Fun Things to Do in Cannon Beach OR

Cannon Beach is one of the Oregon Coast's most popular destinations, offering both adventure and relaxation. Anyone who loves wild nature will be thrilled with the great beach access, hiking trails, and rugged scenery. Cannon Beach's quality art galleries, high-end hotels, and superb restaurants will appeal to couples looking for a romantic getaway. Families will enjoy the sandy beaches, picnic spots, and fun shops.

Here are my picks for the best activities and attractions for visitors to Cannon Beach:

  • 01 of 06
    View of Haystack Rock from Cannon Beach © Angela M. Brown (2010)
    ••• View of Haystack Rock from Cannon Beach. View of Haystack Rock from Cannon Beach

    Haystack Rock, said to be the world's third largest monolith, is a Cannon Beach icon. Combined with sand, water, and sky, it makes for some extremely photogenic scenery. Look but don't touch - you can't actually climb on Haystack Rock yourself. The monolith and surroundings are designated a National Wildlife Refuge and Marine Garden, preserved for puffins, sea stars, crabs, and other seabirds and invertebrates. At low tide, expert interpreters from the Haystack Rock Awareness Program are often available to answer questions. Haystack Rock views are available from several Cannon Beach vantages. Many of the town's favorite inns and restaurants look out over the flat sandy beach and the striking rock. One way to experience Haystack Rock is from Tolovana Wayside Park, where you can access and wander the beach.

  • 02 of 06
    Ecola State Park.
    ••• Ron Clausen / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 4.0

    Two sandy beaches, over 10 miles of hiking trails, picnicking, hiker's camping, and incredible Oregon Coast views make Ecola State Park a gem of the Oregon State Park system. History buffs will enjoy walking in the footsteps of Lewis and Clark, who visited Indian Beach during their winter at Fort Clatsop in order to check out the remains of a beached whale. The 2.5-mile Clatsop Loop Interpretive Trail takes you along an old road and through steep forest trails. Today, Indian Beach is a popular spot for Oregon Coast surfers (fun to watch). Within Ecola State Park you can enjoy fabulous views both of and from Tillamook Head, as well as a view of Tillamook Rock Lighthouse.

  • 03 of 06

    Art Galleries

    Cannon Beach's art galleries carry works in a variety of mediums, from expensive fine art to affordable crafts. Many of the works are by local artists and craftsman. Art lovers can spend hours checking out every nook and cranny of these showrooms. You'll definitely find something to take home and add to your collection. Here are the highlights:

    • Northwest by Northwest Gallery
      232 N. Spruce Street
      Fine paintings, sculpture, art glass, ceramics, and jewelry from Northwest artists.
    • Bronze Coast Gallery
      224 N. Hemlock Street, Suite 2
      Fine art including paintings and cast bronze sculpture.
    • Dragon Fire Studio & Gallery
      123 S. Hemlock Street
      Colorful, fun, and funky art and fine crafts in all media.
  • 04 of 06

    Shops and Shopping

    Bruce's Candy Kitchen in Cannon Beach © Angela M. Brown (2010)
    ••• Bruce's Candy Kitchen in Cannon Beach. Bruce's Candy Kitchen in Cannon Beach

    After exploring the beach, exploring the shops among the shingled buildings along Spruce and Hemlock beach are an essential part of the Cannon Beach experience. You'll find lots of fun shops carrying unique and interesting items. Here is just a sample:

    • Bruce's Candy Kitchen
      256 N. Hemlock Street
      Fresh-pulled taffy, old-fashioned candies, and fun souvenir and gift items.
    • Geppetto's Toy Shoppe
      200 N. Hemlock Street
      A world of fun toys for kids of all ages.
    • Puppy Love by the Sea
      271 N. Hemlock Street
      Great gifts for dogs and their people.
    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06
    Cannon Beach History Center & Museum © Angela M. Brown (2010)
    ••• Cannon Beach History Center & Museum. Cannon Beach History Center & Museum

    See the actual cannon that gave the town its name! This small museum focuses on local history, but also offers special exhibitions on a variety of subjects. History buffs will enjoy spending time checking out their collection of old photographs, many featuring Cannon Beach residents and visitors at play.

  • 06 of 06

    More Fun Things to Do

    • Hike through the forest and over the river to the sandy beach at Oswald West State Park
    • Watch live glassblowing at Icefire Glassworks
    • Attend a chef's demonstration dinner or class at EVOO, a cooking school, and shop
    • Take in a play or musical at Coaster Theatre Playhouse
    • Enjoy a view of Tillamook Rock Lighthouse