Famous for Haystack Rock towering 235 feet from the edge of the shoreline, long sandy stretches of beach and beautiful State Parks nearby, Cannon Beach offers an exceptional Oregon Coast experience only 90 minutes from Portland. A walk along the beach is a visual treat, with ever-changing vistas of ocean, mountains and rugged coastal outcroppings including Haystack Rock, a National Wildlife Refuge where visitors will discover colorful tide pools and nesting seabirds including Tufted Puffins. Just minutes from downtown Cannon Beach is Ecola State Park, perched dramatically on the edge of a headland and offering panoramic coastal views, easy walking paths to scenic picnic areas and extensive hiking trails.
The picturesque small-town village by the sea is easily walkable and visitors can explore meandering pathways, enjoy public art and courtyards spilling over with flowers. Known as one of the Northwest’s top art towns, Cannon Beach is filled with art galleries, specialty shops, cafes and fine dining restaurants. Visitors can watch glassblowers at work in their studio or attend year-round live theater performances. A wide selection of luxurious oceanfront lodgings overlook this remarkable stretch of coastline, putting visitors just steps from scenic wonders and minutes from outstanding recreation areas and exceptional Oregon Coast sightseeing.
The beauty of Cannon Beach has not gone unnoticed. Featured in Stephen Leatherman’s book, America’s Best Beaches, Cannon Beach was rated Best Overall Beach in the state of Oregon. It was named one of America’s Best 100 Art Towns by author John Villani and National Geographic listed Cannon Beach as “one of the world’s 100 most beautiful places” in their June 2013 issue.
Major annual events include the Northwest’s longest running sandcastle contest; arts festivals including the Stormy Weather Arts Festival, Spring Unveiling and Plein Air & More; a yoga festival and the Savor Cannon Beach Wine & Culinary Festival.
Tillamook Rock Lighthouse
West of Tillamook Head, this lighthouse was constructed on top of a rock 1.2 miles seaward off Tillamook Head in 1881. The construction of this particular lighthouse was thought to be incredibly risky, but its five workers beat the odds. Because this lighthouse was built on a rock, it is not accessible to the public. However, visitors can easily see it and a beautiful view of the surrounding ocean from Ecola State Park and Seaside. This lighthouse stands 133 feet above sea level with 62-foot-high tower on basalt rock islet. Exposure to storm waves led to the nickname "Terrible Tilly." It was replaced by a whistle buoy in 1957 and is the only privately owned Oregon coast lighthouse on the National Registry of Historic Places; now used as a columbarium, a storage place for ashes of the deceased.
Coaster Theatre Playhouse
The Coaster Theatre Playhouse has been a vibrant part of the artistic community in Cannon Beach since 1972. From its early beginnings as the Coaster Roller Rink in the 1920’s, this historic site operated as a skating rink through the 1950’s. In 1972 the building was purchased by Maurie Clark, a Portland patron of the arts and the Coaster Theatre was founded. The Coaster Theatre’s inaugural season brought the PSU Summer Stock Company to Cannon Beach and the first Dicken’s Play that began a memorable holiday tradition and remains a wonderful theatrical experience years later. In 2001 the theatre became a not-for-profit organization and each year the Coaster Theatre Playhouse produces 5 plays and 2 musicals in addition to special events selected to entertain all visitors to the Oregon coast.
Cannon Beach Vacation Rentals
Enjoy the comfort and luxury of your own beach home for a weekend or a week or two; with over 65 professionally managed vacation rentals, Cannon Beach Vacation Rentals has a home to make your holiday easy-going and worry-free. Our concierge level service begins with discovering your needs and fulfilling them, from pet-friendly cabins to glamorous homes for entertaining. With fully equipped kitchens, entertainment and dining areas, you'll love the choices your own beach home offers, from cooking up your catch of the day to cozying up in front of a fire. Walk to the beach, town and forest and take advantage of all the coast has to offer! Browse the CBVR selection on our website or call our friendly team of locals to plan the vacation you'll always remember!
Schooner's Cove Inn
Discover a unique oceanfront inn just steps from the sand in the heart of downtown Cannon Beach. Enjoy amazing oceanfront views, decks, gas fireplaces, kitchens, free Wi-Fi, beachfront lawn with barbecues, and hot tub. You’ll love the ideal location on the beach, and in the center of town where you can walk to wonderful restaurants, shops, galleries and coffee houses.
Cannon Beach Sandcastle Contest
Master artists create monumental sculptures that are washed away by the next high tide at the Cannon Beach Sandcastle Contest, now more than a 50-year tradition in Cannon Beach. It’s the oldest competition of its kind in the Pacific Northwest and the most popular event in this Oregon Coast town. Dozens of teams of professional sand sculpture artists, amateur groups and families will construct remarkable creations in the sand during the event which will celebrate its 52nd year in 2016. The Masters division teams compete for cash prizes and construct large, elaborate creations, often utilizing construction forms similar to those used for pouring concrete in order to accomplish their monumental size.
Although the sand sculpture contest on Saturday is the highlight of the weekend, visitors will find plenty of other activities to keep them busy. Weekend activities include a dinner, parade, concert, beach bonfire and a 5K fun run and walk.
The Cannon Beach Sandcastle Contest was recognized as an Oregon Heritage Tradition by the Oregon Parks & Recreation Department, making it one of just 11 events statewide to achieve such a designation. Make lodging reservations early for this popular weekend as hotels typically sell out all rooms in advance.
For more information on the Cannon Beach Sandcastle Contest or on how to participate, contact the Cannon Beach Chamber of Commerce at (503) 436-2623 or visit cannonbeach.org.
8th Annual Plein Air & More Art Festival
To celebrate the challenging artistic style of painting "en plain air" and the work of the artists, the Cannon Beach Gallery Group is presenting the 8th Annual Plein Air & More festival. The event will feature nearly 50 artists creating art on location throughout the town and on the beach Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Visitors will be able to watch them work, and all of the galleries will also be hosting receptions. During the week leading up to the event, several nationally recognized artists will also be conducting workshops.