About 80 miles west of Portland, Cannon Beach has a perfect blend of small town charm and oceanside scenery. With several B&Bs, 5-star restaurants and specialty shops, this tiny community is the perfect destination to plan a quiet getaway, romantic vacation, or trip with the whole family. Here’s a handy guide to some of the local highlights you won’t want to miss.
What to see:
Haystack Rock & Needles
Standing 235 feet tall just off the coast, Haystack Rock is the defining icon of Cannon Beach. For even more dramatic views you can walk out to this massive sea stack at low tide. The tide pools here are popular as well, serving as home to several intertidal animals like starfish, crabs, and sea anemone.
Ecola State Park
If you’re feeling adventurous, put on some hiking boots and drive up to Ecola State Park. With nine miles of coastline, the park wraps around the thousand-foot cliff Tillamook Head, with lots of opportunities for outdoor recreation. Activities here don’t just include hiking trails, but also picnicking, tidepooling, surfing, world-class photography, and viewing the occasional wildlife.
Cannon Beach Book Company
If you love a good read, take a walk around this charming local book shop. It may be small, but their selection is excellent. They have everything from national best-sellers to popular classic novels and children’s books.
Bruce’s Candy Kitchen
Since 1963, Bruce’s Candy Kitchen has been the place to go to satisfy your sweet tooth in Cannon Beach. Their walls, shelves, and counters are filled with sweets – including chocolate-covered everything, homemade fudge, salt water taffy, and sweet varieties of popcorn. It’s also the perfect place to browse for old classic candies (like Astro Pops).
Where to eat:
Cannon Beach is a foodie’s paradise. You can grab a bite to eat anywhere from cozy, family-friendly cafes to more exquisite fine dining options. These are just a few of the local favorites.
Driftwood Restaurant & Lounge
For 70+ years, Driftwood has been Cannon Beach’s premiere steakhouse downtown. They have a fabulous menu with many offerings, including fresh seafood and various appetizers.
Weather-permitting, you can also grab a spot on their patio and sip on a cold beer or glass of rosé. If you’re not feeling like steak & potatoes, they’ve still got a lot other tasty options to choose from. Try an order of their clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl, or a burger with a side of hand-cut onion rings. Check out their full menu here.
Wayfarer Restaurant and Lounge
Wayfarer Restaurant combines good food with greater views. Sitting in front of Haystack Rock and Cannon Beach, this place has something for everyone, with a variety of breakfast, lunch, and dinner options.
In the morning, they serve egg dishes with local ingredients, including: wild mushrooms, a sesame-crusted Northwest razor clam, and Tillamook cheddar cheese. And by dinner, fresh seafood makes up most of the menu. We recommend their melt-in-your-mouth Dungeness Crab Mac and Cheese, and Beer Battered Fish & Chips (pictured above). To read more about their oceanfront dining, take a look at their website.
Bill’s Tavern & Brewhouse
If nothing quenches your thirst like an ice cold beer, stop in Bill’s Tavern while you’re in town. The downtown pub has a lengthy selection of micro-brews, delicious burgers, and fish & chips to pair with.
They’re also kid-friendly, so you can bring your little ones in for lunch too. Find them on Facebook here.
The Irish Table
Hidden behind Sleepy Monk Coffee, The Irish Table offers one of the finest dining experiences in Cannon Beach. It’s a small place, so making reservations ahead of time is essential. They offer a creative twist on modern fare, with charming decor and candles to add to the rustic ambiance.
The menu here is small and simple, changing with new chefs and new seasons. It includes appetizers (like these curried mussels, seen above), and entrees for a variety of tastes. Some of their options include: lamb pastie, a vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie, pork spare ribs, seared top sirloin, and daily fish and soup options. For more info and directions, take a look at their website.
You’re in for a cozy, home-style breakfast experience at Lazy Susan’s. The family-owned cafe (across from the popular Coastal Theater) serves fluffy omelettes all day, seafood sandwiches, and rich desserts to top it all off (including slices of their Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie).
For breakfast, they also serve up waffles, poached egg specials, coffee, espresso, and freshly-squeezed OJ. Take a look at their full menu here.
Have you been to Cannon Beach before? Where are some of your favorite places around town?