20 Things To Do In Cannon Beach Oregon

By Visit Oregon

By Visit Oregon

Jul 5, 2022 / 9:55 pm

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Located about 80 miles west of Portland, Cannon Beach is a favorite tourist destination in Oregon. Our residents love the long, sandy beaches and the breathtaking beauty of the natural scenery. If you are visiting Oregon or if you live nearby and are looking for a fun weekend getaway, you’ll love the following list of fun things to do in Cannon Beach, Oregon.

1. Haystack Rock

Perhaps the most famous landmark along Oregon’s coast, we pride ourselves on being home to this gorgeous natural wonder. It’s a basalt sea stack that towers 235 feet above the nearby beach. The scenery it provides is so spectacular that it has served as the backdrop for plenty of movies and TV shows, including “The Goonies” and “Kindergarten Cop.”You can enjoy the sight of Haystack Rock while you surf or swim nearby. If you enjoy sharing your journeys on Instagram, you can take a photo with this impressive feat of nature in the background. People you share the images with will be blown away while also finding the images eerily familiar given this landmark’s popularity on the big and small screen.

2. Beach Bonfire

Who doesn’t enjoy a nice big bonfire on the beach? The beautiful night sky at Cannon Beach lends itself to the orange and yellow glow of a campfire or bonfire. You may want to roast marshmallows or just lay back and enjoy the view.Of course, our town wants to ensure your safety and that of others in the area. You’ll need to adhere to any rules in place. One of these has to do with any fire being at least 30 feet away from any vegetation. That being said, there are resorts and inns along Cannon Beach that can oversee the safe and fun building of a bonfire that will be a relaxing end to your day.

3. Beach Picnic

Cannon Beach is such a desirable location for picnickers that it has numerous 4-star and 5-star picnic spots listed on Yelp. Our residents love to avail themselves of the natural beauty of this area to enjoy a meal in the great outdoors. The abundance of seafood and delicacies of every other variety imaginable will make your picnic meal selection a breeze. You’ll also find many areas with easy access to the beach from the parking lot. If you are taking the time and effort to travel to Cannon Beach anyway, don’t miss out on the beach picnic experience.

4. Fly a Kite

For anyone who enjoys flying a kite, you should consider bringing yours to Cannon Beach. The sea breeze will help keep your kite aloft, and the surrounding scenery will only enhance the experience. If you’re just getting started with kiting, you can search Yelp to find a number of kite shops in Cannon Beach. Our town’s kite shops offer a variety of kite sizes, colors and designs that will thrill the beginner or enthusiast. You’ll then get to take it to the beach and draw the admiration of onlookers.

5. Watch the Sunset

The enjoyment of a beach doesn’t get much more sublime than taking in a beautiful sunset. Cannon Beach, Oregon, offers sunsets that rival any in the world for being picturesque. Our residents and visitors love doing this as a soothing cap on their day. It’s a particular romantic favorite for couples.

6. Explore Tide Pools

When low tide hits, you’ll want to take advantage of the tide pools formed by the receding water. One of the best places to check out tide pools at Cannon Beach is the aforementioned Haystack Rock. These pools will be teeming with life that gets left behind when the sea recedes. You’ll see every type of marine life imaginable, including:

    1. Mussels
    2. Limpets
    3. Hermit Crabs
    4. Sea Stars
    5. Sea Urchins
    6. Red Rock Crabs

7. Visit Ecola State Park

The United States has plenty of impressive state parks, but in Cannon Beach, Oregon, we are truly blessed to have Ecola State Park. This park has a 5-star rating from over 1,800 reviews on TripAdvisor and for good reason. For starters, its elevated position gives you an excellent view of the beach and Haystack Rock. The elevation also makes it a great place to bird-watch and whale-watch. Our residents and visitors love hiking through the forest and trails of this state park. Many will also walk along the pristine Indian Beach and collect sea shells. If you’re coming to Cannon Beach, don’t miss this nature lover’s paradise!

8. Explore Hug Point

Just south of Cannon Beach, this state recreation site is free for admission. This beautiful site will bring out the natural explorer in you. You’ll want to visit it at low tide so that you can explore the awesome sea caves teeming with all kinds of life. The waterfalls at Hug Point are another sight to behold. You may also want to take pictures in front of the natural backdrop of impressive rock formations. Any of our Cannon Beach tourists who take in this sight will not forget it any time soon.

9. Eat Chowder at Mo’s

There is a lot to see and do at Cannon Beach, and you don’t want to be doing it on an empty stomach. Located just south of town, their clam chowder is a favorite among our locals. It’s a great place for a quick lunch before heading out to the beaches, boutiques, shops, art galleries and other sights. There’s an outdoor patio for open-air dining on those sunny, beautiful days. They also have a full menu for dinner if you’re in the mood for seafood, burgers or pasta. Ending off with some cocktails will make a perfect cap for the evening.

10. Go Surfing

The Cannon Beach area has a bustling surfing scene that accommodates beginning surfers, experts and all those in between. Lifeguards are on duty from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Beginners will appreciate the summer months with their more gentle swells. You’ll love surfing within sight of Haystack Rock for unbeatable scenery. We know surfers also love riding the waves at Indian Beach in Ecola State Park. Make sure not to leave your surfboard at home when you come to Cannon Beach!

