Tucked away between the coastal mountains and Nehalem Bay is one of the cutest Oregon Coast towns – Manzanita!
It’s truly a hidden gem on the Oregon Coast. It’s so well hidden that Berty and I probably drove past it a dozen times before we stopped for the first time!
It sits right between Cannon Beach and Rockaway Beach off Highway 101, which is probably why it’s easily passed by!
Here, you’ll find all the best parts of the Oregon Coast bundled up in a small-town package with a quiet, coastal community. The town is super walkable, with lots of cute shops, access to the beach, and great places to eat.
If you want a coastal experience without all the crowds and tourism gimmicks, this might be the perfect stop for you on your Oregon Coast road trip.
In this post, we’re sharing our favorite things to do in Manzanita, Oregon, so you can plan a quiet, but adventurous getaway here too!
Where To Stay In Manzanita
It’s easy to plan a day trip to Manzanita, Oregon, but even better if you stay overnight!
While the town feels very neighborhood-eque with quiet streets and coastal cabins, you’ll be surprised to find a nice handful of inns too!
Manzanita beach rentals and cozy inns have a secluded feel and a touch of romance. It’s the perfect quiet escape on the Oregon coast.
Here are some of our top recommendations:
Sunset Surf Motel: The Sunset Surf Motel is a simple fuss-free way to enjoy all Manzanita has to offer. It’s right in the center of everything! There is easy walking distance to the beach, restaurants, and boutiques to feel connected to it all.
Oregon Coast Modern: This mid-century modern escape is perfect for families or groups of 6! Perched up on the hillside, it feels like you’re perched up in a treehouse!
10 Things to do in Manzanita, Oregon
1. Rent a Vacation Home or Cabin
One of the most important decisions you’ll make on your Manzanita vacation is deciding where to stay!
On our last trip, we stayed at the Oregon Coast Modern, which is a mid-century modern cabin perched up on the hillside of the Manzanita neighborhoods.
We loved the location, and it was still walkable to the northern side of the beach for a quick sunset stroll.
2. Take a Stroll on Manzanita Beach
One of the most popular Manzanita, Oregon attractions is easily its 7-mile beach! Located next to Neakahnie-Manzanita State Park, you can park your car close to the beach and get out to walk on the sandto enjoy the sunset.
You will quickly understand why it’s one of the most popular Oregon coast photography locations!
The great thing about Oregon beaches is that they are public! This means you’ll see a plethora of activities going on at any given time.
People will bring their dogs to play fetch by the water (it’s a dog-friendly beach!), or you can even spot horseback riders, boogie boarders, or bikers!
3. Hike to the Forbidden Cliffs
Looking for some incredible Oregon coast hikes to to try on your trip to Manzanita?
Look no further than Elk Flats Trail! Also coined “The Forbidden Cliffs” this is a stunning and dizzying trek down to peer over the oceanside cliffs of Oregon.
There are currently no railings of safety measures in place, so it’s extremely important to watch your step and steer clear of the edge!
The cliffs are just one attraction along this trail. You can also explore the Devil’s Cauldron, and see Elk in the prairie area (usually in the mornings and evenings).
You can even walk all the way to Oswald West State Park if you want a bigger hike.
4. Taste Some Local Oregon Wine
Love local wine? First of all, you’re in the right spot. The Willamette Valley is so close to Manzanita, making it a great place to host wine tasting rooms!
The Winery at Manzanita is a really approachable place for all kinds of travelers.
It’s dog-friendly so you can bring your furry friend after a long walk on the beach. They even have s’more kits for kids, where you can enjoy roasting them on their outdoor fire pits.
They offer wine tasting flights (my favorite way to taste them all!), glass pours, and seasonal favorites on rotation too.
5. Breakfast & Coffee at Manzanita News and Espresso
If you want to feel like a true local, stop by Manzanita News & Espresso for breakfast!
The interior is interesting and eclectic, full of fun local knick-knacks, art, books, magazines, and more.
They use Portland Coffee Roasters organic espresso beans, and pastries are made fresh everyday.
There isn’t a ton of seating, so it’s the perfect place to grab a quick bite before you continue your stroll around Downtown Manzanita.
If you do care to sit down, there are a few small outdoor tables and stumps to claim.
