Cannon Beach, the Oregon Coast town that’s easiest to reach from Portland, is one of the region’s most popular tourist towns. It is, however, not only that accessibility that makes it so attractive. This is a town filled with attractions, from nature parks and a close-to-perfect beach to craft breweries and a plethora of shops. It makes for the perfect destination for a weekend getaway from Oregon’s largest city. It’s also a not-to-miss stop when driving U.S. Route 101, also known as Pacific Coast Scenic Byway. If you’re wondering how to spend a weekend in Cannon Beach, we’ll provide a fun-filled itinerary in this post.
You could get to Cannon Beach either on Friday evening or Saturday morning. Either way, we’ll start this weekend in Cannon Beach itinerary on Saturday morning with some physical exercise, followed by a Sunday of laid back fun in town.
Saturday – Hikes, views and beers
After arriving in Cannon Beach, I recommend that you head straight to Ecola State Park. You’ll finish off the day with a couple of craft beers as a reward.
Morning: Ecola State Park
One of the most accessible and most visited state parks on the Oregon Coast, Ecola State Park boasts epic views, great little hikes and lots of beach-side activity. Located on a stretch of coastline between Cannon Beach and Seaside, it makes for perfect start to your weekend in Cannon Beach.
There are a number of hiking trails in the park, including
an 8-mile section of the superb Oregon Coast Trail. A great trail that I
suggest you do in the morning is the 2.5-mile historic Clatsop Loop Trail,
which retraces the footsteps of the Corps of Discovery led by William Clark in
This fun trail takes in a great view of the Tillamook Rock
Lighthouse, located on a lonely rock way out into the ocean, as well as a few
amazing viewpoints from Tillamook Head. In fact, when Clark himself reached one
of the viewpoints, he famously described the landscape as “the grandest and
most pleasing prospects which my eyes have ever surveyed.”
The Clatsop Trail starts above Indian Beach, one of the most
well-known Ecola State Park beaches.
Afternoon: Indian Beach
After your hike, head down to Indian Beach for a lunchtime
picnic and more scenic beauty. This is a super-popular spot among sunbathers,
fishermen and surfers alike.
If it’s low tide, there are numerous tide pools to explore,
while you should also keep out eyes on the ocean and the sky. It’s not unusual
to see gray whales and bald eagles here. If you’re very lucky, you might even
spot a herd of majestic Roosevelt elk.
Spend a couple of hours at Indian Beach and head back
through the park to Ecola Point, which is arguably the most famous vista on the
entire Oregon Coast. You can head there straight away upon arriving in the park,
but I suggest saving it for last. The view of the coast, Crescent Beach and
Cannon Beach in the distance is sensational in the late-afternoon.
Evening: Craft Beers
When you’ve soaked up those stunning coastal views and
enjoyed a magnificent sunset, head (back) into town for some well-deserved food
and beers. It wouldn’t be an Oregon town if Cannon Beach didn’t have a couple
of craft breweries!
Even though it’s a town of only about 1,750 residents, Cannon Beach has three breweries (along with many other dining and drinking venues). The oldest brewpub in town is Bill’s Tavern & Brewhouse, while Pelican Brewing Company and Public Coast Brewing are younger members of the local beer scene.
I personally love the vibe at Public Coast Brewing most, but
you are, of course, free to visit all three of them!
Sunday – Shopping, beach time and food
After an active Saturday, continue your weekend in Cannon
Beach with some much-deserved relaxation on Sunday. Today, you’ll stay in the
town, explore its charming boutiques, waterfront and restaurants.
A plethora of shops line the streets of downtown Cannon
Beach. Ranging from home décor stores to souvenir shops, jewelry and clothing
stores, and bookshops, they make for a fun morning of strolling and browsing.
Grab some breakfast and a cup of coffee to go and spend a few hours meandering
through this charming and bustling coastal town.
Afternoon: Time on the beach
After lunch, it’s time to hit the beach! Nearly four miles of sandy beach separates Cannon Beach from the Pacific Ocean, running from Chapman Point to Silver Point. In the middle of it all stands Haystack Rock, an iconic 235-foot-high sea stack flanked by smaller rock formations, such as The Needles.
There are plenty of beach access points all over town. So,
head down for a fun-filled afternoon of tide pool watching, sunbathing, sunset
strolling and twilight beach bonfires—they are allowed!
Few people will disagree when I say that the best way to end a weekend in Cannon Beach with a seafood dinner. This is the coast, after all, and fresh fish and seafood is brought in every single day. There are several seafood restaurants in Cannon Beach. Check out The Wayfarer Restaurant and Lounge, Driftwood Restaurant and Lounge, or Castaways Restaurant & Tiki Bar.