21 Unique Things To Do In Cannon Beach, Oregon

When you visit the magical coast of Northern Oregon, you’ll find that it’s hard to not fall in love with this stretch of the Oregon Coast.

It’s got charming villages by the sea, picturesque shorelines to walk on, dramatic rock formations and beautiful coastline views to see, spectacular state parks to explore, and even historical significance to learn about.

Before opting to live in Oregon for a couple of months, we didn’t really know much about the Oregon Coast at all. Being from California, we are used to the coast.

But the Oregon coast? It’s a whole other beast and itself! There’s so much varied terrain along the coast, perfect for hikers and adventurers like us! After doing extensive research about the Oregon Coast for my very own trip, I realized that Cannon Beach was a must when it came to cool towns to visit along the way.

Cannon Beach is easily one of the most scenic and famous towns on the Northern Oregon Coast. Some would say it’s the ultimate Oregon Coast experience.

Being just about 80 miles (1.5 hours) from downtown Portland, it’s an easy day trip or weekend trip for Oregonians and other travelers visiting the PDX area.

Aside from getting to experience one of the most iconic rocks in Oregon, there are so many things to do in Cannon Beach, including hiking, strolling through farmer’s markets, visiting art galleries, and admiring colorful tide pools.

This guide will give you a taste of the many things to do in Cannon Beach, no matter the season. We hope you fall in love with it just as much as we did!

This post may contain affiliate links. You won’t be paying a cent more, but in the event of a sale, the small affiliate commission I receive will help keep this blog running/pumping out useful and free content. Thanks a lot!


Here’s a quick overview of all the useful info you need to plan an awesome trip!

  • When To Go: The weather is nicest between July and September, though the winter months can be a whole different vibe and experience, too!
  • Where To Stay: Love the Inn at Cannon Beach ($$) for the free bfast – The Ocean Lodge ($$$) for oceanfront views and free bfast!
  • Nearest Airport: Fly into Portland International Airport (PDX), approximately 80 miles away. From there, enjoy the drive to Cannon Beach along the Oregon coastline.
  • How to Get Around: You will need a car to explore the coastal beauty and nearby state parks + small towns. We recommend using Rentalcars.com to find the best deal.
  • Must-Do’s: Take a morning stroll along the iconic Haystack Rock, hike around Ecola State Park for wowza views, eat yummy seafood at Mo’s Seafood & Chowder, and pop on over to the nearby town of Astoria. Don’t miss the charming shops in downtown Cannon Beach!
  • Before You Go: Pack layers (and even a rain jacket) for varying coastal weather and don’t forget your camera! The rock is a beaut that photographs oh-so-well!
  • Need a guided tour from Portland? : Go with this one – Oregon Coast Day Trip: Cannon Beach and Haystack Rock (8 hours)


Cannon Beach is a city located on the northwestern coast of the state of Oregon, United States. It is situated in Clatsop County, about 80 miles west of Portland, Oregon.

The two closest airports to Cannon Beach, OR are Portland International Airport (PDX) and Eugene Airport (EUG). Here are the driving distances and times between Cannon Beach and these airports:

  • From Portland International Airport (PDX):
    • Distance: Approximately 80 miles
    • Drive time: Approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes
  • Eugene Airport (EUG):
    • Distance: Approximately 180 miles
    • Drive time: Approximately 3 hours

Also nearby:

  • Astoria: Located to the northwest of Cannon Beach, Astoria is a historic town at the mouth of the Columbia River. It’s got SO much historic charm — definitely a huge change of pace compared to Cannon Beach.
  • Seaside: Seaside is a classic beach town with a lively promenade, shops, and family-friendly attractions.
  • Manzanita: South of Cannon Beach, this laid-back town is known for its artsy vibe, unique shops, and cozy local cafes.
  • Tillamook: While a bit farther south, Tillamook is worth the drive for cheese lovers. Visit the Tillamook Creamery for a tour and tasting, and explore the nearby Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint.
  • Central Oregon Coast: If you’re doing an Oregon Coast road trip, don’t miss hotspots like Florence, Yachats, and Newport!



