From the epic summit at Neahkahnie mountain to the hot dogs and ice cream you can grab right next to the beach, Manzanita is a beloved spot on the Oregon Coast. Nearly a year after a powerful storm damaged 128 homes and several businesses, this dreamy outpost is back in full force and ready to welcome visitors. Here’s where to eat, drink, shop and play during your next 48 hours in Manzanita:
Day 1 — Beach, ice cream, fresh veggies and whiskey
First head down to the beach, where you can fly a kite, take a walk with your pup, ride a fat tire bike or test the waters at Nehalem Bay on a stand-up paddleboard.
For rentals, try SUP Manzanita; for bikes, boogie boards and other beach necessities, try Bahama Mama’s. If you need help accessing the sand, the Manzanita Visitors Center carries beach-access wheelchairs. The beach here is one of the dog-friendliest spots along the Coast: Bring your dogs to the 9th annual Muttzanita event (Sept. 17, 2017) for doggy-focused vendors, quirky activities, an animal costume contest and pet parade.
After all that adventure, fortify yourself with rocky road, mango sorbet, caramels and caffeine at at the newly reopened Cones & Coffee, a classic old-fashioned candy shop bursting with treats.
If you’re in town on a Friday evening, make sure to explore the fresh, local fare at the Manzanita Farmers Market (through Sept. 15). Taste your way through the market, sipping wines and locally made artisan goods; take home something for the grill and enjoy live music.
Then make a beeline for happy hour at MacGregor’s Whiskey Bar, a shiny new lounge (age 21 and older) that offers an impressive lineup of more than 150 brown liquors, along with a full bar and aptly paired small plates and desserts. Start with the olives, cheese and ham, finish with the Scottish shortbread and handmade chocolate.
Day 2 — Hike, hot dogs, shopping and art
Roll out of bed and hit the trail. The 2.5-mile Cape Falcon Trail at Oswald West State Park, a 5-minute drive north of Manzanita. On a clear day, you can see north to Tillamook Head and south to Cape Lookout. Or, now’s your chance to tackle the famous Neahkahnie Mountain. Starting at the northern (2-mile) or southern (1.3-mile) trailhead, hike through the old-growth forest to the 1,680-foot summit for some of the most breathtaking views of the Oregon Coast.
For lunch, head back to town for plenty of great options. Grab a plate of tacos at El Loco Trio Dos, or a Surfer Scramble breakfast for lunch at Big Wave Cafe, a locals’ favorite. Or for something even easier, head to Manzanita Mudd Dog — a stand just a block from the beach with authentic Chicago-style dogs and cold drinks.
Cap your trip with some shopping and culture in town. The newly reopened Wisteria Chic and Moxie Fair Trade offer handmade treasures, home decor and souvenirs galore. And 4th Street Studio and Gallery showcases some of the Coast’s finest artists. You can find more local art at Hoffman Center For the Arts, a local community space with a full schedule of literary and artistic events. Brush up on your skills with a writing or drawing workshop; catch the latest movie at Friday Night Flicks (last Friday of every month). And enjoy live music at the Hoffman Garden every Sunday afternoon through Sept. 3.
Story by Jen Anderson
Photo by Susan-Seubert