Whether heading to Manzanita or another fabulous Oregon coast destinations, we’ve got you covered!
Last week we touched on the tricky subject of vacation meal planning (sigh).
This week we’re talking packing. And making it fun! Exciting! Something new!
Don’t believe me? Read on …
So is this you unloading your car? Or is this your husband or partner taking care of vacation unpacking?
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?
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.
At most accommodations, including our vacation rentals, you’ll find a coffee maker included. Nevertheless, my husband Eric swears this is the best coffee maker. Ever. He always takes his on vacation. Created by 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 Wine.
Willamette Valley Wines to be specific. 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.
Wanna 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.
Even if we’re bringing minimal food, thinking no cooking, we always throw snacks into the car. The very good news – grocery stores are more plentiful on the coast then when I was younger. If you’re coming to the Manzanita area, you’ll have a whopping three grocery stores to choose from. One, Mother Nature’s, is even a natural food grocery.
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.
Otherwise, there are lots of wonderful eateries in the area, starting with this list.
2. Clothes and Sundries.
We’re sure you have a wonderful list of practical items to pack. But sometime, 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 find of tons of teeny bikinis on the Oregon Coast. But a practical swimsuit comes in handy. Especially if it’s fun and cute. Check out the neoprene vintage inspired suit above. If you prefer a little more coverage, this reversible neoprene beauty might just fit the bill. A more conservative black on one side, and glamorous gold on the other for more dress occasions.
Love the green 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. Wanna look a little stylish while being practical? Try this cool Hunter jacket (below, far left). You don’t want to let a little rain ruin your fun!
A high priority when we head to the coast – comfy slippers or flip-flops. My current crush is on these cute mahabis slippers (far left, below). Make them your own with the optional colorful interchangeable sole. With free international shipping, you can’t lose.
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 as small ball for ease of packing. The ever popular Patagonia (above, second from the right) version is always wonderful, and filled with down rather than thermofill.
One category of clothing we don’t leave home without? Comfortable and versatile! That’s a must, especially at the über casual Oregon Coast. Case in point, these Free People Shane Jogger sweatpants (above, far right). They’re comfy, super soft, and have a modern drop crotch vibe – they work well for lounging around, walks on the beach, or wandering around the coastal sites.
They’re perfect for hanging out in a beach house with a roaring fire. Or slip on some sandals, a jean jacket, some wonderful artsy jewelry, and you’re ready for dinner out.
Wanna be really creative? Wear the Shane Jogger sweatpants, slip on your mahabis, put on a long sleeve tee, throw on your North Face Thermoball, grab your Hunter rain slicker, and you’re ready to roll!
Most of all, have fun and relax. You’re at the beach!
Books Books Books!
Can you tell we love books?
The above photo subject is of our local beloved bookstore, Cloud & Leaf. Beside being tops on our personal bookstore list, the owner Jody Swanson has created the perfect example of Manzanita’s creative, laid back atmosphere.
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. Jody is tops at recommending great and unexpected books.
As a treat, we have Jody’s current top four great beach reading books. Thanks Jody!
Purity, Jonathan Franzen. Goodreads.com 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.” goodreads.com. 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 goodreads.com 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.”
Games and Fun.
At the very least, we always pack a deck of cards when heading to the beach. 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 love 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 the car. 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’s 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.
For families with young kids, our very best tip is to get ready to dig and dam! Bring shovels, buckets, 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.
Coming in the off-season? Bring raincoat and boots. Damming projects happen, rain or shine!
Most of all, be prepared for lots of relaxation and fun.
Interested in staying? Contact us for information about our oceanside vacation rentals on beautiful Manzanita Beach, Oregon.
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