Manzanita is a tiny coastal town packed with places to visit and things to do. Although you can walk through the entire town within an afternoon (it’s just one square mile), you can also spend a long time in the area as there are plenty of local activities and things to see! There are stores, restaurants and coffee shops you’ll want to visit again and again, as well as beautiful natural areas to explore in every season.
The town is known for its quirky atmosphere, which sets it apart from most small towns. Even though it’s surrounded by beautiful nature and has a small population, it doesn’t feel isolated. This is partly because it’s been a tourist destination for more than 100 years. It began as a beach resort in 1912, and ever since, it’s drawn Portlanders and other urbanites to its shoreline.
This urban influence is evident in the town’s eclectic character and array of choices. Apart from its coastal location and small size, it’s surprisingly like Portland in many ways. For example, you can find vegan and vegetarian options at many of the eateries and coffee shops around town. Besides this unique urban vibe, here are other reasons why people love calling Manzanita home.
Downtown Manzanita is next to a seven-mile beach of beautiful white fine sand—which explains why the area was chosen for a resort a century ago. With a gorgeous shoreline, plus Neahkahnie Mountain to the north and sand dunes to the east, you can see some of the best sunsets on the coast on this beach. It’s a great way to end a day of surfing, collecting sand dollars, or playing with your dog in the sand.
After exploring Manzanita Beach, you can head to nearby Oswald West State Park or Nehalem Bay State Park for more outdoor adventures. Manzanita is nestled between these wilderness areas, which include a nice variety of hiking trails, secluded beaches, and camping spots. You can go fishing, kitesurfing, paddle boarding, horseback riding or just enjoy a quiet picnic by the sea.
Manzanita wouldn’t be complete without its vibrant community of artists. If you’re an active writer, musician, filmmaker or painter—or if you simply appreciate the arts—you’ll find activities and like-minded individuals to connect with. For instance, you can take part in workshops or attend film screenings at the Hoffman Center For The Arts in downtown Manzanita. This community arts center includes an outdoor area, Hoffman Gardens, which holds concerts every summer.
Writers and readers can also head to the Cloud and Leaf Bookstore, Manzanita’s charming independent bookstore. It’s small yet packed with a fantastic selection of books. The shop hosts writing workshops, book clubs and visiting authors, too.
One surprising hotspot for artsy activities is the local nonprofit recycling center, CARTM. Part of their mission is to “encourage the creative re-use of materials,” which has led to artistic initiatives like the annual Trashion Show and the Trash Art Show. For both events, members of the community create works of art (and fashion) using cast-off materials. Both are incredibly popular among artists and non-artists alike.
Coffee, Newspapers, and Espresso?
Even on rainy days, you can love Manzanita because of its excellent coffee shops. Manzanita Coffee Shop is a good place to start. It opens before any other coffee shop in town and serves great coffee in a cozy atmosphere. If the weather is beautiful, you can sit out on the patio under the large trees, or take a cup to go and sip it on the beach.
For some news with your breakfast, go to Manzanita News and Espresso. You can check out their magazines, read a newspaper and check your email while enjoying coffee and a bagel. You can also browse their assortment of trinkets, from stickers and magnets to mugs and jewelry.
Fresh Fast Food or Delicious Dining
Thanks to Manzanita’s regular influx of visitors, there’s a wide assortment of nice restaurants in town. You can get fresh and fast Mexican food at Left Coast Siesta, which serves delicious burritos so large that they could become two meals. For something fancier, visit Neahkahnie Bistro, located in a small, charming house. They serve some of the best clam chowder on the Oregon Coast. Or you can enjoy the fine elegant upscale dining of Blackbird?
If you’re more in the mood for a sandwich, you can visit the Big Wave Café or Bread and Ocean Bakery for lunch. Bread & Ocean also have awesome cardamom cinnamon rolls—though you definitely need to arrive early to get one before they’re gone. Finally, for tasty craft beer and cider, go to San Dune Pub. They have incredible fish tacos, salmon chowder and an outdoor sitting area that’s dog-friendly, too.
Retail Therapy Anyone?
If you are needing some retail therapy or purchasing a special gift for loved ones back home while you visit, Manzanita boasts some special retail stores such Syzygy, Unfurl, and Finnesterre to find high quality clothing, unique gifts, or coast beach treasures.
Manzanita Homes For Sale
The houses in Manzanita are as diverse, unique and charming as the town itself. You can get a cozy beach house surrounded by acres of nature, an estate like setting with an ocean view or fall in love with a classic mid-century home with glorious beach sunsets. Check out the listings around Manzanita to find a home that’s like no other.
End unit townhouse that’s one block to the beach (view more photos).
Ocean views, privacy, and steps from the beach and town (view more photos).
Custom built contemporary in the center of Manzanita Village with beautiful woodwork and tile (view more photos).
Country style living by the beach (view more photos).