The Oregon coast is a destination worth saving a long weekend for – the multiple small towns, hikes and breathtaking beaches are sure to fill your days. As with any great vacation, finding good spots to eat and drink give you a real feel for the places you’re visiting.
On a recent coastal adventure we stayed in a lovely Bed and Breakfast. An aside: this spot was a relic of the B and B’s of old, where multiple people stay over, tucked into the nooks and crannies of the house, all coming together for a homemade breakfast. The best part about traditional bed and breakfast stays are getting real local input about where to spend your valuable time – our gracious host certainly sent us in the right direction!
Left Coast Siesta. First up? Manzanita. We heard Manzanita was the up and comer on the Oregon beach scene and it was indeed the place to be! There is a beautiful beach (dog friendly!), tons to see and do in the little town, and, to top it all off, some of the best Mexican food I’ve had in a while. Left Coast Siesta is a little, unassuming spot that boasts some of the best burritos on the coast. Order at the counter and find a spot on the patio (or inside if it’s a blustery day). Left Coast has a hot sauce bar, bottled beer and an extensive menu. Our food came out fast, the portions were huge, and we left happy. The small burrito heaven even made an appearance in Sunset Magazine in the 90’s, and I imagine it’s only gotten better since then. I would recommend a trip to Left Coast after a long morning walking on the beach, certainly come hungry!
Tillamook Cheese Factory. Being the tourists we so obviously were, a trip to the coast would not be complete without visiting the cheese factory. We spent all morning hiking a glorious coastal ridgeline, with the intent of feasting on unadulterated dairy products all afternoon. While the Tillamook Cheese Factory offered the dairy products we so wished for, they came with a price. The price was a ton of people – hordes of people! The line for ice cream snaked around the entire building, and moving around inside the factory was no small task (especially for hangry old me). The cheese was good though – the free samples of lots of different flavors definitely eased the hunger pangs momentarily. I would suggest skipping the food – it wasn’t awesome, and was priced for tourists.
Pelican Brewery. The Pelican Brewery and Taproom is a recent addition to the town of Tillamook, though they’ve been operating in other parts of Oregon for a long time. This is the spot to go on a lazy afternoon, perhaps when it’s too cold to enjoy the beaches. Pelican brews consistently great beer; a welcome fact when traveling through small towns on the coast. The brew pub in Tillamook is incredibly casual – the seating area overlooks the brewing facilities, a shuffleboard table takes up much of the dining area. The food is pub fare, but it’s tasty all the same. Try the cheese curds, elk burger and cioppino. MacPelican’s Ale is my personal favorite, but get a tasting tray if you’re new to the brewery.
McMenamins Gearhart Hotel and Sandtrap Pub. If you’re new to the Pacific Northwest, or just haven’t visited a McMenamins before, you’re in for a treat. The local chain has spots hidden all over Oregon and Washington – each one more eclectic than the last. I’m not usually a big fan of chains, but McMenamins is an exception to my rule. Though we didn’t stay in the historic Gearhart Hotel, The Sandtrap Pub is open to the public and is a lovely spot for dinner after a day exploring the coast. Snag a window seat (or a spot on the patio if it’s nice out) and enjoy the view of the Gearhart Golf Links. The Sandtrap goes beyond pub food – you won’t go wrong with the salmon or steak. McMenamins also brews its own beer – Ruby is my favorite summer treat.
What’s your favorite place to kick back on the Oregon coast? Let us know in the comments below!