The Perfect Day Trip From Portland to The Oregon Coast

Cannon Beach is a four-mile stretch of sand and beach, featuring the iconic Haystack Rock standing 235 feet tall at the edge of the shoreline. You can spot this famous landmark as you drive along the coast.

The rock is not just any old rock– it’s a National Wildlife Refuge, which means you can explore the tidepools filled to the brim with marine life.

If you visit during the spring or summer, you’ll also be able to catch a glimpse of the famous Tufted Puffin, as it is an active seabird nesting spot. Expect to spend an hour or two walking along the beach, admiring Haystack Rock’s towering presence, people watching, and snapping photos.

If you plan to linger longer, don’t forget a beach blanket to sit on! We recommend stopping by at sunset; there’s nothing more magical than seeing the rock’s silhouette against the soft sun rays on the beach.


17 Unique Things To Do In Cannon Beach Oregon - Travels With Elle

Making a bonfire at dusk is a super popular activity at Cannon Beach. Simply just dig a pit in the sand and build a fire!

Not only is it a relaxing thing to do, but you could also even catch the sunset, enjoy a dinner picnic, and roast some smores after! It’s a perfect way to enjoy an evening on the beach.

Don’t forget to bring a jacket and a blanket– it gets chilly at night since you’re on the coast.


The gem that is Ecola State Park sits at the north end of Cannon Beach. This is a must-visit spot, so definitely add it to your itinerary of things to do in Cannon Beach.

The drive through the rainforest brings you to one of the most famous views overlooking Haystack Rock, as well as capes and headlands to the south of you.

The park also offers access to Indian Beach and Crescent Beach, and the best way to get there is to hike:

  • Clatsop Loop Trail from Indian Beach – a 2.8-mile loop trail located near Cannon Beach, Oregon that features beautiful wildflowers and sweeping coastal views. The trail follows the edge of Tillamook Head through the rainforest, emerging at multiple sheer cliff viewpoints. There are some great views of the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse and because there’s a good incline, you’ll get a short workout in.
  • Ecola Point to Crescent Beach – a 2.5-mile roundtrip hike featuring a remarkable beautiful stretch of uncrowded beach even during the busiest times of the year. If you visit at low tide, you can walk north to Ecola Point to see its striking rock formations. This trail is steep and is sometimes slippery, but the payoff is so worth the struggle.


Did you know Cannon Beach was recognized as one of America’s 100 Best Art Towns? If you love all things arts and culture, this is the place for you.

One of the more popular things to do in Cannon Beach is to explore the dozens of art galleries throughout the town. From glassblowing to ceramics, coastal architecture to theater shows, Canon Beach really embraces the art scene.

There is a gallery map available so you can take your own art tour. Cannon Beach is also home to a few festivals throughout the year, including the Spring Unveiling Arts Festival in May, Earth and Ocean Arts Festival in September, and Stormy Weather Arts Festival in November.

As you can tell, they take their art seriously.


If you love to shop, window shop, hunt for gifts, or browse around for items you don’t need, Cannon Beach is the best place to do it. Coastal towns know exactly how to suck you in!

Among the many things to do in Cannon Beach, shopping is a biggie. There are tons of unique specialty shops, galleries, and boutiques along the main roads of downtown as well as tucked into flower-lined courtyards.

Among the many shops, you’ll find outdoor gear, gourmet food products, ceramics, artisan-made jewelry, fine apparel and shoes, minimalistic and coastal-themed home decor, confectionary treats, and souvenir gifts.

But do you know what’s best about shopping in Cannon Beach? Everything you buy is tax-free, so go on that shopping spree!

