Highlights of a Spring Break in Cannon Beach, North Oregon Coast
(Cannon Beach, Oregon) – Where rugged hiking trails and hidden beaches meet civilized elegance. Where artisans and writers spread a quirky, cheery culture in the midst of an upscale beach town that is paradoxically old school Americana and modern upscale.
Cannon Beach is an oasis of many distractions for parents and the kids, especially if you like the finer things. Microbrews, famous home-brewed coffees,, gourmet cuisine and achingly beautiful architecture in the local lodgings provide the fun for adults, but kids of any age will dig the long expanse of beaches, the mysterious lighthouse just offshore, and the myriad of hidden spots just south of town.
The charms of this north Oregon coast icon's downtown stretch through time: it's part Anytown, USA from ages past and part nods to the future with some fun and funky, even innovative shops. Not a single corporate fast food joint in the mix, you're untethered in a wide mix of retail and scrumptiously downhome indie eateries.
The beach is the real pinnacle of Cannon Beach, of course, and this includes the more popular areas that stretch from the Tolovana area, to Midtown and the famed Haystack Rock, to the northern area near downtown and Ecola Creek. But at the extreme northern and southern ends you'll find less multitudes and more solitude – and some unique scenic treasures.
Ecola State Park houses some massive, impressive cliffs and viewpoints, including the surfer's paradise of Indian Beach and the legendary Goonies Rock (where the cult film had a pivotal moment.) This was was also featured in a scene from the Twilight movie.
Wander just south of town and you start to hit those arresting viewpoints from which all great beach trip photographs are made. From here, you'll find the unique stretches of sand such as Arcadia State Park and then Hug Point, with its dizzying array of attractions such as a waterfall, a couple of insanely cool sea caves, and that irresistible ancient road going around the point.
Hug Point to Arch Cape
Just south of there you start to enter the quiet village of Arch Cape, which features bundles of stunning beauty all its own along a surprisingly small width of a strand. Nearby, some seriously incredible secrets lay just before Oswald West State Park (between there and the tunnel), at Falcon Cove Road. It's a semi-private neighborhood, so be courteous with the minimal parking. It is one of the more unique beaches on all the Oregon coast, however, nicknamed “Magic Rocks” Beach for the intriguing noises the polished stones make when stirred by the tides.
Also a hightlight this spring break: Whale Watch Week begins here on March 23, at Ecola State Park, and the SOLVE Beach Cleanup happens on March 23 in town as well.
More on Cannon Beach and Arch Cape at the Virtual Tour (or keep scrolling), and more about lodging and dining in Cannon Beach below.
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