Beachcombers NW

A Tourist's Guide to Manzanita: What to Explore and See

February 9, 2022

Categories: North Oregon Coast | Manzanita

Updated 02/19/2024

Photo by Sébastien-Launay ~

If you're looking for a charming coastal town to explore, look no further than Manzanita, Oregon. This little town is located in the heart of the Nehalem Bay area, and it has something for everyone. This picturesque seaside village has plenty of activities and attractions to enjoy, from hiking and biking through the forests and dunes to browsing local art galleries and shops. From beautiful beaches to delicious restaurants, Manzanita will keep you entertained during your visit.


Best Things to Do in Manzanita

The beaches are definitely the star of the show in Manzanita. The town is located on Nehalem Bay, which offers stunning views and plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities. You can go beachcombing, surfing, boating, fishing, and more at any local beaches.

Before we discuss that in detail, here are a few spots to jot down on your travel itinerary:

Nehalem Bay State Park: The Nehalem Bay State Park is located right on the bay, and it offers a variety of activities, including camping, fishing, swimming, and more.

Nehalem Bay Winery: If you're a wine lover, be sure to check out Nehalem Bay Winery. This charming winery offers tastings and tours of its production facilities. You can also purchase some of their delicious wines to take home with you. If you're looking for a unique wine-tasting experience, be sure to visit Nehalem Bay Winery. This winery is located just outside Manzanita and offers tastings and tours of their vineyards. They produce award-winning wines, so it's definitely worth stopping by for a taste.

Manzanita Beach: Of course, no trip to Manzanita is complete without stopping at the beach. With its white-sand beaches against the blue Pacific Ocean with beautiful Neahkahnie Mountain bordering the shore, it's hard not to fall in love with this beach. Be sure to spend an afternoon relaxing at the beach in Manzanita.

Manzanita Beach and Neahkahnie Mountain by Eli Duke

Photo by Eli Duke ~

Hug Point State Recreation Site: (15-minute drive from Manzanita): Hug Point is a unique state park located just north of Manzanita. This park is known for its scenic waterfall, caves and tide pools, perfect for exploring at low tide. If you're looking for a place to explore tide pools with an easy beach access, Hug Point is the perfect spot.

Short Sand Beach: Also known as Smuggler Cove is a beautiful, secluded beach located between Manzanita and Cannon Beach. This beach is in the Oswald West State Park and known for its dramatic rock formations and clear waters. It’s a popular spot for surfing and boogie boarding. Accessible by a beautiful woodland trail.

Oswald West State Park Short Sands Beach by Dan Nevill

Photo by Dan Nevill

Hoffman Center for the Arts: The Hoffman Center for the Arts is a beautiful, contemporary art center located in Manzanita. This center offers rotating exhibits of local and regional artists and classes and workshops for all ages. The Hoffman Center for the Arts is a contemporary art center that features rotating exhibits of local and regional artists.

Neahkahnie Mountain: If you're looking for a good hike, Neahkahnie Mountain is a great hiking destination. This challenging but rewarding hike offers stunning views of Manzanita and the Pacific Coast. The hike to the summit of the Neahkahnie is about 1200 feet above sea level. It's definitely worth the effort if you're looking for a good workout and some fantastic views!

View from Neahkahnie Mountain overlooking Manzanita and Pacific Ocean - by

Photo by Sébastien-Launay

Devils Cauldron: Devils Cauldron is a dramatic rock formation north of Manzanita, about a 6-minute drive from the city. This formation is known for its deep caves, tidal pools, and churning waters. It's the perfect place to explore if you're looking for a bit of adventure. Devils Cauldron is an excellent spot for an adventurous hike. Be sure to bring your camera, as some fantastic photo opportunities are here.

Angora Peak: Angora Peak is a challenging hike located about 14 minutes north of Manzanita. This hike offers stunning views of the Oregon Coast and the Pacific Northwest. If you're looking for a good workout and some amazing views, be sure to check out Angora Peak.

Cape Falcon Marine Reserve: The Cape Falcon Marine Reserve is about 15 minutes north of Manzanita. You can view the reserve from the Capes hiking trails or the Neahkahanie Mountain HWY 101 overlooking the beautiful 20-acre reserve.

Nehalem Bay: Nehalem Bay is a scenic bay located south of Manzanita. Nehalem Bay is known for its calm waters and lovely beaches. It's the perfect place to go kayaking, paddle boarding, or swimming. Be sure to check out this beautiful bay if you're looking for some fun water activities.


Downtown Manzanita

Manzanita is a small town, where you'll find shopping, dining, and the beach all within walking distance of each other!

Downtown Manzanita and ocean view

Photo by Neah-Kah-Nie Treasure Rental Home

Shopping: There are several charming shops to discover while walking downtown Manzanita. Find a variety of souvenirs and gifts. Enjoy a great selection of specialty dining including cafes, bistros, pizza, a pub, coffee & espresso, and for dessert, you’ll find candy and ice cream shops.

Beaches: The beaches in Manzanita are some of the best on the Oregon coast. They're perfect for walking, sunbathing, and surfing. Other popular beaches nearby are Neahkahnie Beach, Short Sands Beach, and Cannon Beach (a 20-minute drive north of Manzanita through Highway 101).


The Best Places to Eat in Manzanita

Wild Grocery & Cafe is an organic grocery and cafe featuring sandwiches, soups, wraps, desserts, and more! At Wild Grocery & Cafe everything is made in house with the freshest, locally sourced and organic ingredients. Their menu changes regularly and they always have plenty of delicious vegan and gluten free options.

The Big Wave Cafe is a mom-&-pop eatery that offers locally-focused seafood, steaks, and burgers. Their seafood menu is worth checking out and reviews by people who have dined at The Big Wave Café have nothing short of praise for this fantastic place. It is worth checking out if you are looking for fresh food made with local ingredients.

Marzano's Pizza Pie is a roadside pizza restaurant that is only open to-go. The menu features classic and creative pizzas, all of which are delicious. If you are craving some delectable pizza, Marzano's Pizza Pie is the place to go for take out!

The Neah-Kah-Nie Bistro is an upscale surf 'n' turf restaurant with a relaxed atmosphere. They serve entrees such as crab cakes, filet mignon, and salmon dishes. The cocktails are also outstanding. Dine indoors or in the comfortable outdoor seating area. If you're looking for a lovely evening out, Neah-Kah-Nie Bistro is definitely the spot to check out!

These are just a few of the top-rated places to grab a bite or dine in while visiting Manzanita.


The Best Places to Stay

If you are looking for lodging options, check out our beach rentals in Manzanita, Nehalem, and Neahkahnie. You'll love relaxing in private accommodations with all the comforts of home and an oceanview too!


Manzanita is a charming little town on the Oregon coast with plenty to offer tourists. Be sure to check out the beautiful beaches, tasty restaurants, and exciting shops while you're in town. Oswald West State Park and Neahkahnie Mountain are also worth visiting if you're looking for some more adventure. And don't forget to explore all that Manzanita has to offer its visitors!


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