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The Absolutely Essential (Almost!) Packing List for Your Oregon Coast Trip

Whether heading to Manzanita Beach or other fabulous Oregon Beach vacations, we've got you covered!

Oregon Coast Vacation

Photo Credit: The Houses On Neahkahnie Beach

This month we're talking creating a packing list for your trip to the beach. And making it fun! Exciting! Something new!

Don't believe me? After over 22 years of experience with our Oregon Coast vacation rentals and even longer growing up in the area, we have lots of experience. Read on and well show you how...

packing list for oregon coast trip

Photo Credit. web2cars

So is this you unloading your car? Or is this your husband, wife or partner taking care of vacation unpacking before heading to the coast?

If so, you can stop right here. You're in good hands. So to speak.

Or is your family's packing style a little less organized?

If you're looking for simply a list of items to take, check out our list of Top 20 Items to Pack for Your Coast Vacation. If you want to learn more, follow along and we'll let you in on some great things to include for your Oregon beach getaway!

The Best Packing List for the Oregon Coast
Packing for Your Manzanita Oregon Vacation?

Obviously you have all the basics covered. So what are the essentials you forgot? Or even those items which will make your vacation even that much more special? We've got some suggestions -- follow along with the fun.

1. Drinks and Eats. 

Nope, not more meal planning. We're talking icing on the cake!

Packing List for Your Oregon Coast Trip

Photo Credit:

AeroPress Coffee Maker

At most beach vacation rentals or other lodging including our own Manzanita Rentals, you'll find a coffee maker included.  

Nevertheless, my husband Eric still swears the AeroPress is the best coffee maker. Ever. He always takes his on vacation. Especially to our beach houses. The perfect way to savor a cup of good coffee is while taking a morning walk on Manzanita Beach.

The AeroPress was created by local Aerobie (see below) founder and Stanford engineer Alan Adler. A wide range of coffee aficionados, from amateurs to professionals all praise the smooth, rich flavor of coffee made with the AeroPress. The very big plus is this little beauty gives you the ability to control the strength of the coffee any way you like it, just about anywhere you want to make it.

The AeroPress runs around $29.00, plus you'll need filters or a reusable screen, but Eric will guarantee it's worth it.

Ha - just kidding! But give it a try and see what you think.

Wine Oregon Coast Trip

Photo Credit: Kathryn Elsesser Photography, Carlton Cellars

Wine. Oregon Wine.

Willamette Valley Wines to be specific. And lately, wines around our own coastal region. Skip this if you don't drink, but if you do enjoy a great glass of wine, try our local wine. Oregonians already are in on the secret, but if you're not from the area, definitely give our wines a try.

Yes, Oregon is known for it's smashing Pinot Noirs. But you'll find lots of other luscious offerings amongst the great selection of terrific Oregon wines.

Ready to try a Pinot Noir? Tyee Wine Cellars, Van Duzer Vineyards, Croft Vineyards, Brigadoon Vineyards , Brooks Wines, and Willamette Valley Vineyards are just a few of the many wonderful Pinots available.

Love Chardonnay? Try A to Z, Ponzi Wines, Domaine Drouhin, Adelsheim, and Apolloni Vineyards.

Want to Pinot Gris like a Real Housewife? Willamette Valley Vineyards, Left Coast Cellars, David Hill Vineyards, Van Duzer, and King Estate will excite your taste buds.

Not enough for you? Look for Trisaetum, Airlie, A to Z, J. Wrigley, and Van Duzer for Reisling; Andrew Rich for Sauvignon Blanc; and Hyland Estates for Gewürztraminer.

Locally, our guests at our Manzanita rentals enjoy sampling or purchasing wines at several places. The Winery at Manzanita is the new kid in town, serving their own wines and local Oregon wines, along with serving food to eat next to their outdoor fire pits in good weather on our coastal beaches.

A Manzanita favorite Dixie's Vino downsized after the famous Manzanita Tornado and has since opened in a new spot, minus the eating and drinking at the store aspect. As they describe it, "we specialize in NW wines from Oregon, Washington, and California. We also have an excellent selection of Italian, French, Argentina, and other wines from around the globe. We have a unique selection of beer, sake, port, and dessert wines."

Dixie's Vino offers tastings and sells by the bottle.

Happily, our guests at our own rentals, other vacationers, and locals can also find yummy local wines at our three Manzanita grocery stores.

Manzanita Coffee Shop


Less fun than wine, but just as important to your packing list for the Oregon Coast is vacation food.

