Take a Hike:
“Hiking is an outdoor activity which consists of walking in natural environments, often in mountainous or other scenic terrain.” That being said, prepare yourselves for some SERIOUSLY natural environments and some of the most breathtaking scenery you’ll ever see, not to mention some really good food!
1) Wanda’s Café is a little family-owned and –operated place just up the road in Nehalem. Fantastic coffee, the best huevos rancheros on the Coast and some dangerously good pepper bacon will get you started the right way. Open at 8 AM, closed on Wednesdays.
2) Then we’re off to Neahkanie Mountain Trailhead. Head North on Hwy 101 about 3 miles and between milepost 41 & 42 you’ll see a brown hiker-symbol sign on the right. Turn off there and go about a half mile to the trailhead. It’s a moderate but steep 3-mile climb to the summit, gaining 900 feet of elevation. Neahkanie is Native American for “place of supreme deity” and you will be a believer when you get to the top.
3) When you’re done with Neahkanie, you’ll need to recharge and one of the best spots in the area is a little place in Manzanita called Bread & Ocean. It bills itself as a Mediterranean bakery, but it’s so much more. Sunday’s special sandwich is roast beef, smoked blue cheese butter, roasted onions on potato-rosemary-leek bread. Need I say more? Yes, I do: try the cinnamon cardamom roll!
1) Next, we’re off to Bayocean Spit, a nice little jaunt on a peninsula that keeps most of Tillamook Bay from the ocean. Head South on 101 into downtown Tillamook. Follow the signs to Cape Meares by turning right on 3rd street. 1.7 miles out, turn right on Bayocean Rd. which runs right along the South edge of the Bay. After about 4 miles you’ll see a turnoff on the right which takes you out the dike road to a parking area about 1/3rd of the way out on the Spit.
Head due West from the parking area and you’ll hit the beach. From there go straight North up the beach all the way to the South Jetty of the Garibaldi Bar. You can either return up the beach or take a little gravel track back through the forest to the parking area. It’s about 7.6 miles round-trip and it’s a pretty easy walk.
2) Head back into Tillamook after your hike, cross Hwy 101 on 3rd St. and turn left on Pacific. Just 2 blocks up, go straight through the light into the parking lot of the Pacific, one of a few really good restaurants in Tillamook. I suggest starting off with the Rockfish Taco and moving on to the Seafood Linguine with lemon cream sauce. These chefs are really good with seafood!
After dinner, roll on back North on 101 and maybe stop off at the Ghost Hole Public House in downtown Garibaldi, one of the best selections of local microbrews around.