Cannon Beach Offers Plenty of Ocean Access, Shops, Hikes
With a nine-mile stretch of beach, Cannon Beach invites families to fly kites, build sandcastles and play in the ocean on a summer vacation in northwest Oregon.
Cannon Beach, Oregon, is just more than an hour’s drive from Portland, making it easily accessible as a day trip. For road-tripping families this summer, it’s also a convenient vacation destination from other areas in the Pacific Northwest, Idaho, Canada, and Northern California.
Things to Do for Families in Cannon Beach
Named for a cannon that was found on the beach in the 19th century, Cannon Beach offers families plenty of opportunities to play in the outdoors, as it is surrounded by ocean, forest, and rivers. It’s a major landmark is Haystack Rock, a 235-foot monolith right off the coast.
In the summer months, the Haystack Park Awareness Program staff are stationed near the rock to answer questions about the marine life that make their home in area tidepools. In between snapping photos of this nifty-looking rock formation (and otherwise playing on the beach), parents might encourage their children to chat with the environmentalists. The kids might just learn a thing or two and not even realize it!
Ecola State Park is just north of Cannon Beach, with hiking trails that lead down to the sea. Shutterbugs rejoice at the many scenic vistas, including shots of Tillamook Rock Lighthouse. Hearty families might consider sleeping in the park’s very primitive cabins.
Hug Point State Recreation Site is south of Cannon Beach, with great views of Haystack Rock. Here, visitors can learn about the stagecoach route which used to “hug” the coastline; imagine rustic stagecoaches making their way along the beach! See caves and waterfalls and other nifty geological and pretty sights.
Want to learn to surf? Consider lessons from Cannon Beach Surf, taught by ultra experienced locals who know the ocean waves well. Classes are a minimum of three students per instructor, and children are welcome, as long as they can swim.
Four-mile-long Hemlock Street in Cannon Beach is filled with shops, boutiques, and art galleries. Particularly inviting for children is Gepetto’s toy store, Cannon Beach Book Company, Osburn’s Ice Creamery, and Bruce’s Candy Kitchen.
Family-friendly Restaurants in Cannon Beach
When it’s time to take a break from exploring, sit down for a meal at one of these kid-friendly eateries:
- The Lumberyard Rotisserie & Grill, with a varied kids’ menu; items include fried halibut, pizza, chicken tenders, mac ‘n’ cheese, and burgers.
- Bill’s Tavern and Brewhouse offers homemade root beer
- Fultano’s Pizza is known for its thin-crust pizzas and healthy salads.
For more details about Cannon Beach, including lodging opportunities, visit the Cannon Beach Chamber & Information Center.