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Weekend Trip to Cannon Beach at the Oregon Coast

Updated: Jun 10

Cannon beach is one of those classic pacific northwest experiences. You get everything from lush rainforests, rivers, vast coastlines, and rugged cliffsides. It's stunning and it should absolutely be on your list of places to visit!

Where to Stay

You can stay in seaside for a cheaper hotel. I've stayed at the Hi-Tide Oceanfront inn before on my move across country and felt safe during my solo trip! It was a quick walk to the beach as well. You can also stay at one of the fancier spas in the town, this was a really fun girls trip!

Camping is also a cheaper and accessible alternative to hotels. You'll likely want reservations for peak summer, but we were at Nehalem bay the first weekend in May and there were over 20+ sites available first-come, first-serve. I've stayed a few times at Fort Stevens Campground; they have hot showers and it's a huge site with drive-up access to the beach. It's not very secluded, but the spots felt more private than Nehalem bay campground. I think surfers prefer Nehalem bay as we saw lots of wetsuits and surfboards on top of camper vans there. Both campsites have showers which is great.

Cannon Beach - Haystack Rock

Cannon beach is a must to visit. You can wake up early and go see the tidal pools, starfish, etc. or you can head out midday to tan, or catch a colorful west coast sunset in the evening with a bonfire on the beach. Expect to see lots of dogs running off-leash, but don't worry there's a lot of space here, the beach area is really wide and there's plenty of room for everyone.

Experiment with all angles and times of days for photography here, it's truly stunning, i love watching the birds fly around Haystack rock!

Tidal Pools

If you don't mind letting the moon influence the time you're at the beach, then be sure to review the tidal schedule and look for when the tide is at it's lowest. It'll show in feet, and you can just see what times are lower. This is the best way to see anemone, starfish, etc. and it's one of my favorite activities to do on the west coast! Crescent Beach and Short Sand beach also have tidal pools.


The super popular Ecola state park is always at the top of most lists! If you don't want to hike there are plenty of short ones you can do to see the beach. Short Sand Beach, as the name suggests, is very short, not even a mile. You'll get to walk along a beautiful mossy flowing river that takes you to a beachy cove where surfers are catching the waves. It's a great place for kids and to have a picnic! If you want more adventure, God's thumb is a popular choice.

Pro-tip: if you have a camping reservation at one of the sites i mentioned earlier, that will serve as your day-use pass for parking and you can save the parking fee for Ecola state park trailheads!

Top hikes:

  1. Short Sand Beach Trail

  2. Indian Beach Trail via Ecola State Park

  3. South Neahkahnie Mountain Trail

  4. Cape Falcon Trail

  5. God's Thumb

Visit the Tillamook Factory

I was camping along the oregon coast recently and we had some unfortunate weather where it downpoured, pretty aggressively, everyday of our weekend trip. We headed to Tillamook to escape the rain. If you love ice cream or cheese, this is a must-see stop!

The factory is huge, there's no entry fee to visit, and you can get lots of scoops at a great price! We had the tillamook- exclusive marionberry ice cream and it was so insanely delicious. The grilled cheese was just okay. The factory had some adorable gifts too though, highly recommend. For 3 scoops of ice cream it was only $9, which is so good!

Downtown Cannon Beach

There are so many cute boutique stores and places to explore while you're in the town! I just like wandering and seeing where it takes me. Sleepy Monk Coffee Roasters had a line everyday we were there and i snagged some espresso beans to bring home from there too!

  1. Bring cash! There are still a few places that are cash-only. My friend and I got in a sticky situation when we ate at a cafe and didn't have cash to pay.

  2. Plan to do some shopping while you're here! Oregon doesn't have sales tax which is always a nice bonus!

  3. If you want to avoid crowds at Cannon beach, try to go early or later in the evening. It's also really windy (almost every time i've been) so pack a windbreaker and some layers so it can be a more pleasant experience!


Hi! I'm Jackie and my dog is Sora. I work remote as an engineer, but I love to spend my free time in nature and by traveling to new places. I take my camera wherever I go, and sometimes my drone.

Somewhere With Sora is a Seattle-based lifestyle and travel blog that provides helpful travel and adventure tips for all kinds of trips, with or without the dogs.

Let me help you plan your next trip!

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