other dimensions.

If you visit in winter, this spot is prime for watching the gargantuan waves below without having to step outside into the windy melee. However, that wind will seriously knock your rig about, giving it all a thrill ride vibe.

Along one of the pullouts, a pyramid-like rock is one of the more recognizable features of the Manzanita area – and one of the more often photographed structures on the coast. It's even briefly featured in some commercials on TV.

On clear days you can see some 40 miles south, all the way to Oceanside.

As you stand above all this vast spectacle, you don't need big storm systems to make some massive waves below. It's true that wintertime is a perfect time to catch these monsters of the surface plodding in towards the beach. It doesn't have to be uncomfortably windy on the viewpoints to see these. There are times when mammoth, mesmerizing waves are found even in calmer weather.


Top of Neahkahnie: courtesy Seaside Aquarium

It's near this viewpoint where you'll find the entrance to the hiking path up Neahkahnie Mountain, where more aerial views of this area are to be had.

Want to go higher? Take that hike up ol' Neahkahnie and wander some 1600 feet up the trail from 101 to the top of Neahkahnie to catch unforgettable views. Along the way, little viewpoints and benches let you ogle the increasingly aerial angles on the Pacific. Hiking Neahkahnie Mountain Complete Guide: Manzanita's Marvel, Oregon Coast's Landmark - Views, Insider Tips

Want to know some secrets? Oh, there's a few. Here's a biggie: You could see more sun here than elsewhere north or just south. Neahkahnie Mountain hosts a funky weather phenomenon.

Manzanita Is Indeed 'Banana Belt' of N. Oregon Coast - Science Behind It  Curious weather science of how it can actually be a little sunnier in Manzanita than nearby

What about that buried treasure? Hm....sort of.

Pieces of Legendary Oregon Coast Spanish Galleon Wreck Retrieved Near Manzanita - Part 1 OCBC exclusive: how rare a find, misadventures, setbacks, scientific clues

Did 'Pirate' Sir Francis Drake Land on N. Oregon Coast? New Exhibit Looks at Mystery A new exhibit in Manzanita examines Drake's history and possible connection here

More Beach Wheelchairs Available for Oregon's Tillamook Coast Region  In Manzanita, Rockaway Beach, near Tillamook, Garibaldi, Pacific City, others

Hotels in Manzanita, Wheeler - Where to eat - Manzanita, Wheeler Maps and Virtual Tours

 


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