Downtown Cannon Beach, Oregon Coast Road Trip

During our trip to Cannon Beach, I could not help but think that this was one of the CUTEST downtown areas I had ever stepped foot in within Oregon! All of the stores were so curated and contained such fun gifts to bring home as well as other lifestyle goods that you can’t help but want. Take my money, Cannon Beach!


17 Unique Things To Do In Cannon Beach Oregon - Travels With Elle

Turn your weekend road trip into a luxurious getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city. There are so many oceanfront hotels and resorts here that offer beach and coastal views! Many offer views of Haystack Rock and other dramatic rock formations along the shoreline.

Views and sounds of the ocean? What a perfect way to fall asleep and wake up. Some of the hotel rooms offer fireplaces, some offer even an in-room spa. There are three parts of town to stay in, each offering resorts that feature something different:

  • Downtown – located around restaurants, art galleries, and retail shops. These offer views of Ecola Creek, Tillamook Head, Tillamook Rock Lighthouse and/or Bird Rocks to the north.
  • Midtown – offers the closest views of Haystack Rock, located less than half a mile from downtown.
  • Tolovana Park – Oceanfront resorts offering views of Haystack Rock or Silver Point Rock to the south, along with access to secluded beaches to the south as well.

If you’re looking for charming cottages in quiet neighborhoods close to the beach (with fully furnished kitchens, fireplaces, and private yards), there are various vacation rentals in Cannon Beach you could explore including Cannon Beach Vacation Rentals, Beachcomber Vacation Homes, and Starfish Vacation Rentals.

More: Check out all of the best deals on hotels in Cannon Beach, OR here!


Some of Oregon Coast’s best restaurants are located in Cannon Beach. If you’re looking to add a few culinary/gastronomic experiences to your list of things to do in Cannon Beach, this is it.

You’ll find restaurants housed in cozy cottages, serving signature cocktails and wines from the PNW and serving up the best of Northwest seafood.

Upscale dining spots include Castaways, EVOO and Newman’s at 988.

And if you happen to be visiting in the late winter, Cannon Beach also hosts the Wine & Culinary Festival in March.


No trip to the Oregon Coast is complete without sampling some of the Northwest Coast’s specialty–seafood!

When you’re looking for your next meal, keep local specialties in mind such as Dungeness Crab, Chinook Salmon, Coho Salmon, Pacific Pink Shrimp, Albacore Tuna, and Pacific Halibut.

Check out Bistro Restaurant and Bar, Tom’s Fish N Chips, or Mo’s Seafood & Chowder (my personal favorite for quick and affordable seafood).


Cannon Beach might not have as many breweries or brewpubs as Portland or Bend, but there are some notable options worth checking out here as well.

Pelican Brewing Company is one of the most well-known breweries in the state. They also feature significantly elevated pub food, including cioppino, clam chowder, and tri-tip, as well as signature pizza and burger entrees.

At Public Coast Brewing Co, try a pint of the ’67 Blonde Ale, which won a few gold awards in the past. If you’re looking for British-style ales, head to Bill’s Tavern & Brewhouse.


The Cannon Beach Farmers Market runs seasonally on Tuesdays from June to September.

You can find fresh produce, wild-caught seafood, specialty foods, organic meats and cheeses, flower bouquets, music, and food booths every Tuesday at the City Hall parking lot.


17 Unique Things To Do In Cannon Beach Oregon - Travels With Elle

About 10 minutes south of Cannon Beach, Oswald West State Park offers many miles of hiking trails that will take to impressive viewpoints. There is an easy walk to Short Sand Beach, which is great for those looking for something quick and short.

Hike to the end of Cape Falcon, up Neahkahnie Mountain, or simply stop at the vista points by the side of the highway to soak in those expensive coastline views.

