We were at a high scenic overlook in Oswald West State Park when he spied it. “We need to get to that road,” my husband emphatically stated. He was pointing down the coast toward a long gray span running parallel to the beach, from our vantage right next to it. I was game. After we finished our outing-in-progress and were returning to our campsite, we turned west on Nehalem Road, which appeared a likely candidate for our goal. As we’d hoped, we were soon adjacent to an expanse of beach with easy access – Manzanita Beach. Due to the lack of a fore dune, a benefit not regularly found along the sandy Oregon shoreline, seascape viewing is unobstructed even from the car.
As a side note, Manzanita is an adorable town. Tourist-style shopping typically has little draw for me, but even I was enticed. A blend of tasteful, artful, and wholesome, the storefronts invite entrance to browsing and buying delights. If weather prevents an outdoor stroll, or you have seen enough sights for the day, the streets in town may offer a pleasing pastime.
December winds and drizzles did not seem to dampen activity on this broad swath of sand. Even at dusk when the temperature rapidly plummeted, singles, pairs, and families, dotted this stretch of beach. Cheeks rosy under beanies and over scarves, many tossed balls and sticks for their happy dog companions. This lively display of northern Oregon beach lovers was as rewarding to watch as the rolling waves and billowing cloud formations. We returned to this beach many times during our short northern Oregon stay.
The step count above is to reach the bench near the beach entrance. Within another 50 steps you will be on the open sand, and can continue your excursion as you choose.
Farther from town, less busy, and closer access from your car, this entrance hits the northern portion of Manzanita Beach. A great setting for a more introspective, private stroll, with the vastness of both the ocean and nearby cliffs reminding one of their place amongst these enormities. Relax and luxuriate in the seaside surroundings while breathing deeply the ionized, salty air.
The step count above is to reach the open sand. The length of your actual beach stroll is at your own discretion.