Cannon Beach is a stunning coastal town in Oregon, known for its art scene, walkable downtown area and beautiful natural landmarks at every turn. Located 79 miles (127 km) from Portland, Oregon, Cannon Beach makes for the perfect weekend trip or coastal getaway.
If you’re craving the scent of the ocean and the sound of crashing waves, you can’t do better than Oregon’s most popular beach escape and here are 20 things to do in Cannon Beach that makes it so memorable.
- Cannon Beach, Oregon
- 20 Things To Do In Cannon Beach
- 1- Visit The Iconic Haystack Rock
- 2- Catch A Show At The Coaster Theatre Playhouse
- 3- Go Sightseeing At Ecola State Park
- 4- Attend A Tasting At The Wine Shack
- 5- Grab A Coffee At Insomnia Coffee
- 6- Explore The Waterfalls At Hug Point State Recreation Site
- 7- Go Hiking In Oswald West State Park
- 8- See Local Art At Icefire Glassworks
- 9- Go For A Brew At Pelican Brewing Company
- 10- Try Salt Water Taffy at Bruce’s Candy Kitchen
- 11- Go Shopping In The Downtown District
- 12- Catch Some Waves
- 13- Browse The Cannon Beach Farmers Market
- 14- Go For A Walk At Whale Park
- 15- Go Puffin Watching With The Haystack Rock Awareness Program
- 16- Get Your Seafood Fix At Driftwood Restaurant & Lounge
- 17- Watch The Annual Sandcastle Contest
- 18- Visit The Tolovana Beach State Recreation Site
- 19- Join A Bookable Wine Tour Up The Oregon Coast
- 20- Get Lost In Time At The Cannon Beach History Center & Museum
- 20 Things To Do In Cannon Beach
Cannon Beach, Oregon
20 Things To Do In Cannon Beach
1- Visit The Iconic Haystack Rock
One of Oregon’s most recognisable landmarks and featured in a wide array of mainstream novels and movies, Haystack Rock towers at an impressive 235 feet (72m) above the shoreline of Cannon Beach.
Haystack Rock is home to all kinds of natural life, from nesting puffins in the summer months to anemones and sea stars filling tidal pools at its base.
Haystack Rock is adjacent to the beach and creates a beautiful picture set against a sunset or sunrise.
It can also be reached by foot during low tide for those who want to see the monolith up close.
Both a natural wonder and a historical piece, Haystack Rock was formed by cooling lava millions of years ago and rose to the surface after geological uplift and years of wave erosion.
Haystack Rock is the perfect spot for photography and sightseeing and is an iconic spot that every nature enthusiast will want to see at least once in their lifetime.
Haystack Rock is at US-101, Cannon Beach, OR 97110. You may like these tours:
- Oregon Coast Day Trip To See Cannon Beach and Haystack Rock
- Full-Day Guided Tour to the Oregon coast and Ecola National Park Tour
2- Catch A Show At The Coaster Theatre Playhouse
A historical Cannon Beach building and non-profit organisation, Coaster Theatre Playhouse is a charming playhouse that hosts local plays and musicals for quality entertainment every season.
The rustic establishment has a rich history which began as a roller rink in the 20s, expanded to host silent films in the 50s and was remodelled in 1972 to become the theatre that stands today.
The Coaster Theatre Playhouse is known for enhancing the cultural and artistic scene in Cannon Beach and produces shows for all ages, as well as hosting camps to get youth involved in theatre and the arts.
The Coaster Theatre Playhouse is at 108 N Hemlock St, Cannon Beach OR 97110.
3- Go Sightseeing At Ecola State Park
Considered a hiking and sightseeing essential on the Oregon Coast, Ecola State Park hosts a variety of vibrant hiking trails, photography viewpoints and natural landmarks.
The trails in Ecola State Park provide panoramic views of some of Cannon Beach’s most exciting destinations, including Haystack Rock and the historic Tillamook Rock Lighthouse.
Ecola State Park is a dream destination for nature lovers, with bald eagles in the sky, elk dotting the picturesque cliffs and many popular observation points for whale-watching.
With benches and picnic tables scattered amongst the natural attractions, Ecola State Park is an excellent beachside stop for soaking in the wonders of the Oregon Coast.
Ecola State Park is at Ecola State Park, Cannon Beach, OR 97110.
4- Attend A Tasting At The Wine Shack
Located in the heart of downtown Cannon Beach and with a variety of wine offerings from near and far, The Wine Shack is the ideal stop for any wine connoisseur during a trip to Cannon Beach.
Owned by Cannon Beach winemakers Steven and Maryann Sinkler, The Wine Shack is home to Cannon Beach’s signature brand, Puffin Wines, which has won countless awards over the years.
The Wine Shack hosts its own tasting room for drinks paired with cheese and charcuterie, or you can join the local Puffin & Friends Wine Club for exclusive events and an inside look at the finest offerings from many Pacific Northwest wineries.
The Wine Shack is at 124 N Hemlock St, Cannon Beach, OR 97110.