6. Drive the Three Capes Scenic Loop
Want to snap some beautiful Oregon Coast photography?
Drive the Three Capes Scenic Loop for the day! This iconic and scenic drive in Oregon takes you to three beautiful capes, each with their own unique features.
First is Cape Meares. Here, you can take a short stroll down to the Cape Meares Lighthouse, and see panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean. Just above the parking lot too, is the iconic Octopus Tree. Don’t miss it!
Finally is Cape Kiwanda. Climb to the top of the dune for some incredible ocean views, and venture to the northern side to watch paragliders ride the wind down to McPhillips Beach below.
The entire route will take you a half-day’s time!
Note: While this has historically been a loop route, expect a little rerouting for the time being. A road washout is currently being repaired!
7. Stroll Around Downtown Manzanita
Berty and I are big explorers, and that translates into downtown walks too!
On our last visit to Manzanita, we really enjoyed walking down Laneda Avenue, which is the main road in town.
This is where most of the major shops and restaurants are, including Left Coast Siesta, Offshore Grill, Sand Dune Pub, El Trio Loco, and Marzano’s Pizza Pie.
You can also pop into cute boutiques like Cloud & Leaf Bookstore, and Four Paws on the Beach.
If you’re a foodie, you’ll want to stop at Big Wave Cafe. It’s part of the North Coast Food Trail, which is a self-guided eating tour of some of the best and rugged eateries on the North Coast!
You’ll find a surprising amount of things to do in Manzanita, just downtown alone!
8. Day Trip to Pacific City
Need more Manzanita, Oregon vacation activities? Plan a day trip to Pacific City!
Located 1-hour south of town, it won’t actually feel that long because they are so many stops along the way.
Stop by the Tillamook Creamery for a quick tour of the cheese factory, and to grab a delicious and local ice cream cone.
Continue on our journey south and park at Pacific City Beach for the rest of the day. Here, you can explore all the cool things to do at Cape Kiwanda.
You can climb up the giant dune, watch the dory boats launch from shore, and go beach combing for treasures.
At the end of the day, walk back up shore and grab a burger and beer at Pelican Brewing. Their Pacific City location is right on the sand!
9. Day Trip To Cannon Beach
If you’re staying overnight in Manzanita for a few days, it’s worth your time to plan a day trip to Cannon Beach!
Located just 20-minutes north of Manzanita, it’s a convenient way to see more incredible Oregon beaches, and try some other iconic stops along the coast!
Cannon Beach is one of the most popular stops in Oregon, and a must-see if you are planning a bigger drive along the entire Pacific Coast Highway.
While in town, some of our favorite restaurants include Insomnia Coffee Co, Pelican Brewing, and Lazy Susan Cafe.
For a little more adventure, head up to Ecola State Park. Here you can take Crescent Beach trail for not only a fun day hike, but incredible views of Haystack Rock in the distance!
10. Explore Oswald West State Park
One of the closest Oregon state parks is Oswald West State Park. This is a perfect place for the entire family to enjoy because it has a little bit of everything!
One of the most popular things to do here is venture down to Short Sand Beach.
Here, you can explore the tide pools, have an Oregon coast picnic, or even try your hand at surfing! The waves are protected by a natural cove, so it’s a great place for beginners to try for their very first time.
For a little more adventure, try hiking Cape Falcon Trail of all the way up Neahkahnie Trail to Neahkahnie Mountain.
Both of these require all the 10 hiking essentials, so make sure to come prepared!
Things To Do In Manzanita – Conclusion & List
We hope this blog post inspired you to plan a trip to Manzanita on the Oregon Coast!
There are so many great places to visit on the Oregon Coast, but we think this adorable little town has everything to offer romantic couples, babymooners, and honeymooners!
Here’s a quick summary list of all the best things to do in Manzanita:
- Rent a vacation home or cabin
- Take a stroll on Manzanita Beach
- Hike to the Forbidden Cliffs (Elk Flats Trail)
- Taste some local Oregon wine
- Breakfast & Coffee at Manzanita News and Espresso
- Drive the Three Capes Scenic Route
- Stroll Around Downtown Manzanita
- Take a Day Trip to Pacific City
- Day Trip To Cannon Beach
- Explore Oswald West State Park
What are some of your favorite things to do in Manzanita, Oregon? Share them with us in the comments!