The Oregon Coast is different than any other beach I've been to in the most special way. The towns are always sleepy and quaint, full of coffee shops, cute little stores, and a few local restaurants. The people are kind, the weather is temperate, and the sound of the ocean is gentle and soothing.
David's family owns a beach house in Manzanita, so we have been lucky enough to go 4 or 5 times this year. Before I started dating David I had never even been to Manzanita, but now it is definitely one of my favorite beaches in Oregon. The town is small, with just one main street that dead ends at the gorgeous coast. There are about 6 or 7 cute stores that I love to browse in, as well as lots of places to get treats, ranging from ice cream to delicious throw-back candy. The local market is perfectly stocked, with David's favorite clam chowder in Oregon (his ideal lunch is a bowl of chowder and a corn dog!). If you are lucky the people working the counter there will even give you a taffy when you check out!
There is also a FANTASTIC pizza place (walking past at almost any time of the day will give you intense pizza cravings) and two great Mexican restaurants. The coffee shop sells great baked goods and ice cream, and a really tasty Mexican mocha.
My favorite place in Manzanita is the San Dune Pub. There is a great outdoor patio for when it's nice out, as well as tons of indoor seating. On Friday and Saturday nights they usually offer great live music, and they really manage to cultivate a fun, lively atmosphere despite the usually sleepy beach vibes in Manzanita. Lately we have started going to the San Dune and getting a pitcher of Boneyard IPA and a deck of cards and spending a relaxing afternoon taking in the people and the great atmosphere.
Manzanita is also home to Oswald West State Park, which features the gorgeous Neahkahnie Mountain Trail. There are two ways to get up to the top (one slightly shorter and easier than the other), with a brief rock climb at the top. Even if you can't get to the very top, the views from the top are absolutely stunning, especially on a clear day.
Escaping to the Oregon Coast is the most relaxing way to spend a long weekend. Nice weather allows for walks on the beach, relaxing outside or more adventurous hikes, but there is almost nothing better than cuddling up inside with a good book and watching the waves crash and the rain soak the beach. No place I'd rather be.