Imagine a coastal sanctuary where the world seems just a little less frantic and a little more peaceful.
Imagine a gentle respite that seems a bit other-worldly, yet comfortably familiar.
Imagine a place where those around you will let you be who you truly are, and you can let your guard down without judgement.
You must be imagining Nehalem Bay, Oregon.
The original residents here are the Salish tribe, and in their language, Nehalem means “place where people live”. It’s true, people do really live here.
And I mean, they really “live”.
The way people are meant to live. Apart from busy-ness. Apart from conflict. Here at the edge of the world, Nehalem Bay’s residents live life more slowly…a life of authenticity, of serenity. Where people you pass can look you in the eye and greet you warmly, whether they know you or not.
Nehalem Bay State Park – A world of activities
Nehalem Bay State Park is the area’s crowning jewel. It is unique in that it offers up a sandy spit of land that divides the Bay and the Pacific Ocean. Should you really feel the need to arrive in style, your chartered biplane can make use of the landing strip nearby, en route to your campsite. This is where I like to do my glamping, by staying in a yurt. There are also RV hookups, and traditional camp sites, with modern centralized bathrooms and showers.
The three coastal towns that surround Nehalem Bay State Park offer different things to do. The postcard-perfect Manzanita to the north has a 7 mile stretch of beach that invite romantic sunset walks without the crowds. The tiny town of Nehalem gives antique shoppers their fix, while the old fishing town of Wheeler to the south is the place to catch your Dungeness crab dinner yourself (you catch ‘em, they cook ‘em!)
Oregon Sand Dunes
Another unique feature of Nehalem Bay State Park is while the camp sites are mere yards away from the ocean, there are sand dunes that help protect the sites from the elements of the ocean. Here you get the best of both worlds: the dunes provide protection against the wind and the tides, while at the same time you get to wake up to the eternal sound of the Big Water waves washing up onto the shore. Tree covered hiking and biking trails snake around the park, and on clear days, Neahkahnie Mountain provides unparalleled views of the entire area.
Things to do:
- Nehalem Bay Winery, in the town of Mohler
- For those who like to fish and have a lot of time, follow Foss Road from Mohler, north to Lower Nehalem Road, for a true retreat from civilization at Nehalem River.
- Deer, elk, and birdwatching at Nehalem Bay State Park
- Horseback riding on the beach
- Coastal hiking and biking trails.
- Rent crab pots and boats from the nearby town of Wheeler for catching your own Dungeness crab.
- Go antique shopping in Wheeler
- Go surfing at Oswald West State Park, a few miles north of Manzanita.
- Pamper yourself at Spa Manzanita
- Go Kayaking on the Bay or the River.
- Nearby Neahkahnie Mountain has the most scenic trails.
Where to Stay:
- Nehalem Bay State Park for camping and RV’s
- Old Wheeler Hotel
- Rent a vacation home in nearby Manzanita