Even if we're bringing minimal food, think no cooking, we always throw snacks into the car for our trips to our beach rentals. The very good news - grocery stores are more plentiful on the coast than when I was younger. If you're coming to the Manzanita Oregon area, you'll have a whopping three grocery stores to choose from. One, Manzanita Wild Grocery & Cafe, offers excellent natural food groceries.

That being said, if you're looking for specialty or high-end items, you're best bringing them with you. If you're flying in, some suggestions for places to stop for those items in the Portland area might be Zupan's or New Seasons Market. Plus there's always the trusty Whole Foods, located in the Portland Pearl District.

Honestly, is cooking the last thing toping the list of your Oregon Coast vacations? Check out this list of terrific Manzanita Oregon restaurants. Or this list of Oregon beach restaurants that offer selections for those with special diets. And be sure to stop by these Cannon Beach Breakfast spots for a yummy way to start the day.

Swimsuit - Packing List for Oregon Coast
Looking for the Perfect Oregon Coast Swimsuit?

2. Clothes and Sundries.

We're sure you have a wonderful list of practical items to pack. But sometimes, practical can be boring. We're looking at items which make practical look a little less, well, practical.

Let's face it, you're not going to need a ton of teeny bikinis on the Oregon beach vacations. But a practical swimsuit comes in handy. Especially if it's fun and cute. Check out the neoprene suit above.

A high priority when we head to the coast - comfy slippers or flip-flops. My current crush is on these cute Mahabis slippers (below, top left). Make them your own with the optional colorful interchangeable sole. With free international shipping, you can't lose.

Love the green northern Oregon coast? Um, it really does rain once in a while on the coast. So it's a good idea to throw rain coats in the car, just in case. Want to look a little stylish while being practical?  Splurge on this cool Hunter jacket (above, top right).  You don't want to let a little rain ruin your fun!

You may have noticed the beautiful Pacific NW is the land of layers. REI, North Face, and Patagonia reign supreme. So be sure you pack layers, and be prepared for the varying coastal weather.

Our latest favorite?  North Face Thermoball Full Zip Jacket. This baby adds the prerequisite layer of warmth, is stylish, and like the name says, rolls up into a small ball for ease of packing. The ever popular Patagonia (above, lower left) version is always wonderful, and filled with down rather than thermofill.

One category of clothing we don't leave home without when heading to the northern Oregon Coast? Comfortable and versatile! That's a must, especially at the über casual Oregon Coast. Case in point, these 2 - 1 Convertible Harem pants (above, bottom right). With the elongated waist bandeau down, they work well for lounging around, walks on the beach, or wandering around the coastal areas.

Pull the elongated waist up, and you've got a killer outfit on its own. Or slip on some sandals, a jean jacket, some wonderful artsy jewelry, and you're ready for dinner out.  Want more coverage? Wear a tank or spaghetti strap top underneath. Perfecto!

Wanna be really creative? Wear the Convertible sweatpants, slip on your Mahabis, put on a long sleeve tee and pull the harem pant's elongated waist bandeau up, throw on your North Face Thermoball, grab your Hunter rain slicker, check out the outfit in the mirror at your Oregon Coast vacation rentals, and you're ready to roll.

Most of all, have fun and relax. You're at the beach!

Manzanita Oregon Bookstore
bookstore, Cloud & Leaf, Manzanita Oregon

Photo Credit: Cloud & Leaf


Books Books Books!

Can you tell we love books?

The above photo subject is of our own local Manzanita bookstore, Cloud & Leaf. Beside being tops on our personal bookstore list, former owner Jody Swanson created the perfect example of Manzanita's creative, laid back atmosphere. Deborah Reed is the new owner, and she's tops. But Jody's list still rings true for the area vibe.

Guests at our Manzanita properties know we have one or more bookshelves filled with good reads at all of our houses.

We definitely recommend having a book at the beach. We'd highly suggest a stack of books. Even better, plan on stopping at Cloud & Leaf and buy the perfect beach book.

As a treat, we have Jody's current top four great beach reading books. Thanks Jody!

Purity, Jonathan Franzen. describes it as "a dark-hued comedy of youthful idealism, extreme fidelity, and murder."  Franzen's wonderful characters in The Corrections and Freedom were great - we're looking forward to reading Purity.

Going Somewhere, Brian Benson. In his memoir, "Brian has a million vague life plans but zero sense of direction. So when he meets Rachel, a self-possessed woman who daydreams of bicycling across the States, he decides to follow her wherever she'll take him." A perfect beach read!

The Martian, Andy Weir. "Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there." This 2014 Choice Winner sounds like the perfect book for binge reading at he beach!

