Best Things To Do In Cannon Beach Oregon: Outdoor Adventures & More

Things To Do In Cannon Beach Oregon

Planning a trip to Cannon Beach, Oregon can feel like a puzzle with so many enticing pieces. Trust me, we’ve been in your shoes – scratching our heads trying to figure out the best things to do in this charming coastal town.

When National Geographic named Cannon Beach “one of The World’s 100 Most Beautiful Places,” they weren’t kidding around. We’ve combed every sandy stretch and peeked around every rocky corner to bring you the cream of the crop experiences.

Our guide covers everything from heart-pumping outdoor adventures to mellow local art scenes, plus those hidden gems that’ll make you feel like you’ve stumbled upon buried treasure.

So grab your sunscreen and sense of wonder – you’re in for an amazing Cannon Beach getaway that’ll have you dreaming of Oregon’s coast long after you’ve shaken the sand from your shoes.

Key Takeaways

  • Cannon Beach offers stunning outdoor adventures like exploring Haystack Rock, hiking in Ecola State Park, and visiting hidden gems like Arcadia Beach and Hug Point.
  • The town’s small-beach charm shines through its strict rules against big chains, unique local shops, and events like arts festivals and sandcastle contests.
  • Visitors can enjoy a vibrant art scene with gallery tours, public art installations, and seasonal festivals celebrating local and visiting artists.
  • The area boasts diverse dining options, from fresh seafood at Castaways to farm-to-table fare at Wayfarer Restaurant, as well as a thriving craft beer scene.
  • Whale watching tours, especially for gray whales, are popular in winter and spring, with many operators guaranteeing sightings or offering free trips if none are spotted.

Top Outdoor Adventures in Cannon Beach

Things To Do In Cannon Beach Oregon - The image shows a vibrant tide pool with colorful sea anemones, starfish, and seaweed on Cannon Beach's rocky coastline.

Cannon Beach offers a treasure trove of outdoor adventures. From stunning coastal hikes to sandy strolls, nature lovers will find plenty to explore here.

The Beach and Haystack Rock

We love exploring the beach at Cannon Beach, stretching nearly four miles along Oregon’s stunning coastline. At its heart stands Haystack Rock, an iconic landmark that’s impossible to miss.

This colossal sea stack rises 235 feet from the sand, creating a breathtaking backdrop for our walks and serving as one of Oregon’s seven Marine Gardens.

Haystack Rock offers more than just stunning views. It’s a haven for local birders and nature enthusiasts. Tufted puffins nest here from spring to mid-summer, while countless other seabirds call it home year-round.

We always check the tide charts before visiting – low tide reveals fascinating tide pools teeming with colorful sea stars, anemones, and other marine life. It’s no wonder this spot is a favorite for beach walks and outdoor adventures on the Oregon coast.

Ecola State Park

Ecola State Park is a gem on the Oregon coast. This park offers breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and sea stacks from its grassy bluffs. We love exploring the park’s diverse landscapes, from secluded coves to old-growth forests of Sitka spruce and western hemlock.

The Clatsop Loop Trail is a must-do, leading us through lush coastal forests to stunning cliffside viewpoints.

For surf enthusiasts, Indian Beach within the park is a prime spot to catch some waves. The park’s walking paths and trails cater to all skill levels, making it perfect for families and seasoned hikers alike.

On clear days, we’re treated to panoramic views of Tillamook Rock Lighthouse and the coastline stretching south to Cannon Beach. Ecola State Park truly captures the essence of Oregon’s rugged beauty and natural wonders.

Arcadia Beach

We love Arcadia Beach State Recreation Area in Seaside, Oregon. It’s a hidden gem that’s perfect for those seeking a quieter coastal experience. With an impressive 4.5 out of 5 rating from 99 reviews, this beach offers a peaceful escape from the busier tourist spots.

At Arcadia, we can enjoy bonfires right on the sand – a magical way to end a day of exploration. We just need to keep them 20 feet from the marsh. Before heading out, we always check the tide tables.

This ensures we make the most of our visit and stay safe while enjoying the beautiful Oregon coast.

Hug Point

Hug Point offers a unique coastal experience just south of Cannon Beach. This hidden gem boasts sea caves, a seasonal waterfall, and tide pools teeming with marine life. We recommend timing your visit during low tide to explore the area fully.

The beach’s name comes from the way wagons had to “hug” the point to pass safely at low tide before the highway was built.

