Things to do at and nearby Wheeler on the Bay
If there’s one thing you want to be sure you didn’t leave at home, it’s your sense of adventure. Everything else – kayak rentals, crab pots, hiking gear, fishing rods and more – you can find nearby.
Antique Shopping/Art Galleries
Antique malls and shops are just across the street from Wheeler on the Bay. And, just a short jaunt away in Nehalem you’ll find more abundance of shops full of trinkets and treasures. Why not take a boat ride on the beautiful Nehalem Bay to have lunch in Nehalem and peruse the shops.
Standard bikes for riding around town or three-wheelers for hitting the sands are available in Manzanita. First timers and young children should start on Nehalem Bay State Park bike paths.
Stretch your legs
While you’re enjoying your Oregon Coast lodging experience, you might as well get out and stretch your legs a bit. The Oregon Coast Trail is world-renowned and begins at Oswald West State Park. A brisk walk through towering second growth Douglas Fir and Red Cedar Trees, salmonberry and wild roses will bring you to Short Sands Beach.
Neahkahnie Mountain Trail
Beyond the quaint campground lies a steep trail over Neahkahnie Mountain. This next section of the Oregon Coast Trail was once the only direct route between Nehalem and Arch Cape. Just across this right of way is the trail head for Neahkahnie Mountain Trail. It’s a steep trip to the top, but the ocean views are worth every inch.
Bird and wildlife sightings are frequent
The trip down the south side of the trail is an easy walk back to the highway. Continue three more miles south on Highway 101 to hike Neahkahnie Mountain. A well-marked trail gradually ascends through trees and meadows until reaching the breathtaking summit, panoramic views of the mighty Pacific Ocean, Nehalem Bay and the Coast range. Bird and wildlife sightings are frequent and rewarding. This hike is moderately difficult and is recommended for ages 10 and up. Expect a take about 2 to 3 hours. Take water and your camera.
There are hiking opportunities for every skill level. Ask us about other hiking adventures.
Just four miles north of Wheeler on the Bay is an alluring nine-hole golf course in Manzanita. Afterwards, relax in your waterfront room next to your fireplace or in your private jetted tub. From your room or private deck relish in the ambiance of Nehalem Bay.
The most aerodynamically produced bird kite in the world is like owning a work of art. Choose among a dove, gull, blue jay, Canadian goose, loon, mallard, osprey or eagle. The ospreys are great for discouraging small birds from feeding or roosting in your areas.
You don’t have to go anywhere to buy these beauties. Kites can be purchased here or ordered and shipped to your door. The birds are made of Tyvek (a flexible plastic), packaged in a tube and easy to transport. Fly them in your yard and be the center of attraction in your neighborhood or give them as a gift.
It’s amazing what happens at the Oregon Coast when you roll out the welcome mat and really mean it. Did you know we have an abundance of gray whales off our shores? We’re delighted that they come for the fresh seafood, balmy climate (if you’re a whale, that is) and good company.
Or maybe it’s that they really love a good party. Starting in early December, the great Arctic-to-Baja winter migration starts passing the Oregon Beaches. Up to 24,000 gray whales pass by our shores, first going south, then March and April they head north. It’s the whale party of the year – you’re invited.
Jutting out into the ocean at 600 feet elevation, Neahkahnie viewpoint (milepost 41) provides an unsurpassed whale-watching location. Morning is the best time to watch, with relatively calm, and overcast days giving the best viewing conditions. Bring a pair of binoculars and dress warmly in waterproof clothing. There will be whale guides at the viewpoint on the weekends of December and again on the return trip in March and April.
Birding and Wildlife
Birding is easier than ever with mountain elevations, woody forests, rivers, estuaries, the Pacific Ocean, ponds and pastures all within a 7-mile diameter. Ask us for a birding list of the area. You can even borrow binoculars and bird books. Want to bird watch from a kayak? We can provide that too.
Should you want to ride the scenic seashores or the sand dunes of Nehalem Bay State Park contact the park for more information at 503-368-5154 or go to http://oregonstateparks.org/index.cfm?do=parkPage.dsp_parkPage&parkId=142.
Parks and Beach Access
Nehalem Bay State Park: This park has three camping sites in Loop “A” with tables, fire pits and ground cover facilitate access. The restroom and showers in Loop A meet access standards.
The 1.5 mile paved walking and bike path winds through the different sections of the park. At one place you can park by a bike path and walk about 2 blocks east to the Nehalem bay.
Oswald West State Park: The trail from the east parking lot to the picnic area offers one of Oregon’s premier encounters with an old growth forest. The picnic area itself overlooks the beach.
Beach Access: The public owns rights to the beach west from a line 16 feet above sea level. During the early years of the 20th century, public rights were taken for granted because travelers used the beaches as roadways. In 1916 Governor Oswald created the Public Rights Roadway on the Oregon Coastline. Access rights were confirmed by the Beach Bill of 1967. Manzanita has 7 miles of open beach and Nadonna Beach has 8 miles of open hiking beach.