11. Check out the Art Galleries

We know residents and visitors love the beautiful stretches of beach and scenery at Cannon Beach, but we don’t want you to think that’s all our town has to offer. Between taking in the natural sights and sounds, feel free to check out the excellent art galleries this area has to offer.Enjoy the amazing selection of artists and artwork at DragonFire Gallery as well as those at White Bird Gallery. Next, you should definitely check out the good selection of original art at the Cannon Beach Arts Association & Cannon Beach Gallery. All three of these galleries are conveniently close to each other on Hemlock Street, and together, they offer a wide selection for those who appreciate fine works of art.

12. Wine Tasting

If you’re a wine aficionado, we’re glad to let you know that we’ve got you covered at Cannon Beach. After a day of sunning at the beach or hiking along trails, you’ll love relaxing at one of the many wine tasting rooms offered within various wineries and wine shops. These shops stretch from Seaside through Cannon Beach and down to Tillamook. We think you’ll be impressed with the wine selection, which will typically include a variety of local wines. You can make multiple trips to Cannon Beach and still only get through a fraction of the wines available.

13. Pelican Pub

For those looking for good beer and food, we are proud to recommend Pelican Brewing. This family-friendly pub offers more choices of beer than you’ll be able to sample across repeated visits. It also welcomes any four-legged friend your family may have.Located in the middle of the action on Hemlock Street, Pelican Pub is a convenient stop after enjoying art galleries or taking in the scenery at Haystack Rock. They also have gluten-free and vegan options on their menu. You’ll be sure to have a good time at a reasonable price at this popular stop in Cannon Beach.

14. Public Coast Brewery

Located north of Pelican Brewing, Public Coast Brewing Company makes a convenient stop after taking in the sights at Ecola State Park and Indian Beach. While some establishments that are considered breweries first and restaurants second can offer mixed results when it comes to the food, the cuisine at Public Coast Brewery is quite good. You won’t be disappointed with either their clam chowder or the fish and chips. Their world-class beer certainly won’t disappoint. Also, many of the brews are available for purchase in cans so that you can keep enjoying them at home.

15. Walk Your Dog on the Beach

Many of us love our four-legged family members and enjoy taking them on trips with us. Fortunately, the town of Cannon Beach has a pet-friendly beach. Cannon Beach offers long expanses of pristine sand where you can run with your dog. Just be sure to be considerate of others and have your pooch on a leash. You’ll then be happy to find plenty of hotels, vacation rentals, patio dining establishments and other businesses that will welcome visitors with a dog.

16. Spot the Pelicans

Depending on the season, many species of birds call Cannon Beach, Oregon, home. This includes American robins, red-winged blackbirds, evening grosbeaks and hermit warblers. Perhaps the most beautiful birds to catch a glimpse of are the pelicans. Chapman Point, close to the north end of Cannon Beach, is a great place to spot brown pelicans. They can be seen soaring just above the water and diving in to grab a quick meal among the plethora of fish in the waters off the coast.

17. Whale Watching

As if there wasn’t already enough to do at Cannon Beach to take up several day trips, it’s also a great spot for whale watching. Ecola State Park, in particular, offers the necessary elevation to give you a great view out over the ocean. Pacific gray whales are probably the most common species that you’ll be able to see. Humpback whales are another possibility, and you may see bottlenose dolphins and orcas as well. Don’t forget a good pair of binoculars or, preferably, a camera with a good zoom so that you can preserve the majesty of the moment when you spot one of these magnificent mammals.

18. See Tillamook Rock Lighthouse (Terrible Tilly)

Lighthouses have a special place of historical importance for helping to enhance maritime safety. Located just north of Ecola State Park, Tillamook Rock Lighthouse was built in 1881 on a large basalt rock about a mile offshore. It is no longer in operation due to the adverse conditions encountered to maintain and operate it. It does make quite a sight to take in, however, and is best seen from the heights of Ecola State Park.

19. Coaster Theatre

Opened in 1972, the Coaster Theatre Playhouse is a not-for-profit theater that is supported by an assortment of donors, patrons and volunteers. This support is complemented by a wide variety of incredible talent among the performers. Located near the center of Cannon Beach, this theater produces five plays and two musicals every year. Their productions cover a range of genres. They’ve done Agatha Christie as well as Shakespeare productions and much more. Theater lovers won’t want to miss coming to this remodeled 1920s roller rink with its comfy atmosphere and seating. Some visitors even plan their trips to Cannon Beach around what’s playing at this theater!


20. Eat Saltwater Taffy

There is probably no other candy more synonymous with a coastal beach town experience than saltwater taffy. It’s somehow the perfect complement to the salty air and the smell of the ocean. Cannon Beach offers plenty of candy shops where you can pick up this popular treat. Bruce’s Candy Kitchen is one favorite destination for this and a vast assortment of other sweet treats. Phillips Candies is another popular spot with a wide variety of saltwater taffy flavors.

Cannon Beach Awaits You!

This Oregon coastal town has a lot to offer. Whether you’re an Oregon native looking for an idyllic day trip destination or a tourist seeking a mix of beautiful vistas, good drinks and fun, you’ll love it here. It’s an enjoyable destination for lone travelers, couples looking for a memorable getaway or families looking for something different. Be sure to pack your sunglasses, sandals and picnic blanket, and be prepared for a good time!

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