What do the beaches of Aruba and Manzanita Oregon Have in Common?
Does it sound like a riddle?
A short while ago I would have said sand and water. Now I would add -- Linda Lou Huiskes!
And what Linda Lou and I have in common is that we both own and manage Vacation Rentals. Mine are The Houses On Manzanita Beach, four beachfront Vacation Rentals on the north Oregon Coast. Linda Lou's magnificent Vacation Rental, Villa Seashell, overlooks the incredible sparkling waters of the Caribbean Sea on the exotic island of Curacao.
Isn't her place gorgeous? I can easily imagine this would make for the most romantic spot for a honeymoon or a special getaway. I'm thinking this would be a heavenly location to celebrate our own approaching anniversary!
Linda Lou knew of our Manzanita Oregon Vacation Rentals through the Vacation Rental community, and decided her trip to the Pacific Northwest should include a stay at the Oregon Coast.
After returning home she kindly reached out to tell us she had very much enjoyed her visit -- as a Vacation Rental owner herself, she knew we always love to hear about wonderful vacation experiences!
When I found out she also writes a blog, the Curacao Island Blog, I asked if she'd be interested in writing a blog post about her own experience at The Houses On Manzanita Beach and her visit to Manzanita Oregon.
Thanks Linda Lou Huiskes for sharing your vacation with Manzanita Beach Life!
Manzanita Oregon - by Linda Lou Huiskes
Finally, the day was there to visit my friends living in the United States and our vacation at the Houses on Manzanita Beach. I had been looking forward to this for months!
Living on Aruba, I'm used to being surrounded by cacti, lots of sand, and of course the calm blue Caribbean Sea. Not knowing the Pacific coast at all, I couldn't wait for the vast change of scenery and see the huge fir trees, majestic rocks, and thundering waves, my friend had talked to me about.
After long but relatively smooth flights from Aruba via Miami to Sea-Tac Airport, my friend finally greeted me. We drove a quick 20 minutes and stopped for my first night at her house.
Thanks to a little bit of a jet lag I woke up bright and early to admire the view of Mount Rainier from the house, and to meet the rest of the people vacationing with us.
The next day we put the pedal to the metal and headed down the I-5 to Olympia, from where we took the more scenic roads through miles of beautiful huge fir tree forests.
We ended up at the Astoria-Megler Bridge, where the mighty Columbia River separates Oregon from Washington. We then followed miles of scenic coastal driving along winding highway roads where every corner was a photo opportunity.
The views became even more spectacular after passing the tunnel driving through Oswald West State Park, over the lower slopes of Neahkahnie Mountain to Manzanita.
The Oceanside Cabin
I couldn't be more thrilled when we arrived at the warm and inviting Oceanside Cabin at Manzanita Beach where we would stay the rest of the week.
The cabin is newly remodeled, open & airy, and artfully decorated. The bedrooms are spacious with super comfortable beds. The large modern bathrooms all have floor heating, spacious showers or a bathtub, high-end features, and beautiful tiling. The kitchen is very well equipped and the living room is comfortably furnished with cool colors.
The real show stopper is the unobstructed 180 views of the beach and the ocean from the floor to ceiling windows of the kitchen and living room and from the two decks.
I loved to wake up to the ocean on our front doorstep and couldn't stop watching the waves, the gulls, and the fun on the beach. Joggers were out making their miles along the beach, there were dog walkers, a few bicyclists and kite fliers, and of course kite surfers.
Manzanita Culinary Experience
It's only a short walk from the Oceanside Cabin to Manzanita's main street Landea Avenue, which is packed with neat little stores, art galleries, nice coffee spots, friendly pubs, and great restaurants.
To find the best places for coffee or dining out can be a challenge in a foreign country, but in this case, I could sit back and didn't have to do any research since there were so many wonderful choices.
Bread and Ocean's cozy dining room and patio were the perfect spots to accommodate my caffeinated desire to stay awake during my vacation. They did not only serve excellent coffee but also had the best homemade cinnamon rolls I ever tasted!
