Digging The Beach Vibe – Manzanita, OR
I teased you in the last post about the awesome spot we’re currently camped, so it’s about time I spill the beans. For the past 7 days or so we’ve been hanging at Nehalem Bay State Park, a lovely park that sits on a 3-mile sand-spit just south of Manzanita, OR. It’s a mere skip and a hop from our last spot, but seems so very, very different.
As you drive south from Astoria you pass through rather open landscape with lots of beach-towns and pretty sand. It’s all quite lovely, but just a few miles further the view changes. Suddenly the coast buckles into dramatic capes and you’re faced with steep and rugged cliffs intermixed with sleepy bays. It’s in the very center of one of these bays, on a long sand-spit that we’re currently camped. Our RV spot is surrounded by shore pines and only a few minutes walk over rolling dunes to a pristine 6-mile beach.
And what a beach it is! Once you top the grassy dunes and look-out to sea you’re rewarded with a long beach with sand so fine sand it squeaks when you walk (don’t you love when that happens?) bounded by dramatic capes both north and south. Plus you can toss the shoes and walk the shore from camp right into Manzanita…a totally cute downtown. Oh yeah, I can totally hang here!
We’d never actually stopped in Manzanita on our previous coastal trips. This mini-town was incorporated in 1946 and only houses around 600 permanent residents. It doesn’t look like much from the road and if you blink on 101 south you might just miss it. But if you take the time to stop and drive downtown you’ll discover quite the little community. Cool little pub (San Dune Pub -> the tacos were excellent), multiple espresso places, several restaurants, wine & tapas bar (Vino Manzanita -> very cool evening hangout), a good music scene, a golf course (= happy hubby), a spa (= happy me), even an excellent natural food store and a very respectable Friday PM Farmer’s Market. Plus pretty much all of it is paw-friendly. It’s like a smaller, more laid-back, less “discovered” version of Cannon Beach to the north. Neat little package,right?
Originally our plan was to spend just 4 days here, but when arrived we dug the vibe so much we immediately looked to extend our stay and…by total dumb luck…our very site was one of only two in the entire park open for the week-end. Score! Despite the massive influx of families, kids and dogs over the week-end (kiddies got out of school last week, ya know) our site has been pretty relaxed and we’ve been loving the spot. We spent several days just hanging around our little natural paradise, logged a few hikes just north at Oswald West State Park and did several outings into town with pooch.
Oh, we did do something rather foggy and rather cheesy too, but that is a story for the next post…For now, I’ll just share a few pics from our time here so you can dig the beach vibe too.