For decades, the Northwestern coastal town of Manzanita (named for the native shrubs that cover the hillsides) has attracted visitors, tucked between Neahkahnie Mountain and Nehalem Bay with a 7 mile white crescent shaped beach. There is something special about this town that when brought up in conversation with others causes a mystical faraway look in everyone's eyes and words of devotion. Small enough to be inviting, yet the right size to offer options for groceries, food, art galleries, book stores and shopping. The commercial area of town is about 6 blocks long with a direct view to the Ocean at the bottom. Easily traversed hiking trails up Neahkhanie Mountain nearby are an option if majestic views are desired.
Manzanita is not only our favorite coastal town because of these conveniences but also due to our personal connection to this tranquil town. Shannon has been vacationing here since childhood. Some of her earliest and fondest memories are of the sandy white beach and seagrass covered dunes. Anna's love for Manzanita stems from her first visit to Oregon over 10 years ago, where at a bbq in Portland she was invited by an acquaintance's Aunt to attend her 60th birthday celebration at the family beach house the next day. This impromptu magical weekend spent in Manzanita was one of the driving forces to encourage Anna to move to this lovely state only 3 months later.
Shelter | Coast Cabins 635 Laneda, Manzanita, Or
Coast Cabins...invoking in those that have vacationed there a sigh of relief, due to the perfection of the surroundings. Whether it be the naturalized landscaping, reminding us of the bamboo forests on Maui or the pathways that lead to the privacy of the cabins themselves to the fire that appears in the evening at the beautiful communal concrete outdoor fire pit, everything is perfection. The interiors are evocative of danish, modern, Japanese minimalism however nothing is minimal in amenities. A steam shower, sauna, hot tub or private fireplaces are soothing and can be had at their various listings. The fully stocked kitchens allow guests to cook with ease, letting you feel relaxed and at home. It may be no wonder that when laying in bed one finds themselves ensconced in ironed linens, a magically comfortable bed and then in the morning one wakes to the clean bright smell of the ocean air.
Nourish | Marzono's Pizza 60 Laneda Manzanita, Or and Kellys Marina 29200 HWY 101 between Wheeler and Rockaway, Or
Marzano's used to be a full service eat in restaurant but has recently turned into a to-go pizza and salad window located at the end of town near the ocean. Delicious option for grabbing food to-go that never disappoints, they also offer a tasty Gluten Free pizza crust, which can be difficult to find - even in Portland.
A classic Oregon marina with local crab, clams and oysters, Kelly's Marina is worth the trip. A 15 minute drive to the otherside of Nehalem Bay, it is a fun experience and always lively. There is not restaurant, simply walk up to the outdoor tanks and select your crab of choice. Once you do, the dockside attendants will cook it on the spot and you have the enjoyable task of eating the freshest of crab dock side with melted butter or at one of the picnic tables overlooking the launch with boats and fishermen putting out/bringing in their crab pots. They can also prepare and package your food to go, for a delicious evening at home.
A favorite bookstore of many, Cloud & Leaf is a small, sweet treasure that the owner has created to the joy of travelers and locals alike. Jody recommends books when requested and has a wide selection of poetry, art, design, children's books, biographies, novels and autobiographies. A carefully chosen selection of art supplies, postcards and magazines completes the options that leaves nothing wanting.
In the morning, Manzanita News & Espresso is filled with that ideal mixture of coastal residents and tourists, easy to listen in on all of the news of the town as well as take a break and read the newspaper. Starlight Frost, the owner, often greets you with a smile and remembers everyone it seems, even those who make it to the area a couple of times a year. Delicious coffee, teas, pastries and an incredible selection of magazines, cards and small household items, a true tuck away spot in the heart of town.