After a coffee, a pastry, and some literary-mag browsing at an open-air espresso joint, we stroll to the Pacific. Waves and wind have already welcomed kiteboarders and surfers, but I opt instead for a jog south along 3.5 miles of sweeping, hard-packed beach. I pass dog walkers, kids sandcastling, beach bikers, and even a few people on horseback. They're all here in the summer but so spread out it hardly matters; Manzanita, Oregon, is crowded the way Reykjavík is a big city. And there are action options aplenty. Aside from activities requiring a bike or a wetsuit (rentals available at Manzanita Bikes and Boards; manzanitabikesandboards.com), you can rent a motorboat and three crab rings from the Jetty Fishery (from $75; jettyfishery.com), in nearby Nehalem Bay, and go scare up dinner. Or hike three miles up densely forested, 1,600-foot Neahkahanie Mountain for Pacific vistas that reach south to Tillamook Bay. (The well-marked trailhead is just 1.7 miles north of town on Route 101.) In the evening, retreat to Coast Cabins (from $210; coastcabins.com), a collection of five newly renovated, mod-woody cottages surrounded by a bamboo-and-juniper garden. The three "tower cabins" deliver an ethereal feeling of living in a treehouse, and the view out the window shoots down Laneda Avenue to the oceana single-frame preview of tomorrow's day of play.
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