H Is for Hawk, Helen Macdonald. The New York Times gave this memoir of relationship between the author and her hawk high praise. "[Macdonald ultimately realizes] a different kind of discovery: that grace resides in the most unlikely places — and that moving forward means leaving some things behind."

Jody has lots of wonderful recommendations. Be sure to stop by and say "Hi."

And hey book lovers - Laura Hillenbrand (yep, of Seabiscuit and Unbroken fame) wrote a blog post about our Historic Reed House, our largest oceanfront Manzanita Rental! Can you tell this reader is beyond thrilled?!

Manzanita, OR
Manzanita, OR

Photo Credit: Crank My Chain

Games and Fun.

At the very least, we always pack a deck of cards when heading to the beach. Staying at one of our Manzanita Rentals or one of the other Manzanita Airbnbs and VRBOs gives your group room to play games.

Haven't played cards in a while? Try the Ultimate Book of Card Games: The Comprehensive Guide to More than 350 Games by Scott McNeely. We love a rowdy game of Hearts, with both young and old. Board games are always a beach hit, and a terrific way to enjoy an afternoon.

Heading outside? We don't head to the coast without our Aerobie, a modified Frisbee type disk in a ring form. Easy to throw and catch, it's always wonderful to have around for a quick group activity.

When possible, we throw our bikes on our car when heading to the beach. Our problem now is that besides road biking, everyone is enjoying mountain biking. Which to bring - road or mountain bikes? If you're looking for local mountain biking, the area views are pretty incredible. Whether choosing road or mountain biking, there are lots of great options on the coast.

One of our very favorite family activities is boogie boarding. While there are many options to rent the necessary equipment in the area, it's important to learn as much as possible before doing so. Making wise, educated decisions is a must when playing in the Pacific. Talk to the people at the surf shops and learn about local beach safety and how to deal with rip tides.

In Manzanita Beach and looking for bikes or boards to rent? Try Bahama Mama's Bikes, Boards and Beach Fare.

And check out this list of kid friendly things to do in Manzanita Oregon.

Family vacation Manzanita Beach
Family vacation, Manzanita Beach

Photo Credits: The McWessels

For families with young kids, our very best tip is to get ready to dig and dam! Bring shovels, buckets, and toy boats if you have them.

Manzanita beach has several wonderful streams that trickle from the lush slopes overlooking the beach, and flow gently across the sand to the ocean. And the benefit? Kids spend hours engrossed in digging, damming, and diverting the water flow.

The plus for parents? They get a little peace and quiet while their kids are engrossed. On the other hand, there have been many times where the adults have joined the kids and created quite the huge dam project.

Manzanita Beach Life Insider Tips: Coming in the off-season? Bring raincoat and boots. Damming projects happen, rain or shine!

Manzanita Pet

Traveling to the beach, looking for an Oregon Coast vacation, pet friendly style? Here at the beach, "pet friendly" typically means fido. Be sure to be prepared with your following dog travel items:

  • Bring a pet crate. Most pet friendly hotels, Oregon Coast hotels at least, require your pets to be crated when alone in the room. You'll also find the same requirement at most Oregon Coast vacation rentals, pet friendly ones!

  • Be sure to bring a leash. You'll find it is mandated for Oregon Coast beaches within a state park, and for Oregon pet friendly restaurants near your coastal vacation destination. To find out about Oregon coast leash laws, check here. To find our list of local north Oregon coast pet friendly restaurants, check out our list here.

  • During colder, rainier seasons, think about pet jackets for rain or warmth. Our local Manzanita pet store Four Paws on the Beach has a great selection of protective pet gear.

Manzanita Beach Life Insider Tips: We're happy to offer more Insiders tips for a great Oregon Coast vacation pet friendly style. Check out more dog friendly hotels Oregon coast within the post.

We'd be glad to offer more tips for finding great Oregon coast vacation rentals pet friendly - just ask!

Most of all, be prepared for lots of relaxation and fun during your Oregon beach vacations.

While you're at the beach, give these fun activities a try:

Enjoy your Oregon Coast Vacation ~

Thanks for stopping by Manzanita Beach Life to join in the Oregon Coast fun. Interested in staying at one of our oceanfront Manzanita vacation rentals? Contact us for more information about our lodging on beautiful Manzanita Beach, Oregon. We specialize in Oregon Coast vacation rentals.

Manzanita Rentals, The Houses on Manzanita Beach
Manzanita Rentals, The Houses on Manzanita Beach

Photo Credit: Oregon Beach Connection

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