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Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Day 2: Cannon Beach and Haystack Rock

Cannon Beach and Haystack Rock, Oregon
Cannon Beach and Haystack Rock, Oregon
Oh Cannon Beach.  You beautiful thing you.  

Cannon Beach was a last minute add on for the trip, and a chance to skirt around the beaches of the Pacific Northwest.  Originally, I was going to cut right across from Portland straight to the coast and start in Tillamook.  After talking with Tyler, long term resident of Oregon and surfer of the coast, he recommended we start a little further North to see the beautiful (and popular) sights of Astoria and Cannon Beach.  I am so glad we added on this little "excursion" as it brought me to this beautiful spot, Cannon Beach. 

Horses at Cannon Beach and Haystack Rock, Oregon

In 2013, National Geographic magazine listed Cannon Beach as one of the 100 Most Beautiful Places in the World. Remember my morning on this beach, and looking back at the pictures of the wide flat sandy beaches with layers of mountains and hillsides in the background, with sea stacks and monolith's towering out of the water, it is so easy to see why. This beautiful beach is nine miles long, but what makes it so unique is how wide and flat this sandy beach really is.  You can walk the beach, run the beach, ride your horse down to the beach and even bike on the wide expanses of hard packed sand that is Cannon Beach.  People flying kites, bikers skirting around, dogs running up the beach, people taking pictures (and lots of selfies) and kids playing in the sand is the typical scene at Cannon Beach.  
Cannon Beach and Haystack Rock, Oregon

Not only is this beach one of the most beautiful places in the world, but it is also one of the most photographed views along the Oregon Coast. And let's not forget, the famous backdrop in the movie, The Goonies.  I even face timed one of my best friends on the beach in front of Haystack Rock to confirm its "Goonieness". 

Cannon Beach and Haystack Rock, Oregon

Haystack Rock is the third largest coastal monolith in the world and is designated as a National Wilderness Area. Haystack Rock sits at the edge of the shoreline at 235 feet high.  The area below the rock is a rocky tide pool referred to as a Marine Garden. Here, visitors will discover colorful tide pools full of various critters, including nesting seabirds (Tufted Puffins!). 

Cannon Beach and Haystack Rock, Oregon

If you are like me, you have probably gotten this far into the post and wondered how this beautiful spot got its famous name.  Cannon Beach was named for a cannon that was discovered on the beach in the 1800's. In 1846, the U.S. Navy schooner Shark was wrecked while trying to leave the Columbia River. A large piece of the schooner's deck with a cannon and capstan attached washed up on the beach, and the town's name is based on this event.

No cannons today, just a touristy paradise with beautiful beaches and the most quaint little artsy town.

Cannon Beach and Haystack Rock, Oregon

This little town reminded me of somewhere back East, a little town on the Cape maybe, or a little section of Nantucket (well, what I imagine Nantucket to look like at least, I still need to go).  This picturesque small-town "village by the sea" is easily walkable with sidewalks, cross walks, and enough Starbucks to keep any West Coaster happy.  Visitors to Cannon Beach can explore  the many pathways, enjoy public art, museums, and have lunch in the many courtyards. 

Cannon Beach is known as one of the Northwest’s top art towns with it's many art galleries, adorable shops, cafes and fine dining restaurants. 
And of course, it wins another award as one of America's Best 100 Art Towns. 

Cannon Beach and Haystack Rock, Oregon

If you are planning a trip to the Oregon coast, do as the tourists do and stop at Cannon Beach to take an iconic picture in front of Haystack Rock.  Before continuing down the coast, stop in one of the many art galleries, grab a coffee at a nearby cafe, and enjoy the simple and rustic charm of this section of the Oregon Coast.  

1 comment :

  1. I love beaches, but still haven't been able to find one worth going despite living in a coastal city. I'm sure that after reading your experience, many people would be tempted to visit the beach at least once.


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