If you are looking for a relaxing and serene beach experience, then Cannon Beach is the place for you.
This small town on the Oregon Coast in the Pacific Northwest has a charming vibe complete with art galleries and coffee shops and stunning landscape views.
It can be easily reached by Highway 101 or the Pacific Coast Highway and is a must stop on Oregon road trip.
Cannon Beach is a great place to visit for all kinds of people from families who love crabbing or looking for sea urchins in tide pools to couples looking for a romantic weekend getaway.
Also Read: Best Places to Visit in Oregon
You’ll find the perfect mix of interesting and fun things to do in Cannon Beach.
Enjoy the views of Haystack Rock or walk on the sand and enjoy the stunning sunsets.
From going whale watching to hiking out on beautiful trails along the Pacific Coast, there is something for everyone in this charming coastal town.
Whatever you’re looking for, you can find it here!
Best Time to Visit Cannon Beach
Overall the best time to visit Cannon Beach is when there is no heavy rain or wind conditions.
Spring and Fall are the most popular times for visitors because they have lower humidity levels than summer months.
It’s also less crowded during these seasons.
In summer, the weather is almost perfect but be prepared for higher rates and lots of tourists vacationing in Cannon Beach.
The trails are crowded and getting a photo of the beach and Haystack Rock with no people is really difficult.
The winters can be chilly, but if you want some spectacular foggy winter scenery, it’s worth braving the cold!
You can also see the migrating whales in the winter.
Also Read: Best Places to Visit on the West Coast
Things to do in Cannon Beach
There are many things to do in Cannon Beach.
Some of the top Cannon Beach attractions include Haystack Rock and beach shopping. The beach itself is wide and long, and comprises historic sites such as Ecola Creek.
Stay in one of the downtown Cannon Beach vacation rentals or enjoy a relaxing stay at a seaside resort. Camp on the beach if you are on a budget!
Dine at the trendy Wayfarer Restaurant – it has one of the best clam chowder in cannon beach!
Or visit the Farmer’s Market and shop for fresh produce. Take a stroll through charming downtown Cannon Beach.
Here are our favorite things to do in Cannon Beach, Oregon.
Spending time on the beach is definitely one of the most popular activities in Cannon Beach.
You can build a bonfire or fly a kite or just walk along the sandy stretches.
Admire the spectacular views of Haystack Rock and walk up to it at low tide. Go crabbing or clamming and take a pair of binoculars to see migrating whales.
Time spent relaxing on the wide sandy coastline and the innumerable rock formations is definitely one of the top things to do at Cannon Beach.
Explore downtown Cannon Beach
This charming town is home to artists, singers, writers, and poets. In fact, it’s one of the best art towns in America.
On a walking stroll through downtown, you will find quaint businesses including candy shops, stores selling kites and bohemian clothes, florists, and beach gear rentals.
You can buy jewelry and souvenirs for your trip or admire the artwork in town.
The streets have a rustic yet upscale vibe making this one of our favorite coastal retreats in Oregon.
Cannon Beach History Center and Museum
Wondering about Cannon Beach what to do for history and culture lovers?
Visit the downtown Cannon Beach History Center & Museum!
The Cannon Beach History Center and Museum is a museum that contains exhibits on the history of the native people and natural environment of Cannon Beach.
The museum offers visitors an opportunity to learn about how the indigenous peoples lived and what life was like for those who came to settle in this area during pioneer times.
At the museum, you can see photographs, videos, artifacts, maps and other displays.
You can also learn about some of the town’s most interesting residents and be entertained with tales of pirates and shipwrecks.
The museum is located in downtown Cannon Beach.
Goonies Filming Locations
The Goonies, a family favorite from the 1980s, is about a group of friends who go on an adventure to find pirate treasure.
It was filmed right here in Cannon Beach and Astoria.
While the most popular sites are located in Astoria, you can also find some in Cannon Beach.
In fact, you can go on an epic adventure in Cannon Beach searching for the popular filming locales.
See some of the most iconic filming spots from The Goonies including Haystack Rock and the Fratellis Hideout in Ecola State Park.
Did you know, Twilight was filmed here too?! You can even do a Twilight themed photo shoot on the beach with the backdrop of Haystack Rock.
This is definitely one of the most popular things to do in Cannon Beach OR for film buffs.
If you’re in downtown Cannon Beach, Oregon, then stop by Icefire Glassworks.
We ducked inside this gem to avoid spring showers and to our luck, discovered one of the best things to do in Cannon Beach when it’s raining or chilly outside.
At this family-owned business, you can spend hours seeing glass blowing demonstrations, admiring stained glass windows, looking at the glass ornaments, and buying charming souvenirs for your trip.
Their hand blown art glass works are truly amazing and one of a kind.
Cannon Beach Distillery
What to do in Cannon Beach for theatre lovers?
