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Romantic Thrill Of It All: N. Oregon Coast’s Magical Manzanita

Published 09/21/20 at 1:41 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Romantic Thrill Of It All: N. Oregon Coast’s Magical Manzanita

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(Manzanita, Oregon) – Romantic times are just a beach away. The sands and ocean are the mainstay of an amorous getaway, and on the Oregon coast it’s hard to go wrong with just about any destination, if you’re part of the lovey-dovey set.

On the northern Oregon coast, one spot holds special sway in its ability to woo: Manzanita.

Just to the north of Nehalem Bay sits this stunning little town, which seems almost hypnotic in its intriguing mix of class, ruggedness and mystery. Ancient legends of crashed sailing ships and rumors of hidden treasure mix with murky fir trees, a somewhat hip, almost urban sense of architectural aesthetics and a backwoodsy sense of sorts, making this burgh a place you don't want to leave.

Often, you’ll first glimpse this jaw-dropping little burgh from above, from the unforgettable panoramic viewpoints at Neahkahnie Mountain. There’s little else that screams make out spots like these hand-holding-inducing views. Viewpoints large and small bring you expansive ocean vistas and that lulling sound of the surf in the distance. Who wouldn’t want to kiss you after you brought them here?


At night, however, these places are enthralling. Few spots along the Oregon coast vibrate with romance as this high vantage point with the soft lights of Manzanita below, a barely-visible surf in the distance, and if the stars are out the vibe is positively magical.

At the beaches of Manzanita, there's nothing like standing here and having to strain your neck a bit to look up at Neahkahnie Mountain looming above you. At night, this place becomes absolutely ethereal, as the mountain walls become illuminated by lights and wind up looking like part of a ghostly chunk of rock just hovering in the night sky.

A wide and beautiful sandy beach fills the eye here. Although at the beach’s northernmost access – near Neahkahnie Rd. – it quickly becomes large cobblestones until it ends at the base of Neahkahnie Mt. some 200 feet down.

The most obvious beach accesses lie past its downtown and at the bottom of the main road, Laneda Rd. But there are numerous hidden ones south of there, between the homes, along the beachside roads. These eventually dead-end at a back entrance to Nehalem Bay State Park. For some true alone time, head to the very northern edges where you’re practically directly underneath Neahkahnie, or walk a ways south of the main access. The sands become less populated and more conducive to instinctive moments of PDA.

There’s some incredible cuisine lurking here too. Try the taste bud-bursting fast food Mexican grub of Left Coast Siesta for a startling and wonderful culinary foray that’s inexpensive to boot.

As darkness falls, a hefty shot of romance and a wee drop of dram or two can be found at MacGregor’s, A Whiskey Bar. Warm, cozy surroundings in a beachy atmosphere give way to exceptional spirits and spirited cuisine, creating a shimmering, enchanting experience. 387 Laneda Avenue. 503-368-2447. Website here.

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