  • Short Sand Beach to Devil’s Cauldron – 4-mile hike featuring spectacular cliffside views of the coast. From the parking lot, it’s 0.5-miles to Short Sand Beach, but you can continue through the forest to the Elk Flats Trail for 1.3 miles, then take a short connector trail to reach the cliffs of Devil’s Caldron. Return via the Necarney Creek Trail.
  • Neahkahnie Mountain Loop Trail – 4-mile hike featuring spring wildflowers and panoramic views of the coastline. Take the north side of the trail up, and come down the south side via Neahkahnie Mountain Road back to your car. You’re going to want to pack a lunch on your hike up Neahkahnie Mountain. That way, you’ll get to sit up there for longer, refuel, and really soak in those views.


Explore Cannon Beach in a truly unique way — on horseback!

Horseback riding is a popular activity in Cannon Beach that allows visitors to explore the area’s beautiful beaches and forests in a very relaxed way.

There are several stables in the area that offer guided horseback rides for riders of all skill levels, such as Sea Ranch Resort. They offer guided rides throughout the summer season, with route options that take you to Haystack Rock or Silver Point.

Rides typically last for one to two hours and are led by experienced guides who can point out interesting landmarks and wildlife along the way.


Hug Point - Things To Do In Cannon Beach OR

Hug Point sits between Manzanita, OR and Cannon Beach, OR. This area used to be a stagecoach route that ran along the beach before the highway was built.

Today, the park offers visitors some really cool opportunities to explore sea caves, a small waterfall, and remnants of the old cliff-side roadway! Aside from that, the main activity here is to simply walk along the beach, admiring the incredible views of the nearby cliffs. If you get tired of the crowds at Cannon Beach, this is a good alternative.

As you walk along the beach, you should be able to see Haystack Rock in the distance.

Pro Tip: Do try to time your visit during low tide to maximize the number of things you’re able to explore (sea caves and waterfall). Do be aware that there is a steep parking lot and stairs that you’ll have to take to get down to the beach.


Stop by the nearby Arcadia Beach State Recreation Site to explore the tidepools and discover all the marine life this area has to offer! Here, just two miles south of Cannon Beach, you can expect to find sea stars, sea anemones, hermit crabs, mussels, sea urchins, jellyfish, and more. It’s a wonderful place to take the whole family, especially the little ones!

The best tide pool experience is usually at extremely low tides. When the water recedes at low tide, rocks teeming with life are revealed, trapping pools of ocean water along the shoreline.


Throughout the year, you’ll find local musicians and visiting artists performing at several Cannon Beach venues.

If you’re looking for a meal paired with live music, head to Public Coast Brewing, Seasons Cafe, Bill’s Tavern & Brewhouse, and the American Legion— just to name a few.


When in Cannon Beach, you can expect to see puffins, common murres, pelicans, and bald eagles. The rocks along Cannon Beach are part of the National Wildlife Refuge, so you’ll find some of the largest seabird colonies here.

Ecola Creek is another active spot for birds. Tufted Puffins can be seen in early spring through mid-summer, Common Murres can be seen in spring and summer, and Brown Pelicans from spring through fall. Bald Eagles are a common sight along the beaches.


whale watching oregon coast

Whale watching is a seasonal activity that you should absolutely consider adding to your list of things to do in Cannon Beach!

The most commonly seen whale around Cannon Beach is the Gray Whale, which migrates along the coast twice annually, in the winter and spring.

If you’re looking for the perfect spot to whale watch, head to Ecola State Park. The vantage points here are perfect for whale spotting!


Whale Park is a cute little public park located in Cannon Beach, named after the gray whales that migrate along the coast every year.

The park got its name from Captain Willam Clark, who wrote about his discovery of an enormous beached whale in 1806 — in the same spot where the park is located.

One of the main attractions of Whale Park is the impressive wooden whale sculpture that stands at the center of the park.

In addition to the whale sculpture, Whale Park is a great place to relax with a morning cup of coffee and enjoy the natural beauty of Cannon Beach. The park is surrounded by trees and offers plenty of shade, making it a perfect spot for a picnic or a game of frisbee. The playground is also a hit with kids, featuring swings, slides, and climbing structures.


