75 miles W of Portland, 51 miles S of Seaside, 44 miles N of Lincoln City
Although this is one of the closest stretches of coast to Portland, it is not a major destination because there are no large beachfront towns in the area. The town of Tillamook, which lies inland from the Pacific at the south end of Tillamook Bay, is the area's commercial center, but it is the surrounding farmland that has made Tillamook County famous in Oregon. Ever since the first settlers arrived in Tillamook in 1851, dairy farming has been the mainstay of the economy, and today large herds of contented cows graze in the area's odiferous fields. With no beaches to attract visitors, the town of Tillamook has managed to turn its dairy industry into a tourist attraction. No, this isn't the cow-watching capital of Oregon, but the town's cheese factory is now one of the most popular stops along the Oregon coast. Most of the milk produced by area cows goes to the Tillamook County Creamery Association's cheese factory, which turns out a substantial share of the cheese consumed in Oregon.
Although the town of Tillamook has no beaches, there are a few beachside hamlets in the area that offer a variety of accommodations, activities, and dining options. Tillamook is also the starting point for the scenic Three Capes Loop, which links three state parks and plenty of great coastal scenery. By the way, Tillamook is a mispronunciation of the word Killamook, which was the name of the Native American tribe that once lived in this area. The name is now applied to a county, a town, and a bay.
14.5 miles S of Cannon Beach
As the crowds have descended on Cannon Beach, people seeking peace and quiet and a slower pace have migrated south to the community of Manzanita. Located south of Neahkanie Mountain, Manzanita enjoys a setting similar to Cannon Beach, but without the many haystack rocks. There isn’t much to do except walk on the beach and relax, which is exactly why most people love Manzanita.
The beach at Manzanita stretches for 5 miles, from the base of Neahkanie Mountain to the mouth of the Nehalem River, and is a favorite of both full-body-wetsuit-clad surfers and windsurfers (who also windsurf in the quieter waters of Nehalem Bay just across Nehalem Spit from the ocean).