At Hug Point, we can walk along the beach, investigate the caves, and marvel at the rock formations. The area’s rich history adds depth to our visit – we might spot the remnants of the old roadway carved into the cliff face.

It’s a perfect spot for those of us seeking a quieter, more intimate beach experience away from the crowds.

Oswald West State Park

Oswald West State Park offers a stunning stretch of Oregon’s coastline. We love its 4-mile expanse of rugged shores and lush forests. The park boasts 2,484 acres of natural beauty, perfect for hiking enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

Its 13-mile segment of the Oregon Coast Trail provides breathtaking views and challenging terrain.

In 1958, the park got its current name to honor former Oregon Governor Oswald West. We find this bit of history adds depth to our visits. The park’s mix of beaches, cliffs, and woodland trails makes it a top spot for outdoor adventures.

Whether we’re looking for a peaceful walk or an invigorating hike, Oswald West State Park delivers unforgettable experiences.

Experience the Small Beach Town Charm of Cannon Beach

We love the quaint charm of Cannon Beach. This small coastal town has kept its character intact with strict rules against big chain stores and restaurants. You’ll find unique local shops, cozy cafes, and friendly faces everywhere you turn.

The Ocean Lodge and Inn at Cannon Beach offer comfy stays right by the shore. For a taste of local flavors, we recommend spots like Castaways or the Wayfarer Restaurant. Their menus showcase fresh seafood and regional specialties that capture the essence of Oregon’s coast.

Cannon Beach shines brightest in spring. From March to May, you’ll enjoy fewer crowds and lower prices on lodging. It’s the perfect time to stroll the art galleries, join a walking tour, or simply relax on the beach.

The town comes alive with events like the arts festival and sandcastle contest. These celebrations bring together locals and visitors, creating a warm community feel that’s hard to find in bigger cities.

Whether you’re here for a weekend or a week, Cannon Beach’s small-town atmosphere will make you feel right at home.

Exploring the Charm of Small Towns in Oregon

Oregon’s small towns offer a treasure trove of experiences for those seeking a quieter, more intimate getaway. We’ve discovered that places like Cannon Beach, Arch Cape, and other coastal hamlets provide a perfect blend of natural beauty and local culture.

These communities boast pristine beaches, scenic walking trails, and a rich artistic heritage that’s evident in their numerous galleries and public art displays. The North Coast Food Trail and Craft Beer Trail showcase the region’s culinary prowess, allowing visitors to savor fresh seafood and locally brewed ales while soaking in the laid-back atmosphere.

Our explorations have revealed that these quaint locales are ideal for outdoor enthusiasts and art lovers alike. Seasonal activities and attractions abound, from sandcastle contests to whale watching tours.

The oceanfront and beachfront areas serve as natural playgrounds for activities such as birdwatching, hiking, and surfing. Many of these towns also host annual events celebrating the arts, Earth Day, and holidays, creating a vibrant community spirit.

For those interested in history, walking tours often highlight the area’s past, offering insights into the unique character of each coastal village.

Things To Do In Cannon Beach Oregon – Enjoy Local Art, Dining, and Other Activities

Cannon Beach offers a vibrant arts scene, tasty local cuisine, and fun activities for all ages… Want to know more? Keep reading!

Art galleries and walking tours

Art galleries and walking tours are the heart and soul of Cannon Beach’s cultural scene. We’ve explored the vibrant art community and discovered some hidden gems you won’t want to miss.

  • Gallery Walking Tours: We join guided walks through the town’s best art spaces. These tours showcase nationally known artists and emerging Northwest talent. The Cannon Beach Arts Association offers new exhibits monthly, keeping the scene fresh and exciting.
  • Public Art Walking Tour: We stroll through town, admiring sculptures and installations. This self-guided adventure lets us appreciate art at our own pace, perfect for a relaxed afternoon.
  • Birdwatching Walking Tour: We team up with local birders for a unique outdoor art experience. This tour combines nature and creativity, ideal for those who love both wildlife and art.
  • Monthly Gallery Events: We attend openings and artist talks regularly. These events give us a chance to meet creators and learn about their work firsthand.
  • Seasonal Art Festivals: We take part in annual events celebrating local and visiting artists. The sandcastle contest is a highlight, turning the beach into a temporary outdoor gallery.
  • Art Classes and Workshops: We roll up our sleeves and try our hand at creating. Local artists offer sessions in painting, pottery, and more.
  • Public Art Installations: We seek out permanent and temporary displays around town. These pieces add character to streets and parks, making every walk an artistic journey.

