Seeing the Sights
National Geographic Magazine named Cannon Beach “one of The World’s 100 Most Beautiful Places” in their June 2013 issue. That comes as no surprise to those who have experienced the miles of scenic sandy beaches with dramatic shoreline rock formations like Haystack Rock. Cannon Beach offers the perfect setting for a refreshing stroll, a warm gathering around a beach fire or exploring the Oregon Coast’s remarkable natural areas. There are dozens of public beach accesses that offer passage to this scenic wonderland. In addition to the unbeatable view from the beach, Cannon Beach offers easy access to several great viewpoints and natural areas, like nearby Ecola State Park with its unforgettable vistas, to enjoy the stunning scenery of the Oregon Coast.
Just steps from downtown Cannon Beach are breathtakingly beautiful beaches, and just a few minutes away are some of the best viewpoints and natural areas on the Oregon Coast. You'll encounter dramatic rock formations, stunning beaches, lush rainforest, waterfalls and unforgettable State Parks. Here are some of the don't-miss spots for great sightseeing during your Cannon Beach visit:
The Beach & Haystack Rock
Nearly four miles of sandy beach stretch out north and south of downtown Cannon Beach with Oregon's iconic Haystack Rock sitting approximately midway on this scenic paradise. Venture further and you'll find more beaches and dramatic rock formations that have made the Oregon Coast famous for its dramatic landscapes.
Ecola State Park
Just minutes from downtown Cannon Beach, Ecola State Park tops the not-to-be-missed list of viewpoints and recreation areas. A $5 State Parks day-use fee is required for parking and it’s the best bargain of any attraction on the Oregon Coast.
Located just two miles south of Cannon Beach is a picnic area and beach access at the Arcadia Beach State Recreation Site. The beach features rock formations and tidepools. Walk north to Silver Point or about a mile south to Hug Point.
About three miles south of Cannon Beach is Hug Point State Recreation Area. Hug Point features beach access and, at lower tides, you can walk north just around the point where you will find sea caves, a small waterfall and the remains of the old roadway that once hugged the cliff side. The roadway is one of the rare remnants from when the beach was the main thoroughfare before the construction of the Coast Highway. When tides allow, you can walk south from Hug Point a mile or more to the beach at Arch Cape.
Oswald West State Park
About ten minutes south of Cannon Beach, you enter Oswald West State Park. The park encompasses nearly 2,500 acres with several miles of hiking trails, including an easy trail to the beautiful cove of Short Sand Beach and sky-high scenic ocean viewpoints from highway turnouts on the edge of Neahkahnie Mountain. The main Oswald West State Park parking area offers easy access to shady picnic areas and walking paths.
Small Beach Town Charm
While the scenic surroundings are the number one attraction, Cannon Beach also offers the quintessential small beach town experience on the Oregon Coast. Wander the picturesque sidewalks and courtyards of downtown Cannon Beach to discover art galleries, specialty shops, restaurants and public art. Cannon Beach is easy and enjoyable to explore on foot.