If you’ve exhausted your list of things to do in Cannon Beach, take a short drive to Seaside. Seaside is another beach town on the Oregon Coast located 15 minutes north of Cannon Beach.

It’s a popular resort town with a nostalgic, family-friendly feel with a lively oceanfront promenade. Park your car and walk down Broadway Street toward the ocean.

What you’ll find once you reach the water is that Seaside, OR is home to one of the biggest beaches you’ll ever see!

Make sure you stop at Phillips Candies to taste the world’s best taffy. You’ll find lots of shops and food options here too. I’d recommend carving out ~3 hours to explore Seaside.


Astoria, OR is another charming town located north of Cannon Beach and definitely worth visiting on your Oregon Coast vacation.

Historically, Astoria was the trading center for the lower Columbia basin, with its economy centered around fishing, canning, and lumber. Located at the mouth of the Columbia River surrounded by natural beauty and rich history all around, it’s not surprising that there is so much to see and do in Astoria.

Fun fact: It’s best known for being the filming location for The Goonies!

I’d recommend reserving at least 4 hours to explore the town of Astoria. Come with an empty stomach too–there’s so much to eat and drink here!

Read More: 17+ Unique Things To Do In Astoria, Oregon


Can’t get enough of the oceanside villages that dot the Oregon Coast? Well then add the little artsy town of Manzanita to your list!

In the town itself, there are plenty of cute shops to keep you busy. Also worth noting? The growing dining scene here! Don’t miss the town’s delightful bakery (the cinnamon rolls at the local bakery are a must-try), fine dining, and wine/beer-tasting opportunities.

For outdoor enthusiasts, Manzanita is flanked by three distinctive landmarks–the Pacific Ocean, the large coastal headland at Neahkahnie Mountain, and the Nehalem Bay.

Given such primo conditions, it’s no wonder why the waters here are excellent fishing spots, full of Chinook salmon, sturgeon, and steelhead trout! Crabbing and clam-digging at low tide are also very popular activities.

👉 Road Trip Tip: The Oregon Coast is basically a string of small towns, each with its own distinct charm and hidden gems. If you’ve got the time, open up Google Maps, pick a few, and just explore them by car/foot as you drive down Highway 101!



  • Sleepy Monk Coffee Roasters: a coffee shop with creative signature coffee drinks and amazing pastries.
  • MacGregor’s of Cannon Beach: restaurant and whiskey bar with a cabin-like feel, serving up hearty and comforting foods. They have breakfast options all day (like chicken fried steak and homemade flapjacks), as well as lunch options (like fish and chips, sandwiches, and clam chowder).
  • Lazy Susan Cafe: delicious breakfast/brunch spot with an even more delicious Marionberry Scone.
  • Mo’s Seafood & Chowder: get the clam chowder, it’s life-changing. Their original shrimp dinner salad is also a delicious appetizer.
  • Tom’s Fish N Chips: a quick and affordable spot to grab burgers, fish and chips, clam chowder, and other seafood options.
  • Crepe Neptune: delicious crepe stand serving up both sweet and savory crepes.


There are so many gorgeous oceanfront resorts and properties in Cannon Beach. Which is kind of surprising, given that the town really isn’t even that big!

Many of these beachfront resorts are only a stone’s throw away from all the elegant boutiques, galleries, and restaurants of the main street. You’ll get the best of both worlds — access to town amenities and epic beach views!

But be warned — Cannon Beach is a super popular travel destination for local Oregonians (especially in the summer season) so the earlier you make hotel reservations, the better and cheaper it’ll be for you!

We’ve scoured the web to find the most stylish yet affordable options, and they’re all listed below for you!

