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Cannon Beach, Oregon: Seaside Weekender

Exceptional shops, an animated arts scene, and a protected Marine Garden with ancient sea stacks distinguish this beach town from its north coast neighbors.

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  • Haystack Rock and shoreline at Oregon's Cannon Beach, picture
    Photo credit
    Photo: Joshua Meador/Tandem Stock
    Photo caption
    Haystack Rock in Cannon Beach, Oregon, stands sentinel over the beach.
  • ahi salad and cajun tater tots at Cannon Beach Hardware and Public House, picture
    Photo credit
    Photo: Don Frank
    Photo caption
    Savor seared ahi salad and Cajun tater tots at Cannon Beach Hardware and Public House.
  • Public Coast Brewing Co. interior with patron seated in all wood booths, picture
    Photo credit
    Photo: Don Frank
    Photo caption
    Public Coast Brewing Co. honors local beach culture with beer.
  • two kids look at kites on display at Once Upon a Breeze in Cannon Beach, picture
    Photo credit
    Photo: Don Frank
    Photo caption
    Joy is inspired by the shop Once Upon a Breeze.
  • quirky sculptures mounted on wall at Archimedes Gallery in Cannon Beach, picture
    Photo credit
    Photo: Don Frank
    Photo caption
    Quirky creatures populate the contemporary, serene Archimedes Gallery.

sights and events

Cannon Beach History Center and Museum Visit the restored cannon that gave the town its name, or investigate historic cottages and lovely gardens on the annual Cottage & Garden Tour, Sept. 10 and 11 this year. 1387 S. Spruce St. Coaster Theatre Playhouse The theater, which resides in a building that once housed the town’s roller rink, presents Don’t Dress for Dinner, a tale of marital foibles in a French farmhouse, Sept. 23–Oct. 22. 108 N. Hemlock St. NW Women’s Surf Camps The north coast hosts a plethora of cool, supportive day camps, surf weekenders, and classes targeted to beginners, especially (but not exclusively) women. Find the full schedule at nwwomenssurfcamps.com. Stormy Weather Arts Festival Plan ahead to celebrate rainy-season creativity with musical performances, a fashion show (with rain gear), and an art auction during the annual fest, held Nov. 4–6 this year at various locations.

shops

Archimedes Gallery Emerging artists and Pacific Northwest favorites show whimsical creations at this intimate, mural-bedecked gallery brimming with paintings and sculptures of primordial creatures. 139 W. Second St., Ste. 5. Cannon Beach Treasure Company Ancient coins, shipwreck bottles, a trove of sea glass, and other antiquities from lost civilizations are transformed into jewelry and conversation pieces. 148 N. Hemlock St. Found Home decor here features locally crafted works such as an exquisite stained glass panel and night-lights made from Japanese glass floats. 1287 S. Hemlock St. Once Upon a Breeze The oldest kite shop on the Oregon Coast shows its wares in a cute cottage storefront. Staffers also advise on techniques and mend broken kites. 240 N. Spruce St.

eats

Cannon Beach Bakery Early risers are treated to giant Danish, bear claws, and savory quiches. Take home Haystack cookies or bread, two specialties shaped like the area’s popular sight. 240 N. Hemlock St. Cannon Beach Hardware and Public House Known informally as the “Screw and Brew,” this pub adjoining a hardware store serves two needs: tastes and tools. Fortunately, dishes such as halibut sandwiches and seared ahi salad need no fixing. 1235 S. Hemlock St. Public Coast Brewing Co. A newly opened brewpub serves a dozen craft beers, the majority made within range of the handsome dining room. Dishes include locally sourced fish-and-chips, homemade sausages, and many gluten-free options. 264 Third St. Sweet Basil’s Café and The Wine Bar The good times roll at this cozy restaurant featuring a separate bar and live music. The chef’s New Orleans roots shine in sprightly versions of classics such as crawfish étouffée, vegetable-packed gumbo z’herbes, and seafood jambalaya with Northwest crab. 271 N. Hemlock St.

outdoors

Ecola State Park Get the best views of Terrible Tilly, a decommissioned lighthouse built on a rock over a mile out to sea, at this park amid the cliffs north of town, off Ecola Park Road. Portions of the route walked by Captain Clark wind through a Sitka spruce forest and along nine miles of coastline. Haystack Rock One of few protected Marine Gardens on the Oregon Coast, this 235- foot basalt sea stack is among the best-known landmarks in the state. Interpretive specialists in red clothing (volunteers with the Haystack Rock Awareness Program) conduct tours at low tide and help visitors spot nesting marine birds. Public parking at Gower Avenue and Hemlock Street. Hug Point State Recreation Site Discover a sheltered cove beach five miles south of town. At low tide, walk north to see a seasonal hidden waterfall and trace the tracks of the old stagecoach road that “hugs” the point. Keep an eye on the tide to avoid getting stranded. Beach access road off Highway 101.

This article was first published in September 2016. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.