Adventures in Oregon: Manzanita

One of the things I absolutely adore about Oregon is that there are so many coastal towns. The mister and I have plans to tackle this entire map, and use their guide for suggestions on where to eat, sleep, and explore. Two weekends ago we took off on a random trip to Manzanita, about 2 hours away from Portland. It’s a very tiny place, currently holding about 550 residents. (Also cool trivia–Manzanita means “little apple” in Spanish.) The drive was super gorgeous. We had driven through US-26 to go to Astoria and Cannon Beach two years ago, in the middle of winter. There was snow everywhere and the roads were slick, so we weren’t paying much attention to the scenery, especially since everything was covered in white. This time, the trees leaves were changing colors, and it seemed like a completely different road entirely.

It’s funny how much I took the Pacific Ocean for granted living in Santa Cruz my entire life. I hardly ever went to the beach except to run on it or alongside it. I’m not a sun person. I avoid it (as much as possible) like the plague. I’ve always been the fair-skinned type that gets burned, so lying out in the sun on the beach even for an hour I’d come home like a bright red tomato. No fun, I tell you. But I must admit I do miss that crisp, clean ocean air.

It was super windy that day, to the point where we were getting blown away. As you can see, I was quite cold. There was enough wind to even accomodate the wind surfers! After a little walk on the beach with the hair blowing in my face, we were pretty much done… note to self to pack lots of layers next time!

We had a lovely lunch at a locally owned bakery/cafe by the name of Bread and Ocean, a very tiny but cute place. They served artisan sandwiches and soups, homemade bread, and a wide range of cookies. We had the “picnic lunch”, which included a half sandwich, cup of soup, and a cookie. We both had the roast beef with blue cheese on their rosemary potato loaf, carrot ginger coconut soup, and peanut butter and ginger cookies. It was the perfect chilly coastal day lunch!

What I look forward to the most in visiting these coastal towns is to find niches and word-of-mouth places. Little shops and stores to poke around in. Finding great places to eat. Being able to take pictures. And experience new things with my man. We found a cute old-fashioned candy store on our way out that had Fireballs, Tootsie Pops, Airheads, Gobstoppers, and every other childhood nostalgic candy you could think of. We also left with some more “adult”-type candy, artisan chocolates. Pumpkin spice and beer truffles, peanut butter cones, chocolate covered graham crackers. It was a gem!

Speaking of gems, we found this great spot on our drive home: Camp 18. It was definitely the highlight of our trip, for sure. We noticed it on the side of the road on our way to the coast and made a promise to each other we would stop there on the way back. And my goodness, I am so glad we did! Such an amazing sanctuary to take tons of photos (as you can see)! It’s an old logging museum and restaurant made out of a huge log cabin house! There were all sorts of tractors, wagon wheels, machinery and other heavy equipment outside in the parking lot. We walked around and tripped out for a good hour or so!

When we stepped inside, I nearly squealed with joy how cool it was inside. I felt like I was in a completely different state, like Colorado or Montana or some equivalent woodsy type place. It even reminded me of Yosemite in some ways. There were antler chandeliers everywhere, and it was super cozy like Christmas time. It reminded me of a place my grandparents would live in, very homey and family-like. Deer heads, saws, black and white vintage photographs, you name it. It was full of awesome stuff to check out.

J had the patty melt, and I had fish ‘n chips (not pictured), some of the best I’ve had in quite some time!

This was down in their basement area… a little model of the whole place! Can you imagine making something like this?!

I love this place and would recommend anyone to check it out! I can’t wait to stop by again sometime on our way back cruising through 26! Who knows where we’ll be headed to next.

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