Hotels In Cannon Beach

Hallmark Resort in Cannon Beach ($$) – Located directly on the beach with views of Haystack Rock, this hotel is as close to Haystack Rock as you can possibly get. And it’s pet-friendly! It also features a full-service spa and wellness center. The hotel offers complimentary bicycle rentals and free cookies upon check-in, too!

Inn at Cannon Beach ($$) – Located 5 minutes’ drive from Tolovana Beach State Park, this Cannon Beach property provides spacious rooms, a beautiful private garden, and free breakfast. Haystack Rock is a 15 minutes’ walk away. Pets are allowed!

The Ocean Lodge ($$$) – The Ocean Lodge is a 3.5 star beachfront and pet-friendly hotel is within walking distance of Cannon Beach’s downtown area. Rooms are stocked with everything you’d want such as premium bedding, balconies/patios, kitchenettes, fireplaces and DVD players. There is a free continental breakfast here too!

Camping Near Cannon Beach

For those of you who are adventurers or just prefer camping or RVing, there are plenty of options available near Cannon Beach.

Since you can’t actually camp ON Cannon Beach, you’re going to have to pick from one of the other campgrounds in the area. You can camp at nearby places like Sea Ranch Resort, Wright’s For Camping, or Circle Creek RV Park & Campground.

Depending on the season, day of the week, and campground you choose, the nightly rate will range from $45 to $80 USD per night.

If you’re looking for more of a state park kind of vibe, there are several campgrounds within state parks near Cannon Beach where you can enjoy the natural beauty of the area.

Here are some of your best bets for state park camp spots:

  • Nehalem Bay State Park: Located about 20 miles south of Cannon Beach, Nehalem Bay State Park is situated on a 4-mile sand spit. The campground sits among shore pines, just a sand dune away from the beach. They offers campsites with water and electric hookups, as well as yurts. The park also features hiking trails, a beach, and opportunities for fishing and crabbing.
  • Fort Stevens State Park: Located about 25 miles north of Cannon Beach, Fort Stevens State Park offers campsites with water and electric hookups, as well as tent spots and pet-friendly yurts and cabins. The park also features hiking trails, a beach, and opportunities for fishing and wildlife viewing.
  • Cape Lookout State Park: Located about 30 miles south of Cannon Beach, Cape Lookout State Park offers campsites with water and electric hookups, as well as pet-friendly yurts and cabins. The park is located on a sand spit between Netarts Bay and the ocean and is a destination for hiking, beachcombing and visiting sites along the Three Cape Scenic Route.

Campgrounds along the Oregon Coast book up WAY in advance (sometimes even six or more months in advance), so be sure to book a site as soon as you know you’re committing to a trip up to Cannon Beach!

👉 Pro Tip: You can also use Campnab to secure last-minute campsites at wildly popular campgrounds! Tell them when, where, and how long you want to camp for. When something opens up at the campground, they’ll notify you immediately—so you can nab that sold-out campsite reservation!


Don’t want to worry about the logistics of getting to Cannon Beach, OR? Consider a day trip from Portland, OR:

  • Oregon Coast Day Trip: Cannon Beach and Haystack Rock – On this 8-hour full day tour, visit the charming towns of Manzanita and Cannon Beach, browse antique shops and art galleries, and stop at several beaches on the Oregon Coast. Transportation from Portland is included!
  • Oregon Coast Tour from Portland – On this 7.5-hour full day tour, travel the picturesque US Hwy 101 through quaint beach towns, stopping in Cannon Beach, Ecola State Park, and Oswald West State Park.


  • Savor Cannon Beach Wine & Culinary Festival – March
  • Spring Whale Watch at Ecola State Park – March
  • Easter Egg Hunt at Sea Ranch Stables – April
  • Spring Unveiling Arts Festival – May
  • North Coast Culinary Fest – May
  • Annual Sandcastle Contest – June
  • Independence Day Parade – July
  • Earth and Ocean Arts Festival – September
  • Annual Fall Festival – September
  • Annual Dog Show on the Beach – October
  • Stormy Weather Arts Festival – November
  • Holiday Lamp Lighting – December
  • Winter Whale Watch – December


As someone who loves exploring the outdoors and finds beauty in natural landscapes, I can confidently say that Cannon Beach is 100% worth visiting!

