Cannon Beach, Oregon is my all-around favorite town along the coastline. What is so good about this wonderful city? I could probably save myself a lot of time by making you a list of what is not good about it....that list would be very short.
A few of the great things about it is the small-town feel and the rugged, natural nine-miles of walking beach.
For such a popular spot, it has always seemed untouched by humans and left to it's own. It's almost as if the town grew out of the ground (or fell from Heaven, if I can be so corny) and then the people came and started living there and enjoying it.
The whole place is very scenic and is easily one of the most identifiable and popular shots for postcards and photos of the Oregon Coast. Many of the Cannon Beach hotels give you a picturesque view of the beach-line.
Located in Clatsop County and 7 miles south of Seaside, this wonderful piece of the coast was named when a cannon was found on the beach in 1846, after the US Navy schooner, Shark, was torn apart trying to leave the Columbia River. Large chunks of the ship washed ashore, including it's cannon. Thus, a town was born! ;)
The most recent stats show that there are roughly 1,600 people that call Cannon Beach their home.
The North Oregon Coast town is best known for the huge rock jutting out of the Pacific, called Haystack Rock. This majestic thing is 235 feet high and is known as the third largest coastal monolith in the world. It's almost to the town what the sun is to the known planets. Everything seems to center around it and it is a huge tourist attraction.
Various types of birds (2000, from what I understand) make their year-round homes on the rock. If you go out and take a close look, you'll see Tufted puffin, Pigeon guillemot, Black oystercatcher, Pelagic cormorant and others.
During low tide, Haystack Rock is a favorite place to play around for the kiddies and for everyone to search it's tide pools for sea life. Although Haystack is there for everyone to enjoy, climbing on the rock is a big no-no. You could easily hurt yourself and getting too close can cause the birds there to abandon their nests. Not good. Boats aren't even allowed within 500 feet of it.
If you take some time to look around, you'll find the best places to stay in town. I've stayed at both the Inn at Cannon Beach and Tolovana Inn. I've heard some really wonderful things about it from people who have stayed there and seen some awesome pictures of the inside. Those are only a few of the wonderful vacation rentals in Cannon Beach, so don't hesitate to look around and find one that may soon become a fast favorite of yours.
I have two favorite places to eat in. One is Morris' Fireside Restaurant, located smack-dab in the middle of town on 2nd Street and the other is Dooger's Seafood and Grill on Hemlock.
Dooger's is a family restaurant, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner and has some great seafood, from Halibut to Razor Clams to Calamari. You can read about Morris' on my Morris' Fireside Restaurant page.
Of course, there is always Mo's for a comfy lunch and a great sourdough bread bowl of clam chowder. For breakfast or just a coffee and munchy break, hit the Cannon Beach Bakery. It's not only a nice place to relax and enjoy a mocha and conversation, but is also one of my Honeymoon/Romantic Spots on the Oregon Coast. Man, I'm hungry now. ;)
Some of the enjoyable things there is Ecola State Park for camping, hiking and picnicking, Stormy Weather Festival (Nov.), Kite Festival (April), Haystack Holiday Festival (Dec.), perusing the many art galleries, shopping, and whale watching.
Although, this scenic town on the coast is a wonderful place to visit and live, be aware of the ghostly tale that makes it famous...the terrifying Bandage Man of Cannon Beach!
Now, my wife and I haven't decided exactly what part of the Oregon Coast we plan to retire to (we haven't really even discussed it yet), but I'll bet you a dollar to a donut that when we do, we're both likely to decide on Cannon Beach, Oregon.
For more information, visit the Chamber of Commerce web site.