A stroll down past the shops along Laneda Avenue will put you square in the middle of this long stretch of beach where 300-foot cliffs at the base of Neahkahnie Mountain will most certainly draw your eye. Head in either direction and you'll find that the number of tourists quickly thins, leaving you to enjoy the white crashing noise of the waves and the stunning scenery of the Oregon coast.
Manzanita is Spanish for "little apple," and the town was named for the green manzanita, a fruit bearing heather brush that grows at higher elevations in the area. The town was always envisioned as place for tourists to recreate and relax, with neighboring Nehalem and Wheeler established as the true centers for commerce that focus on fishing and lumber respectively. Developers slated the Nehalem Spit for development as early as 1912, and with the addition of the Grand Inn (1912-1956) visitors began to pour in, but the site as a town was slow to grow and it didn't become incorporated until as late as 1948.
As of 2012, this "vacation destination" still had an estimated residential population of just over 600 people, retaining its original charm.
Since 1990 the sandy shoreline as been the setting for the Manzanita Beach Walk + Run, which serves as a local fundraiser for North County Recreation District. Whether you are up for 5K or 10K, the late July event is a perfect way to support the community, get outside, and soak up the picturesque views of the area.
The northern portion of Manzanita Beach is part of the Cape Falcon Marine Reserve and Marine Protected Area. This means that there are specific prohibitions against fishing and the harvesting of fish, invertebrates, and seaweed. Check here for specific clarifications on regulations, exemptions, and a detailed representation of the area's boundaries.