Cannon Beach Distillery is a craft distillery that produces small batches of whiskey, vodka, gin, rum, chardonnay wine.
It is a great place to go for a drink while in this part of the Oregon coast.
They are known for their Oregon Single Malt Whiskey. You can go on tasting tours at the distillery, see the process, and sample the spirits.
Coaster Theatre Playhouse
The Coaster Theatre Playhouse, located in a historic building in downtown Cannon Beach, produces many shows that range from comedies to dramas to musicals.
You can watch Shakespearean classics or even thrillers written by Agatha Christie.
If you are in Cannon Beach and are looking for fun ways to spend an evening, then be sure not to miss out on these great performances!
Sleepy Monk Coffee Shop
If you are ever driving through Cannon Beach or staying in town, make sure to stop by Sleepy Monk and enjoy a hot cup of coffee!
The Sleepy Monk Coffee Shop is located on 4th Street in midtown Cannon Beach and has fresh breakfast sandwiches, soups, salads, pastries, scones, and more for visitors.
Enjoy the cozy atmosphere of the shop or take your coffee outside and enjoy it overlooking one of the most beautiful beaches in Oregon.
Follow it up with a short hike up Neahkahnie Mountain after your breakfast. It’s totally worth the view from atop this famous landmark.
Art Galleries in Cannon Beach
Downtown Cannon Beach has many beautiful galleries that offer a wide variety of artwork.
At the Cannon Beach Arts Association, you can see exhibitions displaying amazing artwork from local artists.
Other popular galleries worth visiting include Dragonfire Gallery, Jeffrey Hull Gallery, and Imprint Gallery.
The art galleries are a fun and exciting way to explore the local arts scene and amongst top Cannon Beach Oregon things to do for art lovers.
Outdoor Things to do Cannon Beach, Oregon
Cannon Beach is a paradise for those who love being outdoors.
It is known for its sand and surf, as well as state parks and hiking trails that lead you to some of Oregon’s most beautiful natural landscapes.
Also Read: Best hiking trails in Cannon Beach, Oregon
The town also offers unparalleled opportunities to go whale watching and fishing. The best time to go whale watching near Cannon Beach is from December to January.
Cannon Beach is a great place for visitors to find peace and solitude while exploring the beauty of nature up close along the Oregon coast.
Here are some of the best destinations for outdoor lovers in Cannon Beach.
You cannot visit Cannon Beach without seeing Haystack Rock.
Haystack Rock is a prominent coastal feature and the most recognizable natural icon in Cannon Beach.
Located near the Ecola State Park, Haystack Rock was formed by the cooling of lava flows from an ancient underwater volcano over 10 million years ago.
It is 235 feet tall and is a famous seabird nesting colony for a variety of birds including tufted puffins.
At low tide, you can walk right up to its base along the beach and admire the stunning geological feature up close.
Haystack Rock can be seen from miles away off of Highway 101 and is a must-see for any visitors exploring the Oregon Coast.
Ecola State Park
One of the top Cannon Beach to do destinations for nature lovers!
Ecola State Park is one of the must visit attractions in Cannon Beach, Oregon for its stunning beauty.
The park offers breathtaking views of Oregon’s coastline from its headlands and beaches.
The park also has many different trails that provide scenic views of the Oregon Coast and Tillamook Head.
The most popular hiking trails include Crescent Beach Trail and Indian Beach Trail.
There are also tide pools that you can explore right at the shoreline at low tide. During winter, you can also see a migrating gray whale or two from the park.
The park has two campgrounds that offer tent camping sites and RV parking areas.
Camping here is one of the top Cannon Beach things to do for those who love spending time in nature.
You will also find amenities such as restrooms, showers, picnic tables with grills, drinking water, fire pits and more!
Indian Beach Trail
The Indian Beach Trail in Ecola State Park deserves a special mention.
This is one of the best hikes in Oregon, and it will take you to some of the most scenic views on the coast.
It is a moderate 4.3 mile round trip hiking trail that begins at the Ecola State Park Visitor Center and winds its way through dense forested woods and sunny meadows to an isolated beach on the Pacific Ocean.
The sweeping views of Haystack Rock and Cannon Beach from the trail are legendary.
The trail offers many opportunities for exploration with sightings of deer, elk, and seabirds as well as views of sheer rock cliffs overlooking crashing waves below.
The Indian Beach Trail takes about 40 minutes to complete and can be completed year-round.
It’s perfect for those looking for a short day hike with a stunning beach view.
Hug Point State Recreation Area is a phenomenal place to visit for an outdoor adventure in Oregon.
It is located between Cannon Beach and Manzanita and is a must visit destination on any West Coast road trip.
It has everything from hiking trails, dunes, tide pools, camping, fishing, surfing, and picnicking. It is also an excellent location for clamming and crabbing.
