11 Things You Should Do at Cannon Beach, Oregon


Cannon Beach is one the most beautiful stretches of Oregon Coast. The iconic Haystack Rock, which frames the coastline of Cannon Beach, is the most well-known landmark. There are many other amazing things to do in Cannon Beach or the surrounding areas. You can explore the many art galleries, restaurants and beaches in the town. We spent a few days exploring Cannon Beach, the surrounding area, and we have compiled this list of the top things to do in Cannon Beach.

11 Things You Should Do in Cannon Beach

These are our favorite stops along the Oregon Coast Road Trip, and some of the top things to do in Cannon Beach.

Cannon Beach and Haystack Rock

Haystack Rock, which rises majestically over the sprawling sands of Cannon Beach, is the symbol for Cannon Beach. This rock, which is 235 feet high, is one of the most photographed sights on the Oregon Coast. It is also a National Wildlife Refuge. At low tide, the colourful tidepools are filled with starfish, crabs, and urchins. The rock also has a variety of birdlife, including Brown Pelicans, Tufted Puffins and Bald Eagles.

Take in the views on a hike in Ecola State Park

Ecola State Park is located just north of Cannon Beach’s sands. It is one of Oregon’s most stunning state parks. This park runs 9 miles from Cannon Beach to Seaside.

Ecola State Park offers great hiking trails. The Oregon Coast Trail (OCT), runs through the park from north to south. Ecola State Park can be used for one day ($5 for a pass).

Indian Beach is located in Ecola State Park. It has Haystack Rock and Tillamook Rock Lighthouse. This rugged stretch is perfect for a walk or just to enjoy the views.

The Clatsop Loop Trail, a 2.5-mile trail that starts at Indian Beach, is one of the most visited trails in Ecola State park. The route winds through the forest and along the coast, offering beautiful views. You can enjoy spectacular views of the Tillamook Lighthouse off the coast from the coastal views on the trail.

Stroll the Prom and Beach in Seaside

Seaside, a historic beach town located 10 minutes north of Cannon Beach, is a great spot to visit if your looking for retro vibes. You can stroll along the beautiful waterfront promenade known as the Prom or along miles of sandy beaches, and then visit the arcade to ride the carousel, enjoy some ice cream at Sea Star or Zingers. Beautiful beach. Seaside has many things to offer for families who are looking for a great day out.

Check out the Goonies Filming Locations

Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach has been featured in numerous movies and books over the years. The Goonies and Kindergarten Cop are just a few of the most well-known movies that were shot on the beach. Cannon Beach was where the Fratelli car chase ended in the Goonies.

Haystack Rock isn’t the only location for filming. In fact, there are hundreds of films and tv programs that have been shot in Oregon. There is even an Oregon Film Trail!

Ecola State Park is nearby, as well as Astoria on the Oregon Coast. You should make time to visit the Goonies Filming locations in and around Cannon Beach if you’re a Goonies lover.

Shopping at Cannon Beach

Cannon Beach is full of quirky shops, art galleries, and great places for food and drink. You can easily spend hours exploring the area.

Icefire Glassworks is one of the most unusual galleries. They make handcrafted blown glass ornaments as well as art pieces.

Another favorite is the Pelican Brewing Co. They have a flagship location at Cannon Beach. We also love their spot at Cape Kiwanda. The food and drinks are fantastic and their clam chowder one of the best in Oregon Coast. Cannon Beach Distillery is another popular shop. This artisan distillery produces high-quality spirits and has a tasting area on-site.

6 | Arcadia Beach

Arcadia Beach, located just one mile from Cannon Beach, is another beautiful stretch on the Oregon Coast. It is a nice alternative to Cannon Beach, which can be quite busy.

Arcadia Beach can be best explored at low tide. You can walk to Hug Point’s tide pools and explore the area around Lion Rock. Some parts of the beach are not accessible due to higher tides.

Whale Watching

Cannon Beach is a great place to spot grey whales, as they migrate between Alaska and Mexico. There are approximately 20,000 gray whales that pass by the shores of Cannon Beach during migrations. You can spot the whales from the shoreline two times a year, mid-December to mid January and mid-March through mid-April.

Whale watching is a popular activity on the Oregon Coast. Whale watchers are stationed at 20 points along the coast to help visitors spot whales.

  • The best spot to watch whales is at the viewpoints along Ecola State Park.
  • Hug Point State Recreation Site
  • Hug Point is a stunning beach with a seasonal waterfall.

Hug Point was named originally because 19th-century stagecoaches used Hug Point to traverse the area. They had to hug the rocks at low tide to get through. The parking area has a waterfall that cascades onto the beach’s north side. This is particularly impressive after a rainstorm.

Tillamook Rock Lighthouse

One of the most well-known lighthouses on the Oregon coast is the abandoned Tillamook Rock Lighthouse, which lies between Seaside and Cannon Beach. Tillamook Rock Lighthouse, also known as “Terrible Tilly” due to its difficulty in construction and the many workers who died while making it, was decommissioned in 1957. Since its demise, the building has been in various hands and is now part the Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge.

From the Ecola State Park coast, you can see Tillamook Rock at its best. Two routes can be taken to reach the viewpoints. The Clatsop loop trail, which is shorter and more direct, can be accessed from Ecola State Park’s Indian Beach day-use area. The hike is 3 miles round and offers stunning views of the coast and forest. Alternative routes include the Tillamook Head Trail, a moderately difficult hike of 6 miles that begins just south from Seaside.

Devil’s Cauldron, Oswald West State Park

Oswald West State Park can be found just 15 minutes south of Cannon Beach. It is home to beautiful hiking trails as well as a gorgeous, private beach called Short Sands Beach. The Devil’s Cauldron overlook is located here.

Oswald State Park has a beautiful half-mile trail that runs through the forest to Short Sand beach. It offers great views of Elk Flats and Devil’s Cauldron. Surfers love Short Sands beach because of the consistent waves that break off it.

The Cape Falcon Trail is the most popular, with great views of Smugglers cove and Short Sand Beach. It is Oswald West State Park. It is approximately 4.5 miles from Cape Falcon to the trailhead.

Devils Cauldron, a small cove in which the powerful Pacific Ocean waves crash into cliff walls, can be seen from Oswald West State Park’s overlook.

Visit Astoria

Astoria, another beautiful Oregon coast town is located at the mouth the Columbia River and is just a short drive north of Cannon Beach.

Astoria’s highlights include the Astoria Column, which is 125 feet tall and towers above the city. Its exterior also illustrates important events in Oregon’s history. Downtown Astoria has a mix of historic buildings and independent stores as well as local breweries. And the Astoria-Megler Bridge, which connects Oregon with Washington.

Astoria is also known for appearing in many movies over the years. One of the most well-known being The Goonies, which was released in 1980.