My daughter, granddaughter and great-grandson were here from Chicago last week to celebrate family birthdays and we spent a few days at the Oregon coast. We are real beach lovers and head to Cannon Beach every chance we get. It isn’t unusual to get a couple of good weather weeks in February and we hit it just right…blue skies and no wind. Haystack Rock is one of Oregon’s most famous landmarks and is second only to Multnomah Falls in the Columbia River Gorge as Oregon’s most visited location.
Cannon Beach is a very small town with typical touristy shops, a candy store where you can watch salt water taffy being made on a machine that is almost 100 years old, and a generous number of excellent little restaurants and cafes. The halibut fish and chips at Bill’s Tavern are the best on the coast. It looks deserted because it’s a week day in February. In the summer it can be difficult to walk down the crowded streets.
Beach walking is a favorite pastime here. Even at high tide the beach is wide, flat and long. When the season is right you can see hundreds of people digging razor clams along this stretch of beach.
My children and I used to dream of having a house here, but Cannon Beach has become one of Oregon’s high rent districts and we are content to visit as often as we can. Wouldn’t you just LOVE to have one of these gorgeous beach homes. I make myself feel better about not having one by imagining what the property taxes must be!
We do have a great place to stay a half block from the main street of the town and just a few feet from the sand.
The beach is 50 feet from the deck’s of the comfortable rooms. When my children were small I could sit on the deck and watch them play on the grass in front of the apartment or sit on the bench along the wall and see them playing in the sand. Those days are some of our most precious memories.
Oregon coast seafood is as good as it gets from little ready made cocktails to fish and shellfish right off the boats.
A piece of smoked salmon, some crackers and a nice bottle of Oregon white wine are a perfect late afternoon snack.
It isn’t unusual to find stores closed several days a week during the winter months. Locals walk the beach in any weather but tourists like the warmer and drier months from April through October.
If you drive north up Highway 101 just a few miles from Cannon Beach you will find the old historically important towns of Seaside and Astoria. They are the locations of the end of the Oregon Trail and the site of Lewis and Clark’s last encampments after an 18 month, 4,000 mile journey from St. Louis to the Oregon coast. Learn more about this amazing part of American history here.
I hope you will visit our wonderful state someday and have the chance to walk along the beach at sunset. It’s an experience you won’t forget.