Oregon Trip: Day 2, Portland to Manzanita

Happy Friday everyone. Today I’m keeping it simple with a recap of our second day of the Portland trip Ryan and I took during Thanksgiving week.

If you missed Day 1: here it is

Seaside Views

So, Day 2 started with breakfast at the hotel and hitting the road to the coast. I was actually impressed with how big the metro area is. The Portland suburbs go forever! Once we got out of the suburbs, we knew we were in for a treat because the vegetation that surrounded us was nothing like what we’ve seen before. The spruce trees were ginormous and it was so wet and foggy. Kinda eerie actually. Then the understory had a ton of ferns and trees were covered in moss. Like a cold forest. I’m used to the tropical forests, so this was a sight to see.

Drive to Coast

Our first stop was Seaside. This town is pretty tourist oriented with a main street full of little shops and attractions. We went offseason and on a Monday, so it was pretty low key, which was really good. It’s definitely got a kitschy charm. The beach is gorgeous and I can’t imagine what it looks like on a clear sunny day. We walked along the prom and to the ocean. I finally reached the Pacific! We also got some salt water taffy for the road, delish!


From there, we started driving South and took a trip to Ecola State Park. What a sight! Just a short walk from the parking lot at Ecola Point you can get magnificent views of the coastline with the sea stack formations. (side note: many were formed from volcanic action and/or ocean erosion over time) We also met a lovely Canadian couple. She was sketching on her journal which I thought was a brilliant idea.

Ecola State Park

A little ways North is Indian Beach. It is a small beach area where two creeks meet the ocean. Half of the beach is covered with beach pebbles smoothed over time. Quite peaceful.

Indian Beach

We got back on the road and stopped at Cannon Beach for lunch. This is the one spot I wanted to visit on this trip. It’s a small coastal town, more resident oriented and quiet. It’s also known for Haystack Rock. Yep, the Goonies rock. It was, again, gorgeous. The beach houses looked adorable and the beach was just breathtaking, even with the fog and mist.

Cannon Beach

We had lunch at the Wayfarer Restaurant and sat on a table right by the window overlooking the beach. Ryan had a rockfish sandwich (a local fish) and I had a crab sandwich. WOW! Delicious! I would definitely make this trip again just for the food. Once our bellies were happy, we walked around the town for a bit and got a Marionberry turnover at the bakery. Again, another locally known fruit. Delicious as well. This would be a town we would have loved to stay a little longer, but we kinda said that about every single town we stopped at.


We kept driving South on the 101 Highway and took a side trip to Smuggler’s Cove/Short Sand Beach. We just walked the trail to the overlook, but you could have walked all the way down to the beach. We were just running out of sunlight. Once again, the trail and views did not disappoint.

Smugglers Cove

Then we reached our final destination: Manzanita. A really really small town, but that’s part of the reason we decided to stay there. We checked into our hotel, the Sunset Surf Motel. We got a great deal on a great room. It had three walls with views to the coast. Unfortunately, it was quite foggy and dark, so the views were limited. It was still amazing though.

Sunset Surf Motel

We had dinner at the San Dune Pub. Bar food? Yes, please! I had fish tacos, which tasted as fresh as ever. The homemade coleslaw was sooo good. Ryan had an oyster basket. The fried oysters were actually impressively good. Both were suggestions from our waiter and we were definitely not disappointed. Then it was time for bed.

San Dune Pub

Thoughts from the trip:

  • we would love to stay at any of the locations visited for a longer period of time
  • ask the locals, they know their stuff
  • we’re in love with the Oregon Coast and would love to visit again when it’s warmer, but still try to ditch the summer crowds
  • when we retire we want to take a whole month to do this whole West Coast trip again
  • happy we went without a time schedule, just drove and took our time at places
  • day 2 in three words: fascinating, calming, enchanting


  1. Sounds like you had a great day 🙂 Beautiful places!

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