Arch Cape Beach is especially popular with beach lovers.
From the hiking trails that take you atop high cliffs, visitors can enjoy a variety of scenic views.
Also Read: Best Hiking Trails on the Oregon Coast
Oswald West State Park
Oswald West State Park is a beautiful place to visit and one of the best things to do in Cannon Beach.
It is located on the Oregon Coast just south of Cannon Beach.
The park has many miles of hiking trails, waterfalls, pristine beaches, and incredible views.
The park is also popular for biking and horseback riding.
Visitors can also enjoy excellent bird watching opportunities as well as explore tide pools with kids at Oswald West State Park.
The 360+ miles long Oregon Coast Trail also goes through the park.
Arcadia Beach State Recreation Site
Arcadia Beach State Recreation Site is a beautiful place to enjoy the ocean.
Visitors can camp, hike, explore tide pools, or take part in other outdoor Cannon Beach activities like kayaking or fishing.
It is less popular than surrounding natural areas and hence you might easily find secluded beaches and coves here.
Visiting here around twilight is one of the most romantic things to do in Cannon Beach Oregon.
Tillamook Rock Lighthouse
Tillamook Rock Lighthouse is a deactivated historic lighthouse situated on a small rock off the coast of Oregon in the Pacific Ocean.
It was built in 1881 and stands at 62 feet tall.
It was nicknamed Terrible Tilly because of the enormous costs to maintain it as well as the dangerous access route.
Visitors cannot access the beautiful lighthouse; the only way to see it is from the Tillamook Head Trail or Indian Beach.
We definitely recommend looking out for this scenic landmark if you have the time.
Tolovana Beach State Recreation Site
Tolovana Beach State Recreation Site offers visitors access to one of Oregon’s longest stretches of sandy coastline at over seven miles long.
This beach is an excellent place to explore tide pools and enjoy a day at the beach.
Visitors can swim, surf, fish, build a sandcastle, go beachcombing for driftwood, or just enjoy the spectacular views while walking along the pristine coast.
Things To Do near Cannon Beach, Oregon
While you are in Cannon Beach, consider visiting some of the nearby attractions on the Oregon Coast.
Nearby towns like Seaside and Astoria offer many activities for visitors to enjoy.
Or head inland to see Portland and the stunning Multnomah Falls.
Here are some of our favorite things to do around Cannon Beach Oregon.
Astoria is a coastal city in Oregon, about 40 mins north of Cannon Beach.
It is located on the eastern shore of the Columbia River and is the perfect Cannon Beach day trip.
It has many attractions for visitors.
The Astoria Column is one of America’s most photographed monuments. From the top, you have panoramic views of the Columbia River and waters of the Pacific.
Nearby Fort Stevens State Park is an interesting place to visit to learn more about the Oregon Coast.
Other attractions in Astoria include Fort Clatsop and the Sea Lion Caves.
Seaside, Oregon has one of the best beaches for families. It is one of the most popular destinations on the coast.
This beach town is perfect for visitors who are looking to enjoy nature and have a seaside getaway with easy beach access.
The downtown area offers plenty of shopping, dining, and nightlife options. The boardwalk along the Seaside promenade provides access to a sandy beach and dramatic rock formations.
At the Seaside Aquarium you can see local marine life and touch tanks, making it popular with families.
Portland is a big city with an artsy vibe. It is one of the best cities to visit on the West Coast.
It is located just 1 hr 30 mins away from Cannon Beach; in fact many tourists see Haystack Rock on a day trip from Portland.
The city is famous for its food and drink scene, as well as its hipster culture.
There are many major attractions in Portland such as Pioneer Square, Washington Park, Portland Japanese Garden, and Mt. Tabor.
The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry is full of exhibits about science, including dinosaurs and earthquakes – it is a great place to take the kids!
Take a day trip to the Columbia River Gorge and hike to the top of Multnomah Falls.
Also Read: Portland to San Francisco Road Trip
Road Trip down the Oregon Coast
The Oregon coast is one of the most gorgeous destinations in the United States.
This coastal region is full of beautiful beaches, lush forests, and breathtaking mountains.
You’ll be able to enjoy endless miles of sandy beaches as well as rocky shores. There are also plenty of tide pools for exploring or just relaxing on the beach with a book.
From the unspoiled beaches in Lincoln City, to the rugged, iconic cliffs and dunes at Cape Kiwanda on the Pacific Coast Highway, there are many stunning attractions on this incredible road trip.
Cannon Beach because of its location in north Oregon creates the perfect starting point for a Coastal Oregon road trip.
Whether you want to go clamming or spot sea stars on the beach or take a romantic stroll through the town, Cannon Beach Oregon has it all.
We hope you liked our guide on Best Things to do Cannon Beach, Oregon.