Cannon Beach, one of Oregon’s more popular coastal cities, is best known for its forested bluffs, towering rock formation, and miles of wide, picturesque beaches. In fact, Cannon Beach has even been named one of “America’s Best Beaches” by both TripAdvisor and U.S. News Travel!

The Cannon Beach area has so many picturesque views, outdoor recreational opportunities, and wildlife viewing opportunities, that it really is a great destination perfect for all ages, no matter if you’re traveling alone, as a couple, or even with the whole family. Especially if you all have an appreciation for beaches and enjoy being in the outdoors!

If you’re on the fence about visiting this laid-back little town, just go. You’ll be glad you did.

Cannon Beach Oregon Day Trip


Cannon Beach, similar to a lot of the Pacific Northwest, is the nicest between July and September.

This is when the weather is the warmest and most dry. It’s no surprise that this is the season when most tourists and Oregonians flock to the coast.

If sunny skies and warm weather are what you’re after, the best time to visit Cannon Beach and the rest of the Oregon Coast is from July through September.

Between October to May, the pace of the coast changes dramatically. Winter in Cannon Beach is when the town is most authentic and relaxed. You’ll get to experience the roaring sounds of the ocean, stormy nights, and best of all–fewer crowds.

Looking for the best travel deals? During the fall, winter, and spring seasons, it’s easier to get a table in the more popular restaurants and you’ll find reduced rates on ocean-view rooms.

Having said that, traveling outside of the high season means some businesses and restaurants will have limited operating hours, so check schedules in advance, especially if you plan to dine out or visit some specific shops.

If we had to pick the best of the best time to visit Cannon Beach, we’d recommend the summertime. It’s great for people like us who can’t do the cold or rain!


There are several ways to get to Cannon Beach, OR depending on your starting location and preferences. Here are some of the most common ways to get there:

By Car

The easiest and most convenient way to get to Cannon Beach is to drive there in your own car or rental.

Having your own car allows you to explore not just the downtown area and beaches of Cannon Beach, but also ALL the picturesque state parks are neighboring towns nearby!

Cannon Beach is located about 80 miles west of Portland, OR — and this is where most out-of-state travelers are likely coming from.

To get there from Portland: take Highway 26 west from Portland until you reach the coast, then head north on Highway 101 until you reach Cannon Beach. If you’re coming from the south, take Highway 101 north from Newport or Lincoln City.

Visiting from Seattle? From Seattle, follow I-5 south to Longview, take Highway 30 west to Astoria, and then continue 25 miles south on Highway 101.

By Bus

Northwest Point provides a twice-daily bus service from Portland to Cannon Beach, with tickets available through Greyhound and Amtrak. The ride takes just under 2 hours.

By Plane

The closest airport to Cannon Beach is Portland International Airport (PDX), which is about 80 miles east of Cannon Beach.

From there, you can rent a car or take a bus to get to Cannon Beach. We recommend renting a car!

Need a rental car for your trip? To find cheap rental cars, I recommend using Rentalcars.com. Their search tool is one of the best I’ve found!


  • Check the weather before your trip. If the sun is shining all day great. If there’s wind, fog, or rain in the forecast, make sure you take note of that and pack appropriately.
  • Dress in layers and bring a rain jacket. North Pacific Coast beaches are often windy, so it’s always a good idea to pack a windbreaker and dress in layers. By dressing for the weather, your beach walks don’t have to be cut short by a passing shower. A hooded, waterproof rain jacket is a staple for locals on the Oregon Coast.
  • Don’t forget the sunscreen–even if it’s cloudy out. The UV rays are powerful even if you don’t feel the sun directly on your skin.
  • Check the tide calendar and plan your trips to the beach accordingly. You can visit the tide pools at Haystack Rock only at low tide.
  • Whale-watching season runs from March to June. Each spring, Gray Whales migrate north along the Oregon Coast. The peak of the migration is from mid-March to mid-April, but whales are often spotted throughout June as well.
  • Tufted Puffin watching season runs from April to July. They can easily be spotted nesting on Haystack Rock!


