Nehalem Bay State Park, Manzanita, Oregon


imagesCION4MV1The Oregon Coast should be on every camper’s To Do list.  Being 350 miles long, there are plenty of things to do on that list so you may want to break it into 2 or 3 different trips.  While doing the north, we opted to camp at Nehalem Bay State Park because:


1. Oregon State Parks offers private, woodsy campsites that remind us of BC’s Provincial Parks, &

2. Nehalem Bay was the north’s closest campable state park to the ocean. It is also centrally located to the north’s attractions but also within reach of the Lincoln City mid-coat area in case we wanted to wander down there.

My thoughts on this campground

Site Recommendations:

  • The park is located on a sandy ocean spit close to busy highway 101.  I was worried about road noise, but didn’t notice any at all.
  • Click here for a campground brochure with map.  The campground is divided into 3 loops.  The first two are about the same set up, the third is for horse camping.
  • We stayed with another family in F16 and F18.  They were shady sites that back on a quiet ravine. Other sites back onto one of two sunny, green spaces.
  • I might be tempted to take a site closer to the beach next time.  Its not a long walk to each loop’s beach entrance, but there is then more hiking across a dune to reach the beach.  Sites near these entranceways do get a lot of people walking by them whereas ours were quite quiet.


Camp Highlights

  • Like all of the Oregon Coast beaches, expect pristine sand and surf.  Great for beachcombing.
  • Every site has a fire ring, and with the marine weather, there was no fire ban even in August.
  • The sand dune makes a good wind break.
  • Nice showers.
  • Paved roads and level sites.

Camp Lowlights

  • Don’t plan on swimming here: Oregon’s Coast is too cold and wavey.   There are some surfing areas dotted along the coast but wetsuits are required.
  • Other online review sites mention the nice biking to nearby towns.  Funny, but we don’t remember that.  In fact, I recall driving a lot on this camping trip: into Seaside, Oceanside, and other points of interest along the coast.
  • Saw online that big, big rigs need to watch overhead branches.

Things To Do

  • Beachcomb
  • Campfires
  • Be like others and bike
  • or be like us and drive to a lot of nearby attractions.

Our Trip

We spent a week on the north Oregon Coast in August, 2010 with one other family. We did all the required touristy things in the area:

Fort Stevens:  the males liked the war stories (apparently they spotted a Japanese sub during WW II) and seeing the big old guns.


Seaside: featuring a promenade where you can buy fun stuff like salt-water taffy.


Cannon Beach: the Oregon Coast’s famous massive beach with the iconic Haystack Rock just offshore


Horseback riding:


Just goofing off on the beach:



9 thoughts on “Nehalem Bay State Park, Manzanita, Oregon

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