5- Grab A Coffee At Insomnia Coffee
Just one block from the beach, Insomnia Coffee is a conveniently located coffee shop local to Oregon with seasonal drinks, and pastries perfect for a midday pick me up.
The interior is well-lit with a wide array of seating, and they sell whole-bean coffee, cutesy mugs and handy tote bags for your every shopping need.
Stop by Insomnia Coffee for some of Cannon Beach’s finest espresso, with a warm ambience and personable customer service to top off the experience.
Insomnia Coffee is at 139 W 2nd St, Cannon Beach, OR 97110.
6- Explore The Waterfalls At Hug Point State Recreation Site
Convenient beach access, teeming tidal pools and a stunning coastal waterfall are only a few attractions you’ll find at Hug Point State Recreation Site.
Located only about a 10-minute drive from Cannon Beach or a five-mile (8km) scenic route, Hug Point State Recreation Site is easy-to-find with free parking and endless views.
Hug Point State Recreation is not only a natural beauty in its own right, but it is about midway between Cannon Beach and another popular coastal stop, Manzanita Beach.
If you have the time, visiting all three is certainly worthwhile.
Make sure to check tidal charts online and plan your trip accordingly when visiting Hug Point State Recreation Site, as the changing tides can make it more dangerous to see the coastal waterfall and take in the scenery.
Hug Point State Recreation Site is at Beach Access Rd, Arch Cape, OR 97102.
7- Go Hiking In Oswald West State Park
Oswald West State Park is a top destination for any outdoor enthusiast visiting Cannon Beach, with nearly 2500 acres (1011 ha) of land perfect for surfing, bird-watching, hiking and camping.
With many different trails to choose from, one can walk along the Short Sands Beach, hike the challenging Neahkahnie Mountain, and visit breathtaking caves known as the Devil’s Cauldron, all while staying within the Oswald West State Park.
The historical state park is named after Oregon’s 14th governor, who advocated for the people’s right to use and access state beaches during his time in office.
Oswald West State Park is at Oswald West State Park, Arch Cape, OR 97102.
8- See Local Art At Icefire Glassworks
Icefire Glassworks is a unique art gallery featuring work from local artists who create handcrafted glass pieces and assorted ceramics.
Not only can you peruse and shop for the work of many hot shop artists, but Icefire Glassworks also offers glass-blowing classes where you can try your hand at this incredible art form.
Icefire Glassworks features pieces ranging from the low hundreds to the low thousands, from jewellery to vases, to colourful decor.
Originally founded in 1975, Icefire Glassworks has been a staple of the Cannon Beach community since 1991 and continues to attract visitors and customers from near and far.
Icefire Glassworks is at 116 E Gower Ave, Cannon Beach, OR 97110.
9- Go For A Brew At Pelican Brewing Company
A roomy brewpub with comfortable indoor seating and scenic patio dining, Pelican Brewing Company is a popular stop for drinks, food and some hearty conversation.
Pelican Brewing Company originally got their start in nearby Pacific City in 1996.
Since then, they have opened up three additional locations, giving you front-row seats to the best brews and views of the Oregon Coast.
Now a leader in the craft brewery industry, Pelican Brewing Company also offers working tours of their breweries and sells merchandise, beer boxes, and trendy apparel items for their brand.
Pelican Brewing Company is at 1371 S Hemlock St, Cannon Beach, OR 97110.
10- Try Salt Water Taffy at Bruce’s Candy Kitchen
Nothing says coastal town quite like the taste of saltwater taffy, and Bruce’s Candy Kitchen has all the taffy you can eat and much more.
The doors to Bruce’s Candy Kitchen opened in 1963, with eight taffy flavours up for offer, which has expanded to include many more flavours and treats after customer demand and positive feedback.
From salt water taffy to fudge to caramels, you can’t beat the childlike allure of Bruce’s Candy Kitchen, with a pinstripe exterior and colourful interior akin to candy shops of the 50s and 60s.
Bruce’s Candy Kitchen is a sweet addition to the seaside streets of Cannon Beach, family-owned and operated since its founding, with options for custom orders or purchases in bulk.
Bruce’s Candy Kitchen is at 256 N Hemlock St, Cannon Beach, OR 97110.
11- Go Shopping In The Downtown District
You’ll find yourself surrounded by shingle-style architecture and neutral colours against a stunning coastal backdrop in Cannon Beach’s walkable downtown district.
Cafes and curio shops line the streets, with charming floral arrangements out front and cutesy selections of practical souvenirs waiting for you inside.
From local boutiques to oven-fired pizza to beachy inns, downtown Cannon Beach is the perfect mixture of small-town aesthetic and coastal charm.
12- Catch Some Waves
There is no better way to spend your days at the beach than getting in the water and riding some waves, and Cannon Beach Surf Lessons and Rentals is a convenient and friendly spot to help you do just that.
Perfect for the surfer with little to no experience, Cannon Beach Surf Lessons and Rentals offer affordable lessons with experienced instructors so you can feel comfortable and confident trying out a new hobby.
