Manzanita is an off-the-beaten-path coastal gem just waiting for you to discover! This beloved beach town is tucked in between 3 scenic landmarks – the vast Pacific Ocean, the coastal headland at Neahkahnie Mountain, and sheltered Nehalem Bay State Park. Come experience the turquoise surf, stunning exposed cliffs, dreamy horizons, great restaurants, shopping, and laid-back beach vibe…we guarantee one trip to Manzanita will have you hooked!
Planning a trip to Manzanita, OR?
Check out our list of some of the best things to do in Manzanita, along with some kid-friendly activities and suggestions when the weather isn’t ideal.
Manzanita Outdoor Recreation Activities
Explore the scenic Oregon coastline, rugged dunes, and even spot the occasional whale – all on horseback! Oregon Beach Rides has experienced horses for all skill levels and mini horses to accommodate kids! Schedules are seasonal, and they book up in advance, so make sure and call to inquire about availability.
Have you wanted to try stand-up paddle boarding? Both Kayak Tillamook and SUP Manzanita offer lessons and guided tours of the scenic waterways, including the Nehalem Bay and Nehalem River. Already a pro paddler? Wheeler Marina rents single and tandem kayaks, and paddle boards.
Some locals might say a trip to the Oregon Coast isn’t complete without a crabbing excursion. The friendly and knowledgeable crew at Kelly’s Brighton Marina are passionate about crabbing, and dedicated to you and your family having a blast whether crabbing from the dock or their guided boat. They will also offer to cook and clean your catch on-site if you wish to enjoy your fresh haul right then & there! You can rent one of their boats, or launch your own and explore some of the best fishing spots for Chinook salmon and Steelhead trout in the region.
Hit the Links!
Enjoy practicing your swing, or playing nine holes at Manzanita Links. The course blends ocean and forest together, creating a magical and memorable experience for players of all skill levels. The golf course now offers contactless online check-in and “Thank You Thursdays” – 9-holes for only $20 for all teachers, active military, police officers, firefighters, frontline healthcare workers, and public city employees.
Stroll and Shop Along Laneda Avenue
Laneda Avenue is the heart and soul of Manzanita boasting a variety of charming locally-owned shops and restaurants. Stop and sip awhile at Dixie’s Vino, pick up the perfect beach read at Cloud & Leaf Bookstore, spoil your favorite furry animal at Four Paws, or pick out a souvenir for yourself, or find the perfect gift for that someone special at finnesterre.
Things to Do in Manzanita for Kids
Explore Local State Parks
Nehalem Bay State Park offers a forested 1.8-mile-long bike path, wildlife spotting, breathtaking views, and plenty of sand dunes for jumping. The sparkling Pacific Ocean lies to the west of the park and Nehalem Bay to the east, making this the perfect spot for a fun-filled day with the whole family – leashed pups can join in on the fun, too!
Oswald West State Park is known for its beautifully secluded sandy beach, miles of hiking trails, towering evergreens, and incredible views. A half mile walk west of the parking area, you’ll arrive at a local favorite – Short Sand Beach – a great beach for exploring, tide pooling, watching surfers, sand castle building, and playing the day away! Pets on a leash are allowed.
Fly a Kite
Manzanita Beach, with its wide, sandy beach, is the perfect place to fly a kite. Looking for a local kite shop? Head to Bahama Mama’s Bikes, Boards and Beach Fare.
Hunt for Oceanside Treasures
When the tide is out, make your way to the tide pools near the base of Neahkahnie, on the north end of Manzanita Beach, where you can explore and discover a variety of marine life in their natural habitat.
Craving Something Sweet? Head on Over to Manzanita Sweets
Manzanita Sweets is jam-packed with a wide selection of treats. From hand-crafted chocolates, truffles and fudge, to salt water taffy and old-fashioned candy, there is something to satisfy every craving here!
Mom and Dad in the mood for another type of treat? Book a relaxing day at the spa! Spa Manzanita is a world-class day spa with an amazing selection of services from massages and facials to manicures and pedicures.
Looking for some classic board games, or something new for the family to play together back at your cozy vacation beach rental? Stop by Toylandia. This local toy shop is stocked with coloring books, stickers, stuffed animals, puzzles, games, and toys of every shape and size.
Things to Do When It Rains / Things to Do in the Winter
Head to Seaside
If the sky is overcast, or you would prefer to avoid the winter coastal drizzle, take a 30-minute drive to Seaside, where you will find some great indoor family-friendly activities.
Visit the Aquarium
Visitors and locals have been visiting the Seaside Aquarium since 1937. Kids of all ages can observe live exhibits of aquatic life native to the Pacific Northwest, enjoy the hands-on discover center, and of course, feed the resident seals!
Warm up with a piping hot bowl of delicious clam chowder at Mo’s Seaside. Mo’s is a coastal institution, with several locations, serving some of the best seafood in Oregon. They also serve burgers, salads, pasta, cocktails, and more – all in a friendly, casual setting.
The Seaside Carousel Mall
The mall has a variety of different retail shops and a food court, but the main attraction for kids is the full size, historical working carousel. A ride on this colorful and fun attraction will be sure to chase away those rainy-day blues.
Hit the Arcade
Funland has been entertaining families since 1931. Kids of all ages will enjoy arcade games like air hockey, skeeball, pin ball, bumper cards, and so much more! There is also an onsite pizza place – perfect for a quick bite before heading back to the games!
Seaside Historical Society Museum
The Seaside Historical Society Museum is the perfect one-stop museum for a rainy day. The museum tells the history of Seaside, starting with the earliest Native American residents up to the development of Seaside as one of the first resort cities in the area. The exhibitions include artifacts, photographs, and much more to help visitors get a better understanding of the history of Seaside. If there are any budding historians in the family, visit the Butterfield Cottage next door. This renovated historical cottage is designed to show you what life was like in Seaside in 1912.
However you decide to spend your time in Manzanita – whether it is taking a stroll on Laneda Ave, exploring the stunning natural beauty of the beaches or the state parks, hitting the links, or catching some local crab to enjoy back at your cozy Oregon Beach Vacations rental – we guarantee you will have an unforgettable getaway in one of Oregon’s most beloved coastal towns.