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Tips for Visiting During the Busy Summer Season

Summer is the busiest season in Cannon Beach where for several weeks, particularly in July and August, traffic, crowds, parking and limited availability at hotels and restaurants can make visiting a challenge. Although our most savvy visitors have learned that the other seasons of the year offer the most authentic and enjoyable Cannon Beach experience, summer remains the most popular. If your plans include a summer visit, here are some tips to help you make the most of your visit and avoid the possible frustrations. 

Make hotel reservations in advance

During the busiest weeks of the year, there are often few to zero options for staying in Cannon Beach. If you’re planning on staying, make sure you have reservations well in advance of your visit. The bonus of staying in one of our lodging properties is that you will have parking and most of Cannon Beach is easily walkable.

Avoid weekend day-trips or plan to arrive early

During the summer, a day-trip to Cannon Beach can be frustrating, especially midday on weekends when you can expect to spend more time in traffic and looking for parking than enjoying our town and beach. If you are planning to day-trip to Cannon Beach, plan to arrive as early as possible to find parking and avoid traffic that can slow to a crawl downtown and on both Highway 26 and Highway 101 leading into town. 

Find a parking spot early

Parking can be challenging during this time of year and the best places to find a spot are usually the larger lots. Arrive early and know where the most likely parking is before you arrive to avoid getting stuck in traffic. Best bets include the lots downtown along Spruce Street; just east of the Information Center along 2nd Street; in midtown at Hemlock and Gower; and at the Tolovana Wayside. To avoid parking tickets, make sure to park legally and if questions arise, look for one of the friendly Cannon Beach Police bike patrols for help.

Once you’re parked, make the most of our walkable town

Plan to leave your vehicle at the hotel or your chosen parking spot if at all possible and take advantage of the fact that Cannon Beach is easy to traverse on foot. Bring everything you need for the day with you to avoid having to return to your car. If walking is not a good option for you, plan to utilize the local shuttle. Cost to ride is only $1 and route schedules can be found here: nworegontransit.org

Tips to avoid crowded beaches and restaurants

For less-crowded beaches, check out areas away from downtown and Haystack Rock. Chapman Point to the north and spots south of the Tolovana Wayside often have less foot traffic. Beaches at Arcadia Beach and Hug Point State Recreation Sites, a short drive just south of town, are limited by the available parking, so plan to arrive at those early. Restaurants can also be crowded, so consider dining during off-peak times. Our local markets can also be a great source for everything you need for a picnic. Dinner reservations are a must at our most popular restaurants during most of the summer.

Of course, the best solution to avoiding summer frustrations is to avoid the biggest crowds and visit during the other seasons of the year when Cannon Beach offers the ultimate in authentic Oregon Coast experiences.