Heading to Rockaway Beach for your Oregon Coast vacation, and wondering what there is to do there?
We've got you covered.
There's lots of things to do in Rockaway Beach.
Follow along for the top 5 things to do in Rockaway Oregon -- and a few more!
Like our home base of Manzanita Beach, Rockaway Beach features a long, seven mile sandy beach.
But there, the similarities end. Rockaway Beach has a whole different vibe. While Manzanita Beach is low key, creative and independent, Rockaway Beach earns their nickname "Coney Island of the Oregon Coast."
You'll find lots of gift and souvenir shops along Highway 101 which runs through town -- at a much slower speed limit, of course! And even a few chain shops and Rockaway Beach restaurants sprinkled in amongst all the local businesses.
One thing we know for sure. Rockaway Beach has die hard fans who vacation annually at this well loved northern Oregon Coast spot.
And here's the top 5 things to do at Rockaway Beach to help plan your own trip:
#1 - South Jetty of the Nehalem Bay
People love the south jetty of the Nehalem Bay area in Rockaway Beach.
There's lots to appeal to beach goers, with an easily accessible parking lot, public restrooms, picnic tables, great accessibility and plenty of benches for those that like to simply take in the views of this part of Rockaway Beach
You'll typically find a food truck serving burgers and shaved ice nearby, and a small, local restaurant open for lunch or an early dinner.
Check out the Jetty Fishery Marina & RV Park for crabbing, picnicking, hiking, camping, boat rentals, clamming, fishing, birding and chowing down on what the Jetty calls "some of the best fresh seafood on the West Coast."
Buy a kite at the famous Rockaway Beach roadside shop, Flamingo Jim's and fly a kite.
Check out the wild winter storm from the benches and witness Mother Nature playing with the wild Pacific Ocean.
Or watch the harbor seals frolic in Nehalem Bay, or snooze on the opposite shore with groups of their friends.
This is also a great spot to get some great photos of both the scenic area and the coastal wildlife.
Manzanita Beach Life Insiders Tip: You can climb down the Jetty during low tide and search through the tide pools. Be sure to check the tidal - be sure to check the tidal calendar first.
#2 - Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad
Check out the beautiful area from an original vintage steam engine locomotive!
The train is staffed by knowledgeable and helpful volunteers who are happy to answer the 101 questions kids always have. And adult questions, too!
You'll find they operate on the 46 miles of railroad that runs from the Port of Tillamook Bay to the east side of the Oregon Coast Range. They offer several different rides, including a five mile run from Rockaway Beach to the town of Garibaldi.
Guests report "The scenery is stunningly beautiful and well worth seeing twice."
Check out the Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad website for their seasonal schedule and events. They typically run from May though the end of September, with special events like the Dinner Train and Fall Splendor Excursion and holiday activities like the Candy Cane Express added regularly.
Manzanita Beach Life Insiders Tip: The end car is an open roof and is pet friendly. Make sure it's open, as this is seasonal.
#3 - See the area by Kayak
It's a great way to experience the beauty around Rockaway Beach, and is loved by adults and kids alike. Not only that, everyone from beginner to advanced can enjoy kayaking.
New paddlers or more experienced can head to Lake Lytle County Boat Ramp in Rockaway Beach. Just north is Nehalem Bay, known for calm and shallow waters, perfect for practicing skills.
Paddle the Nehalem Bay estuaries and enjoy the incredible beauty. Kayaking is one Rockaway Beach activity that's enjoyed by many.
Kayaks are available for rental at Wheeler Marina on Nehalem Bay.
Manzanita Beach Life Insiders Tip: Contact an experienced guide service like Kayak Tillamook and see the area from a local's viewpoint and find out the best kayaking spots.
#4 - Manhattan Beach
Have you visited Manhattan Beach at the north end of Rockaway Beach?
You shouldn't miss it!
Wide sandy beaches are usually pretty empty in the off season, so it may seem like your own private beach.
Check out Manhattan Beach State Park for day use and restrooms. This is a day use only park just north of Rockaway. Look for the entrance on the west side of Hwy 101.
Manzanita Beach Life Insider Tips: Enjoy the Manhattan Beach State Park picnic tables located in small areas sheltered by native shore pines. After enjoying your picnic, look for the access trail for the short stroll to Manhattan beach. You'll feel like a small town Oregon Coast local!
#5 - Enjoy Rockaway Beach Restaurants
With Rockaway Beach Oregon restaurants, you'll find everything from the newest farm-to-table - sometimes referred to as shore-to-table on the coast - for visitors to enjoy.
Stop by the Tropics Island Grill for some of the best Hawaiian take out food this side of the Pacific. Did you know Oregon is home to a large population of Hawaiian Island ex-pats? The beautiful scenery is the draw, so I've been told. But if you're looking for some wonderful teriyaki, chicken yakisoba, or just some super burgers,
Other fan favorites to try include the Old Oregon Smoke House Rockaway Beach, OR. You'll want to find out if their chowder really is the best on the Oregon Coast. Or try Grumpy's Cafe for your Rockaway breakfast.
For quick eats, you'll find a Pronto Pup franchise at the south end of town. Even better, try one of the rotating selection of Rockaway Beach Food Trucks. Recently there was one that offered gourmet hot dogs and was worth a stop.
Was our list from among your own top things to do in Rockaway Beach?
Be sure to let us know if we missed something great! As the distance from Rockaway Beach to Portland isn't that great, you'll find many visit for a day trip.
In the meantime, some other fun things to do around the Rockaway Beach area or will help you plan your trip include:
Railrider Cycling (formerly Oregon Coast Railriders) is lots of fun.
You'll find Rockaway Beach weather is the same as Manzanita Beach weather. Find out what to prepare for here.
This list of Oregon Coast things to do includes regularly updated Rockaway Beach events.
Check out this list of ocean view Rockaway Beach Oregon Hotels. The views are incredible!
You may find out more about Rockaway Beach weather to help you plan your vacation at this link.
Enjoy your Rockaway Beach Oregon Coast vacation ~
Interested in learning more about our oceanfront Manzanita Beach vacation rentals? We're just a short drive north of Rockaway Beach. Be sure to contact us for questions or availability.
Our Manzanita rentals are built by us and run by us!
The more the merrier! Feel free to share our Manzanita Beach Life blog post about all the fun around Rockaway Beach Oregon using the links below ~