The Sandy Coast of Manzanita
HAVING A GREAT TIME ON THE BEACH
Some beaches evoke only one mood. Not Manzanita Beach, however.
Our beach is one of many states, sometimes with just minutes between them. Warm and brilliant, tempest tossed, foggy and impenetrable, playground of a child’s imagination and sometimes imparting a chill that makes being indoors and warm again a delicious event.
If you’re up for experiencing the gamut Manzanita Beach is capable of delivering, here are a few things to consider when visiting, no matter the time of year:
- Locals speak of Manzanita’s “doughnut hole” micro-climate. During the warmer months we often enjoy fair weather when surrounding communities are foggy and rainy. So, it’s a good idea to bring a hat with a brim, sunglasses and sunscreen.
- On the other hand, fog does roll in and rain falls often enough that you really shouldn’t come without a light, waterproof jacket.
- If you plan to do local water sports like traditional surfing, body surfing, stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, kiteboarding or boogie boarding, know that the Pacific Ocean off Manzanita rarely reaches 60 degrees. A wetsuit is always in order if you are in the ocean for any length of time.
- Many people’s Manzanita Beach fantasies include reading while stretched out on a blanket in the dunes. We recommend you bring an old-fashioned, paper book. Fine grains of sand wreak havoc on Kindles and other eReaders.
- Prepare for a breeze. Even on the calmest days the beach can become breezy, particularly in the afternoon. Some die-hard beach fans deal with this by putting up small beach tents to deflect the wind. Others build forts from driftwood.
- Bring binoculars. Manzanita is located just off a major shipping route, so the horizon is often dotted with freighters and fishing vessels. A pair of binoculars can also help you catch a better look at local birds and wildlife, including bald eagles that often fly over on their way to and from Neahkahnie Mountain.
- If you are interested in exploring the tide pools that emerge during low tide at the base of Neahkahnie Mountain, bring a pair of rubber boots. Stop in at the visitor center to get tide information.
- Watch for riptides and wave-borne debris. When waves are particularly boisterous, they can hurl entire trees onto the beach. Never stand on a log or large piece of driftwood either, as a sneaker wave can send it rolling or toppling, and you along with it. A good rule of thumb is to avoid turning your back on the ocean.
The best advice for enjoying Manzanita Beach is to take to it in your own way. You will sense that everything on Earth traces its origins to the sea, and when you are near it, you can tell you are home.