They also rent out gear and wetsuits that can be reserved for up to a week, so you can pack light for your trip.
Cannon Beach Surf Lessons and Rentals is at 1042 S Hemlock St, Cannon Beach, OR 97110.
13- Browse The Cannon Beach Farmers Market
Open between June and September, the Cannon Beach Farmers Market is a fun way to engage in this coastal community and stock up on groceries all in one trip.
Featuring live music, multiple food vendors and an assortment of booths and stands for you to shop from, you won’t want to miss this wholesome summer activity.
Some popular offerings at the Cannon Beach Farmers Market range from wild-caught seafood and organic meats and cheeses to floral arrangements and fresh produce, so you likely won’t be leaving empty-handed.
The Cannon Beach Farmers Market is at S Hemlock St & West Gower Ave, Cannon Beach, OR 97110.
14- Go For A Walk At Whale Park
A perfect spot for easy beach access and enjoying a slice of history, Whale Park contains a wooden sculpture of a grey whale at the north end of downtown Cannon Beach.
The park got its name from Captain Willam Clark, who wrote about his discovery of an enormous beached whale on this same spot back in January 1806.
Whale Park looks out on a view of Ecola Creek from a covered gazebo with ample seating nearby for anyone looking to relax by the coast.
Whale Park is at 288 N Hemlock St, Cannon Beach, OR 97110.
15- Go Puffin Watching With The Haystack Rock Awareness Program
One of the many gems of Cannon Beach is the presence of the tufted puffin, a seabird who calls Haystack Rock home and can be seen up close if your timing is right.
Commonly active between April and June, the tufted puffin burrows and nests at Haystack Rock, and after the fledglings have hatched, the parent puffins can be seen fetching fish back and forth for their young.
The Haystack Rock Awareness Program hosts morning trips to the coast during their most active season to view the birds, providing the public with binoculars and spotting scopes.
16- Get Your Seafood Fix At Driftwood Restaurant & Lounge
With a stunningly lit patio and an extensive menu for both lunch and dinner, Driftwood Restaurant and Lounge is a well-loved dining destination in Cannon Beach.
This steakhouse and seafood spot also offers an ever-changing beer, wine and cocktail menu, with professional bar staff who can provide excellent pairing recommendations.
Driftwood Restaurant and Lounge have been serving in Cannon Beach since 1944, emphasising using meat, dairy and produce from local providers whenever possible.
Their prices are affordable, ranging from $20 to $50 per dish, with a kids’ menu and to-go options.
Driftwood Restaurant and Lounge is at 179 N Hemlock St, Cannon Beach, OR 97110.
17- Watch The Annual Sandcastle Contest
Hosted during the warm summer months, the Annual Cannon Beach Sandcastle Contest has been a tradition since 1964 and continues to be a quirky event that draws young and old.
The Annual Cannon Beach Sandcastle Contest has been recognised as an Oregon Heritage Tradition by the Parks and Recreation department, an impressive achievement, as only 26 events have received this designation across all of Oregon.
The contest is divided based on age group and skill level, and you must register in advance to participate in the building of the sandcastles, although observers are always more than welcome.
This historical and long-running tradition is a fun community aspect of Cannon Beach and brings many talented individuals to the coastal town every year.
18- Visit The Tolovana Beach State Recreation Site
Tolovana Beach State Recreation Site is a popular spot providing easy ocean access, a children’s playground and long walkable stretches of sandy shores.
This convenient stop in Cannon Beach is dog-friendly, family-friendly and conveniently located with plentiful parking and helpful amenities such as public restrooms and drinking fountains.
Being such a wide expanse of beach, this is a great place to go if you want to enjoy the beauties of Cannon Beach without being crowded or having to worry about the tide coming in.
Tolovana Beach State Recreation Site is at 3288 Pacific Ave, Cannon Beach OR 97110.
19- Join A Bookable Wine Tour Up The Oregon Coast
Join a wine-tasting tour with pick-up in Portland and offer transportation up and down the Oregon Coast.
The most popular route includes lunch in Cannon Beach, sightseeing at Haystack Rock and trail walking at Oswald West State Park, with experienced tour guides well-versed in the history and culture of Cannon Beach.
These bookable tours are ideal for anyone new to the Oregon Coast, interested in its rich culture, or anyone familiar with the area but wanting to meet new people and see Cannon Beach through a fresh lens.
20- Get Lost In Time At The Cannon Beach History Center & Museum
Soaked in historical value and run by people passionate about Cannon Beach and its legacy, Cannon Beach History Center & Museum is a fascinating stop for anyone who loves old photos, antiques, or memorabilia from the past.
Open to the public five days out of the week, this museum has a cosy interior and invites one and all to see history come alive.
The museum hosts various events, from music nights to holiday parties to scavenger hosts, typically open to members and non-members.
The Cannon Beach History Center & Museum also hosts a gift shop with assorted souvenirs and trinkets to make your trip unforgettable.
The Cannon Beach History Center & Museum is at 1387 S Spruce St, Cannon Beach, OR 97110.
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