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Top Things To Do in Cannon Beach, Oregon – 2 Day Road Trip

    Cannon Beach, Oregon has that picturesque beach town feel that promises relaxation and beauty. The town is named after a naval cannon that washed up on the beach in the 1840s after a shipwreck, and the town is best known for Haystack Rock. There are no chain restaurants, stores, or hotels in Cannon Beach to preserve that small town feel.

    Where to stay in Cannon Beach:

    We stayed at the Courtyard Hotel which is part of The Cannon Beach Hotel collection of 4 boutique hotels: Cannon Beach Hotel, The Courtyard, McBee Cottages and the Hearthstone Inn. The Cannon Beach Café was closed because of the pandemic, but breakfast picnic baskets were included for Cannon Beach Hotel and Courtyard guests. Cannon Beach is a small town and the coffee shops and popular breakfast spots can get quite a line, so staying at a hotel that includes breakfast gives you a big advantage, especially if you’re planning to spend the morning hiking or exploring this beautiful area. Another beautiful hotel option is the Hallmark Resort Hotel. With an oceanfront room, you’d be able to see Haystack Rock from your balcony!

    Where to Eat in Cannon Beach:

    We really enjoyed our dinner at MacGregor’s. Their small plates menu includes a savory hand held pie, lobster bisque, and several cheese and charcuterie boards. I wish I’d tried their sticky toffee cake! Other excellent restaurants for dinner are Castaways, Newmans at 988, and Driftwood Restaurant.

    For lunch, stop by Lazy Susan Café, The Wayfarer Restaurant, Crepe Neptune, or EVOO. Cannon Beach Hardware and Public House is also a fun stop. Browse the hardware store while you wait for a table!

    Many of the restaurants in Cannon Beach are located all within a few blocks, so wander down the street and see what appeals to you.

    Weather in Cannon Beach:

    Even in July, weather in Cannon Beach is often very cool and windy, so be sure to pack layers. We saw plenty of people on the beach wearing winter coats!

    Things To Do in Cannon Beach:

    Haystack Rock

    On a sunny day with waves crashing around it or on a foggy morning when it reflects onto the water, Haystack Rock is beautiful no matter the weather. The rock is home to both birds and sea creatures, which you can view best at low tide when you can walk up to the rock. Look for the tufted puffins up on the rock and brightly colored sea stars in the tide pools. If you have time, visit Haystack Rock at different tides to experience the range that the rock offers.

    Watch the Sunset

    Our visit to Cannon Beach was very cloudy, which is beautiful in its own way, but if you have clear skies, don’t miss a sunset at Haystack Rock.

    Have a Bonfire

    A fire on the sand is a popular Cannon Beach activity. If you stay at the Hallmark Resort Hotel, you can even purchase a s’mores kit with supplies for your fire and s’mores.

    Hug Point

    Hug Point is a beautiful sandy cove that was once the only way for stagecoaches to travel along this portion of the coast. At the point, the wheel ruts in the rocks are still visible. Peek in the tide pools, explore the small caves, and enjoy the small waterfall from Fall Creek onto the beach.

    Important note: Hug Point Recreation Site must be visited at low tide. It’s best to arrive 30-60 minutes before the lowest tide in order to give yourself the most time to explore. The tide comes in very quickly and waves cover the entire beach at high tide, making Hug Point completely inaccessible.

    Oswald West State Park

    A little farther south, you’ll find parking areas for Oswald West State Park. Hike the 4.6 mile Cape Falcon Trail or the .5 mile trail to the Devil’s Cauldron Overlook.

    Ecola State Park

    On the north end of Cannon Beach, Ecola Point offers a great view of the beach, Bird Rocks, Haystack Rock, and beyond. Take the Clatsop Loop Trail to see the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse or hike down to Crescent Beach or Indian Beach. $5 fee to park. The lots fill quickly at peak times.

    Wander the Shops

    Northern Cannon Beach is very walkable. Spend an afternoon wandering through the Cannon Beach Visitor Center, B. Boutique, Sesame & Lilies, Geppetto’s Toy Shoppe, West of the Moon, and The Good Life Shop, among others.

    You might also enjoy Cannon Beach History Center & Museum and Icefire Glassworks, both within a few blocks of the Hallmark Resort Hotel and Cannon Beach Hotel.

    Enjoy Coffee

    Cannon Beach city ordinances have prohibited franchises, so a number of small local coffee shops, bakeries, and juice bars have flourished here. Three of the most popular are Bald Eagle Coffee House, Sleepy Monk Coffee Roasters, and Insomnia Coffee Company.

    If you enjoy a quaint beach town and beautiful outdoor landscapes, Cannon Beach is the perfect choice for a weekend on the Oregon coast. It is truly the best of both worlds, whether you want a relaxing trip or an adventurous one.

    See more of our Oregon Series:

    Four (+ More) Day Oregon Itinerary
    Crater Lake National Park
    Oregon Coast Road Trip Scenic Stops
    Cannon Beach
    Portland Area Waterfalls

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