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These Great Experiences are Reasons You’ll Love a Spring Getaway to Cannon Beach


Cannon Beach is a great destination any time of year, but there are some truly remarkable experiences that only a spring visit offers. On a spring visit, you not only avoid the summertime crowds, but you’ll be able to watch for our colorful Tufted Puffins, see a cute bunny or two, explore freshly exposed tidepools, attend a special event, and maybe catch a spouting whale.

Freshest tidepools of the year

Spring low tides may be the best time to see the colorful life in our tidepools. The season offers increasingly low tides, exposing some intertidal areas that have been primarily underwater for months. Winter storms and heavy surf often scours sand from intertidal areas making tidepool creatures their most visible. At locations like Haystack Rock, Lion Rock at Arcadia Beach, and the rocks at Silver Point, look for sea stars, hermit crabs, darting sculpins, green anemones, and many more exciting creatures. Keep your eye out for colorful sea slugs known as nudibranchs. Visit during one of spring’s minus tides for best viewing.

Spot a spout

Gray Whales begin their annual northward migration in March, but the spring migration is leisurely for the whales as they linger to feed or lead their newborn calves slowing along the coastline past Cannon Beach. They are frequently observed through late spring. Keep your eye out for spouts whenever you have an elevated ocean view. Ecola State Park, the dunes along the beach, and almost any upper-floor beachfront hotel room are good locations to spot a spout.

Welcome back our puffins

Tufted Puffins return to nest on Haystack Rock each April, offering the most accessible place in the Pacific Northwest to see these colorful birds. The puffins have become a star in Cannon Beach, and their annual return is a celebrated event. Spring is also an excellent time for observing other seabirds like the thousands of Common Murres that return to nest in crowded colonies, shoulder to shoulder on the bare top of near-shore rocks. Bring your binoculars and focus on Haystack Rock and Bird Rocks off Chapman Point in the north end of Cannon Beach for the most spectacular seabird displays. While looking, you’ll also likely spot nesting cormorants, gulls, Pigeon Guillemots, and Black Oystercatchers.

Escape the crowds

Although spring break weeks see an increase in visitors, spring is a great time to visit without summer crowds. It may be the most beautiful time of the year to experience the Oregon Coast we love, showers, dramatic skies, and all. Bring your rain gear, so the weather doesn’t slow you down, and you may experience the time of your life as the landscape bursts with endless shades of green and nature show off all its glory.

Discover fun springtime events

Plan to visit during an event weekend to truly immerse yourself in the creative culture of our little beach town. Visit our event calendar for a list of currently scheduled events. In previous years, spring events included: Get Lit at the Beach, Spring Unveiling Arts Festival, North Coast Culinary Fest, Cannon Beach Fat Bike Festival, and Cannon Beach Sandcastle Contest. Keep an eye on those event pages for 2021 updates.