Where Is Cannon Beach, Oregon?

Where is Cannon Beach, Oregon? It is on the northwest coast of Oregon near the state of Washington border. A small coastal city that is known for its tufted puffin population. It has much natural beauty with a downtown area filled with galleries and boutiques.Where Is Cannon Beach, Oregon



Its population is around sixteen hundred and ninety (1690) and it is a popular tourist destination. Located in Clatsop County, it is considered in the Top 100 most beautiful places in the world by National Geographic.



Where Is Cannon Beach, Oregon? — A Bit of History

Cannon Beach and its surrounding area are a part of the traditional territory of the Tillamook Native American tribe. Going back to the nineteenth (19th) century, William Clark of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, explored the Cannon Beach area in 1805.

Clark was struck so much by the beauty of the area that he stated, “…the grandest and most pleasing prospects which my eyes ever surveyed, in front of a boundless Ocean…”, which became known as “Clark’s Point of View”. He made that statement while standing on the western cliff of the headland overlooking the ocean. In fact, you can access this area from Indian Beach in Ecola State Park on a hiking trail.

The community that was built up in the area was originally called Elk Creek and in 1922 the name was changed to Cannon Beach. In 1846 a cannon from the US Navy washed ashore just south of the community. The cannon was rediscovered in 1898 and led to the name change. The original cannon is now in the city museum.



A Few Facts about Cannon Beach

  • the area is considered a weekend getaway spot for people from the Portland area
  • the town has many local businesses such as restaurants and artisan shops rather than large chain establishments to preserve the small-town atmosphere and local economy
  • the summers are mild and dry with temperatures around 71.6 °F (22.0 °C). It is a Mediterranean-type climate. Temperatures in the winter are around 49.4 F ((9.7 C).
  • the median income for a household is around forty thousand dollars ($40,000)
  • each year there is a sandcastle-building contest in June
  • local and northwest artists have their works featured in the galleries
  • the first Sunday in May is the annual arts festival called the “Spring Unveiling”
  • there is also a Fourth of July parade as well as the Stormy Weather Arts Festival in November where local galleries feature the works of many artists throughout the Pacific Northwest
  • Haystack Rock is a well-known landmark southwest of downtown. It is 235 feet (72 m) high, and a small cave system penetrates this igneous (magnetic) rock. The rock is part of the Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge.
  • Ecola State Park and Cannon Beach have been featured in several films including Point Break (1991), Free Willy (1993), and The Goonies (1985)
  • within the city limits, there are four (4) parks: Tolovana Beach State Recreation Site, Haystack Hill State Park, John Yeon Natural Site, and the Les Shirley Park shuttle runs between Cannon Beach and Seaside and there is a bus service to Portland

Things to Do in Cannon Beach

* Explore downtown — here you will find many restaurants, shops, boutiques, and galleries. Most of the activity is just off of Hemlock Street.

* Cannon Beach Soap Company — here you will find a variety of candles, sea salts, and bath bombs all made with high-quality ingredients.

* Bruce’s Candy Kitchen — this is a local favorite with its coconut haystacks and Cannon Beach Sea Salt flavored taffy.

* Jeff Hull Gallery — Jeff Hull uses watercolors to highlight the mood of the Pacific Northwest.

* Icefire Glasswork — everything from vases to platters can be found here and if you time it right you can get a glimpse of them blowing glass.

* Ecola State Park — wonderful beaches, fantastic views, and a great place to hike. Located just north of Cannon Beach it covers nine (9) miles of the coastline. Great place for a picnic and then a short hike down to Crescent Beach where you’ll find a waterfall and cave.

* Fishing and Crabbing — charter a boat and go salmon fishing or rent a boat and go crabbing. The fall and winter are best for crabbing.

* Check out Seaside — this is a larger community about nine (9) miles north of Cannon Beach. It has more activities in town for the family as well as an outlet mall. There is also a historic shipwreck on the beach.

* Farmers Market — on Tuesdays from June through September in the afternoon you will find a wide variety of fresh produce and seafood. There are plenty of different kinds of artisan foods to create a wonderful meal.

* Kite Flying — flying a kite on the windy beach can be a fun experience. Bring your own or there are places to purchase kites in the area.Where Is Cannon Beach, Oregon

* Biking on the Beach — you can build campfires on the beach when no fire ban is posted. You can bike the beach during the day (rentals available), and then watch the sunset with a nice fire and listen to the crashing of the waves.

* Nehalem Bay State Park — this is a great place to camp or park your RV. It’s about a little over twenty (20) minutes south of Cannon Beach. There’s a bike path as well as places to go fishing, clamming, and kayaking.

* Hug Point State Recreation Area — just south of Cannon Beach this area offers a wonderful beach with a waterfall and sea caves.

* Haystack Rock (the less prominent Haystack Rock is in Pacific City) — this is the landmark of the area. It is 235 feet (72 m) tall. It is just southwest of downtown It is about a mile walk or there is parking closer in a residential area. Low tide is the best time to visit the rock. Climbing the rock is not allowed because it is a wildlife refuge. Tide pooling below the rock is fun as the pools are full of different types of aquatic creatures such as crabs, green anemones, and starfish. An hour prior to daily low tides is the ideal time to check out the pools. Volunteers provide an educational program an hour before low tides during the year.

* Arcadia Beach — a mile south of Cannon Beach, this is great for surfing as well as having many tide pools to explore. Humbug Point, Lion Rock, and Silver Point are places to check out.



Where Is Cannon Beach, Oregon? — A Few Final Thoughts

Considered one of the best beaches in Oregon, it is just a ninety (90) minute’s drive west of Portland. A beautiful place to visit with plenty of family activities. July through September is an ideal time to visit as it is warmer with less rain.

There is plenty of good food and restaurants and unique places such as the Chocolate Café and Suzy’s Scoops for their Cascade Glacier flavors of delicious ice cream.

There are a variety of places to stay in Cannon Beach including hotels, vacation rentals, RV resorts, and bed and breakfast establishments.

This is definitely an area of the world to check out and enjoy. There are many fun things to do for the entire family. The wildlife and coastline alone are worth the trip.

Happy travels,

Joseph William

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4 thoughts on “Where Is Cannon Beach, Oregon?”

  1. Family vacations are something special for me. We often travel, sometimes for shorter distances and sometimes even further. These are great tips for those who want to visit these places. For me this is very far but you never know. You also need to align finances with your desires and capabilities.

  2. Hi Joseph,

    I live on the East Coast, so I’ve never gotten a chance to visit Oregon, but wow, your pictures are gorgeous. There are so many things to do in Cannon Beach that it looks like an excellent vacation destination for the entire family! Especially since it is also within driving distance of Portland.


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