Blackbird served us creative food. We specifically liked the grilled Brussels sprouts with bacon as an appetizer.
I really got to appreciate the food at the San Dune Pub. We stopped there several times during the week when we got back to Manzanita a little later in the evening. Their mojitos are top notch and can be compared to the ones that are served in the Caribbean. I also really liked the hamburgers.
My absolute favorite was Rising Star Cafe where I had a delicious Oregon Red Rockfish & Shrimp Francaise served with mashed potatoes, local braising greens & citrus beurre blanc! The others of our group had King Salmon and Pasta Bolognaise, which tasted evenly well.
A Caribbean Girl at the North Oregon Beaches
Manzanita Beach is a long stretch of pristine sands, which dead-end at the bottom of Neahkahnie Mountain. I loved it being so very different from what I'm used to in Aruba; sand dunes followed by hard sand reaching into the ocean, pounding waves, stormy winds, tide pools with marine gardens in them, and not to forget mysterious mountains looming overhead.
The temperature difference between the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean made me shiver at first when sticking my toes in the water but then became quite bearable after a while. The contrast, between the kids playing at the beach in their swimsuits, and me wearing my friend's warm coat was actually quite funny.
Besides the beaches of Manzanita and Neahkahnie, we also went to Hug Point and Canon Beach. They were all really beautiful and impressive!
Being a forever beachcomber, looking through the tide pools for sand dollars, seashells and starfish was a lot of fun. A favorite place was Haystack Rock, there the pools were crawling with life, and also there were also people there to tell us about the critters we were seeing. We found hermit crabs, lots of anemones, purple crabs, and rocks with mussels and barnacles on them.
The Historic Reed House
After our stay at the Oceanside Cabin, we moved to the Historic Reed House where friends and family would join us for Independence Day, the 4th of July.
I was very excited to be able to stay in the Historic Reed House and see all the details my friend described about the remodeling and restoring of this beautiful house.
The work that has been done on this house is unbelievable. Walls have been moved and floors have been lifted to create the supreme vacation rental for a large group while keeping the warm and welcoming charm of the turn-of-the-century house. I loved the original flooring and doors, the lathe work on the walls and ceilings, and the pay phone booth and the grate in the 3rd floor. One has to be very talented in craftsmanship and architecture and has to have remarkable decorating and design skills to create such a result.
Being able to view the ocean from the wall-to-wall windows and the huge deck was something I really liked. The beautiful beach with amazing sunsets is just a few yards away, which was great because I could get out and explore the beach whenever I wanted.
The newly updated kitchen with high-end appliances and plenty of counter space is a cook’s dream comes true, with tons of tableware and anything you would need to cook and feed big groups. It was fun to be in the kitchen and help to create meals for our group of 18.
All of us were able to sit comfortably at the large dining table, enjoying the home cooked meals and each other’s company. The large and comfortable living area with the large original stone fireplace next to the dining area was amazing. There was plenty of room for all of us to not be in each other way. And the views were always spectacular
The 7 roomy bedrooms, the 5 luxury bathrooms with in-floor-heating and vintage fixtures, and additional amenities such an entertainment and media room, pool table room, and ping pong area make this house the ultimate place to stay for a large group.
The 4th of July
I hope that everyone had such a good 4th of July celebration as I did in Manzanita Oregon, USA! The weather was good and the festivities were wonderful. We missed the pancake breakfast fundraiser but were early enough to claim a good spot along the Community Parade route. Lots of people showed up to watch the parade, which had the theme “An Old Fashioned Fourth of July”. The parade entry participants ranged from veterans, giant crabs, horses, and classic cars to marching bands and included floats and music.
As you can see all the floats are homemade and had a patriotic theme. Most floats had children throwing candy and waving to all their friends. The kids lined up along the parade route had a wonderful time trying to get as much candy as possible, and so had we.