License and registration | This is a no-brainer, but always good to check you have all documents before it’s too late and you get too far away from home. Do NOT leave home without them. They are road trip essentials!

Spare Tire | In addition to carrying a spare tire with you, don’t forget to check your current tire conditions before you set off as well.

Jumper Cables / Car Jump Starter | A must-have for any road trip! If you’re looking to invest in something exponentially more powerful/convenient than simple jumper cables, get the NOCO Boost HD Car Battery Jump Starter Box. This tool was sent from heaven and serves as a car jump starter, portable power bank, LED flashlight, and 12-volt portable power–all in one!

iOttie car mount | This is my partner in crime on any road trip. It’s got an amazing grip and popping your phone in and out of the mount could not be easier. If you’re renting a rental car and you’re not sure if it has a navigation screen, bring a phone mount with you. The iOttie attaches by suction, so it’s easy to transport from car to car.

Roadside Emergency Kit | You never know what kind of car trouble you may encounter on the road. This convenient little kit contains 42 roadside emergency components, including jumper cables, an aluminum flashlight and batteries, 2-in-1 screwdriver, duct tape, poncho, cable ties, bandages, towelettes, and zipper-lock bags.

Trunk Organizer | With any road trip comes lots and lots of stuff to pack. Keep your road trip essentials organized with a trunk organizer. Not only will this make it so much easier to find what you need, but it will also lead to more space in your trunk for you to pack other necessities.

Portable Cooler | Coolers are a must for any road trip. Not only will you be able to keep beverages cold and refreshing, but you will also be able to keep perishables fresh. A portable hard cooler will allow you to pack picnic lunches, bring cheese and jams, and more.

Are dogs allowed on Cannon Beach?

Dogs are allowed on the beach so long as they are on a leash OR under voice command of their owner. During our stay at Cannon Beach, we saw lots of dogs running around and having fun with each other!

Can you camp on Cannon Beach?

Unfortunately, camping on Cannon Beach is not allowed.

You can camp at nearby places like Sea Ranch Resort, Wright’s For Camping, or Circle Creek RV Park & Campground.

Can you drive on Cannon Beach?

While some Oregon beaches do allow vehicles to drive along the beach, this is not allowed on Cannon Beach.

Can you swim in Cannon Beach?

Yes, you can definitely swim in Cannon Beach! However do note–the Pacific Ocean can be really cold, especially on rainy/windy days during the colder seasons.

If you plan on being in the water for prolonged periods of time, it is recommended to use a wetsuit.

As you can see, there is a boatload of things to do in Cannon Beach as well as another boatload of things to do outside of Cannon Beach. The Oregon Coast is such a magical place to explore, so embrace your time there and safe travels to you!

Looking for more Oregon travel tips? Read more:

The Perfect Day Trip From Portland to The Northern Oregon Coast

17 Exciting Things To Do In Astoria, Oregon

9 Epic Weekend Road Trips From Portland, Oregon To Take This Year

The Perfect Central Oregon Coast Road Trip: 8 Fun Stops To Make

10 Stunning Waterfalls In Bend, Oregon

35+ Affordable, Unique, and Off The Beaten Path Things To Do in Portland

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Elle Leung

My name is Elle and I'm a travel blogger and adventurer based in California. I love helping people plan trips and create unique itineraries based on their interests and their budgets. I'm a huge fan of outdoor adventures and doing off-the-beaten-path things in my state (and all around the world too)!

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