Our trip to Cannon Beach was really just a trip to complete “The Goonies Tour” of Oregon. When I researched the beach I saw a very windy beach. Our first stop was Ecola State Park which falls between Astoria and Cannon Beach so it was an easy, quick stop to take a picture from high above Cannon Beach. I honestly thought this would be a stop that lasted an hour at the most. We ended up staying in Cannon Beach 5 hours and eating at a local restaurant.
Cannon Beach: Ecola State Park
Ecola State Park is located about 5 miles north of Cannon Beach. This was our first stop, and this was the first time I realized just how big of a miscalculation I made when I scheduled such a small amount of time in Cannon Beach. The beautiful landscape of the Oregon coast, the rolling waves of the Pacific Ocean and the large volume of picnic tables make this park a beautiful place to spend a day. Ecola has its own beach, Indian Beach. Indian Beach was the site of called La Push beach in Twilight. Our time was spent enjoying the view of Cannon Beach and watching a pick-up soccer game.
Ecola State Park has an incredible amount of walking trails. Some of these trails include a path that follows the footsteps of the Corps of Discovery. The Oregon State Park site includes a quote from Captain Clarke describing the vista as “… the grandest and most pleasing prospects which my eyes ever surveyed…” and once you see it in person it’s hard to disagree. If you are going to visit Cannon Beach at the very least pack a lunch and enjoy it at Ecola State Park.
Cannon Beach: Haystack Rock
Haystack Rock became famous, to me at least, in the movie “The Goonies.” It’s the key to the One Eyed Willy mystery and the site you see Willy’s ship sail away in at the end of the movie. Haystack Rock is massive, much bigger than I expected. Watching the waves crash around Haystack and the surrounding rocks is peaceful. Seeing the colors that a sunset produce reflecting off of the clouds, water and rocks is breathtaking. If I could I would watch every sunset from this beautiful beach.
Cannon Beach: The Town
Originally we kicked around booking a room in Cannon Beach and using that as a starting point for a day. When I looked into it the lack of major chains and the plethora of Inns worried me. DO NOT LET THIS WORRY YOU! This town is incredibly charming and while I did not venture into any of the Inns, they were well beyond my expectations on the exterior.
The town has many small stores I will make it a point to go back for. One that definitively caught my eye was a kite store. Big beautiful kites in the window really made me regret my shortsighted planning. I wish I had at least a full day and a night in Cannon Beach.
The one thing we were able to do before moving on to Portland was stop at Castaway’s Restaurant & Tiki Bar. This is a Beach Town, in off-season, and we walked in at 20 minutes before closing time. The staff was absolutely incredible. Never did we feel rushed despite what was I’m sure a tired and frustrated by the two of us sauntering in so close to closing time. You would have never known it; they treated us amazing. We both ordered the Cajun Mac and Cheese. When asked for a heat level 1 to 4, I selected 3. It was delicious, perfect amount of heat, delicious chicken and sausage. So many delicious deserts came out while we were eating, but we simply didn’t have any room! If you go to Cannon Beach and have time for dinner, or even a drink swing by, you will love the atmosphere, service and the incredible food!
This was my second favorite part of the entire trip, and I think if I was given more time this would have been the top of the list. Cannon Beach was a wonderful town and the beach is incredibly beautiful and peaceful. Between the town, it’s stores and restaurants, the amazing beach and nearby Ecola State Park I could easily see spending a long weekend in this beautiful little town.
–Steve (“the hubby”)