Picturesque Highway 101 meanders along Oregon's north coast near many Manzanita cabins available for rent, providing several options for leisurely drives and spectacular views. The panoramic route north passes through small oceanside towns toward Astoria and a trip south travels through quaint villages and one of the most scenic drives in the state. Netarts Oceanside Highway and Cape Kiwanda Drive hug the shores of the Pacific Ocean en route to Pacific City.
Oregon Coast Geography
Highway 101 runs 364 miles from its beginning in Astoria and continues to the California state line south of Brookings. Noted as being one of the most scenic roadways in the world, it winds past unblemished beaches, rugged cliffs, roaring surf and sweeping dunes, offering breathtaking vistas around every curve. Travel through tunnels blasted from mountainsides, explore rugged trails in state parks and stop at numerous lookouts for sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean and surrounding landscape.
North to Astoria
Roughly seven miles north of Manzanita heading toward Cannon Beach, you'll enter the 1,228-foot long Arch Cape tunnel, blasted through Neahkahnie Mountain in 1937. Continue for three-plus miles to arrive at Hug Point State Recreation Site, where you can walk the original trail forged into the point by stagecoaches as they manoeuvered the cliffs above the beach. From here you can view Haystack Rock, explore two tidal caves or hike to a waterfall. At the Cannon Beach south access you can walk to the 235-foot monolith of Haystack Rock, where between April and August tufted puffins nest in the jagged crevices. Eight miles north of Cannon Beach is Seaside, famous for its full-size carousel and aquarium established in 1937. Your final destination is historic Astoria, boasting to be the oldest community west of the Rockies. A must-do is to climb the 164-step spiral staircase to the top of the Astoria Column built in 1925. The outside walls of the 125-foot structure feature 14 murals depicting the history of the area.
South to Pacific City
Within 11 miles of Manzanita lie the quaint villages of Nehalem and Wheeler, cradled in the forested estuary of Nehalem Bay, boasting stunning sunsets and Rockaway Beach renowned for its annual kite festival. Stroll seven miles of pristine beaches and explore the 45-plus acre Old Growth Cedar Wetlands Preserve, where at the trail's end you'll encounter one of Oregon's largest western cedars measuring 49 feet in circumference. From Tillamook veer 10 miles east toward Cape Meares Lighthouse to discover one of the most breathtaking routes on the coast. As you drive along Netarts Oceanside Highway headed for Pacific City, at high tide on a windy day you can feel the spray from waves crashing ashore. Towering sand dunes and weather-ravaged cliffs of Cape Kiwanda cast shadows over expansive beaches. Watch as local fishermen launch dory boats into the rolling surf or view the spectacle of sands at Bob Straub State Park glowing red at sunset.
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