Must-See Spots in Cannon Beach: 7 Places to Visit During Your Stay

Cannon Beach, Oregon

Just 90 minutes from Portland, Cannon Beach is located at the northern end of the rugged Oregon coast. Here, you’ll find unspoiled beaches, charming local shops, galleries, and restaurants, and stunning ocean views. It’s a nature lover’s dream, complete with tide pools, marine life, scenic hiking trails, and the iconic Haystack Rock. 

Keep reading for an insider’s look at what to do in Cannon Beach and the best time to visit. 

7 Places to Visit in Cannon Beach

1. Haystack Rock

Haystack Rock is arguably the most famous Cannon Beach landmark. The basalt sea stack rises 235 feet from the edge of the shoreline. During low tide, you can walk out to the rock. People come from around the world to view Haystack Rock and its surrounding tidepools. 

Haystack Rock has been featured in countless family photos, novels, TV shows and movies, including The Goonies

Haystack Rock’s intertidal area has protected area status as an Oregon Marine Gardens. The rock is surrounded by sea life, including plants and animals. As a visitor, it’s important to know the rules and etiquette when interacting with Haystack Rock and its surrounding tidepools. Visit the Haystack Rock Awareness Program to plan your visit responsibly. 

2. Cannon Beach History Center and Museum

For history buffs, head to the Cannon Beach History Center and Museum. Here, you’ll get a deep dive into the area’s past, including the story of the original cannon that gave the town its name. The museum hosts permanent and rotating exhibits, including a Native American Longhouse. 

3. Ecola State Park

Ecola State Park stretches nine miles across the Oregon coastline between Seaside and Cannon Beach. From the lush Sitka spruce forest to stunning Pacific Ocean views, it’s a hiker’s paradise. While you’re there, hit up Indian Beach. The secluded spot is a favorite of surfers.

4. Local Breweries

Cannon Beach is known for its natural vistas but is also home to some delightful local food and beverage offerings. We’re especially fond of the Cannon Beach craft brewery scene that includes Pelican Brewing Company, Bill’s Tavern & Brewhouse, and Public Coast Brewing, which is named for Oregon’s 363 miles of publicly owned coastline.

5. Icefire Glassworks

We love this local shop founded by glass artist Jim Kingwell in 1991. Today, the studio features the work of more than a dozen local artists, all with unique styles. Stop in for one-of-a-kind pieces. 

6. Bruce’s Candy Kitchen

Munchies don’t stand a chance here. Bruce’s Candy Kitchen has been making its own saltwater taffy and other confections since 1963. It’s a Cannon Beach institution and the perfect way to bring back a little sweetness from the Oregon Coast. 

7. Bahama Buds

No trip to Cannon Beach would be complete without a stop-in to see your best buds! Whether you’re a repeat customer or a first-time visitor, we’d love to show you around and make recommendations on the best way to partake during your stay. 

Best Time to Visit Cannon Beach

While Cannon Beach’s year-round resident population is only about 1,500, the popular beach town hosts about 750,000 visitors every year. There are fun things to do and see all year round, so the best time to visit depends on your preferences and what you plan to do during your trip. 

Summer (June-August). The summer months offer warmer weather, making them ideal for beach activities like surfing, beach picnics, and tidepooling

Summer is also the busiest tourist season in Cannon Beach. You’ll face crowds and may find hotels and restaurants are more booked up during this time. 

Average temperatures: 58 degrees

Magic Season (October-May). Secluded beaches, uncrowded streets, lower room rates — it must be the magic season in Cannon Beach. If you don’t mind unpredictable weather, this is the perfect time to plan your visit. 

Magic season is also the perfect time to witness some of nature’s most spectacular shows, including raging storms on the Pacific Ocean and the Gray Whale migration, which takes place between mid-March and mid-January every year. Ecola State Park hosts volunteer guides for one week during the peak of each migration to help visitors spot the magnificent mammals. 

Average temperature: 45 degrees

Fall (Late August-November). August and September offer fairly consistent weather with highs in the 60s and lows in the mid-50s. While the weather starts to get cooler and less predictable in the later fall months, the crowds tend to dwindle as well.  

Fall is also a good time to spot migratory birds passing through the area, as well as seals, sea lions and whales. 

For foodies, Cannon Beach’s annual wine and culinary festival, Savor Cannon Beach, takes place in October. It’s a great way to taste the local flavor. 

Average temperature: 56 degrees

Is Cannon Beach Worth Visiting? 

Of course, it is! Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventure or local arts and culture, Cannon Beach offers a wide array of activities and sights to make your vacation memorable. 

Subscribe to our newsletter

Follow us

Are you over the age of 21?

Artboard 31@5x