Dining options

Cannon Beach boasts a diverse culinary scene that caters to all tastes. We’ve compiled a list of top dining spots that offer delicious meals in charming settings.

  1. Castaways: This restaurant serves up Pacific Northwest cuisine with an Asian twist. Enjoy fresh seafood dishes while taking in stunning ocean views.
  2. Wayfarer Restaurant: Located right on the beach, this eatery offers farm-to-table fare. Try their locally sourced seafood and seasonal specialties.
  3. Driftwood Restaurant & Lounge: A cozy spot perfect for a casual dinner or drinks. Their menu features comfort food classics and craft cocktails.
  4. Lazy Susan Cafe: This quaint breakfast and lunch spot is known for its homemade pastries and hearty breakfast plates. Don’t miss their famous cinnamon rolls.
  5. Newmans at 988: For a fine dining experience, this intimate restaurant offers French-Italian cuisine. Their wine list complements the sophisticated menu perfectly.
  6. Local coffee shops: Start your day with a cup of locally roasted coffee at one of the many cafes in town. These spots often double as great places for a light lunch.
  7. Craft beer scene: The North Coast craft beer scene is thriving. Visit local breweries to sample unique brews and pair them with pub-style food.
  8. Seasonal eateries: Some restaurants in Cannon Beach operate seasonally. Check local listings for pop-up dining experiences during holidays and arts events.

Whale watching tours

Whale watching tours are a popular activity in Cannon Beach, offering visitors a chance to see magnificent marine life up close. We’ve compiled a list of key points about whale watching in this charming coastal town:

  • Gray Whales are the stars of the show, being the most common type seen off the Oregon Coast.
  • Best viewing seasons align with whale migration periods, typically in winter and spring.
  • Many tours operate right from Cannon Beach, making it easy to hop aboard.
  • Experienced guides lead these excursions, sharing insights about whale behavior and local marine ecosystems.
  • Tours often last 2-3 hours, providing ample time to spot these gentle giants.
  • Binoculars are usually provided, but bringing your own can enhance the experience.
  • Dress warmly in layers, as ocean breezes can be chilly even on sunny days.
  • Some tours offer hydrophones to listen to whale vocalizations underwater.
  • Lucky visitors might spot other marine life like seals, sea lions, or various seabirds.
  • Many operators guarantee whale sightings or offer a free trip if none are spotted.
  • Smaller boats often provide a more intimate viewing experience.
  • Early morning tours often offer calmer waters and better lighting for photos.
  • Some companies offer special photography tours for shutterbugs.
  • Eco-friendly tour options are available for environmentally conscious travelers.
  • Pre-booking is recommended, especially during peak whale watching seasons.

Things To Do In Cannon Beach Oregon Conclusion

Cannon Beach offers a wealth of experiences for every visitor. From stunning natural wonders to charming local culture, this coastal gem has it all. We’ve explored outdoor adventures, small-town charm, and local attractions that make Cannon Beach special.

Whether you’re hiking through lush forests or admiring art in quaint galleries, unforgettable memories await. So pack your bags and head to this Oregon paradise – your perfect coastal getaway is calling!

Things To Do In Cannon Beach Oregon FAQs

1. What are the top things to do in Cannon Beach, Oregon?

Cannon Beach offers many outdoor adventures. You can enjoy beach walks, explore tide pools, and watch local birds. The town hosts seasonal activities like sandcastle contests and arts events. Don’t miss Haystack Rock – it’s a must-see landmark.

2. Are there guided tours available in Cannon Beach?

Yes, Cannon Beach has walking tours. These public tours cover local history and natural wonders. They’re great for learning about the area’s unique features. Tours often include tips for enjoying the seashore safely.

3. What seasonal activities can I enjoy in Cannon Beach?

Cannon Beach shines with year-round fun. Summer brings sandcastle contests and beach festivals. Fall and winter offer storm watching and cozy gallery visits. Spring bursts with wildflowers and Earth Day celebrations. Each season has its charm.

4. Is Cannon Beach good for birdwatching?

Absolutely! Local birders love Cannon Beach. The area attracts diverse bird species. You might spot puffins, eagles, or sandpipers. Ecola State Park is a prime spot for birdwatching. Bring binoculars for the best views.

5. How can I learn about Cannon Beach’s art scene?

Cannon Beach is an art lover’s paradise. Visit during holidays for special arts events. Galleries dot the town, showcasing local talent. The Cannon Beach Gallery Group offers a helpful link to current exhibits. Don’t forget to check out public art installations along the beach.

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