Exploring Cannon Beach

Anyone who has seen pictures of the iconic Haystack Rock on the Oregon Coast is instantly drawn to its otherworldly beauty. We’ve seen pictures of this gigantic monolith for years, planning and planning that one day when we would get to visit. Well, one cold, blustery January day we ventured out of Portland, making the two-hour trek to our beloved Cannon Beach. Haystack Rock is situated right off the coast, easily accessible from the happy little town of Cannon Beach. The town is small but cozy. It’s filled with picturesque beachy houses and coffee shops. It was a beautiful clear day on the Oregon coast, so we took full advantage of the weather and passed the shops, heading straight for the beach. The long sandy beach is perfect for a stroll with camera in hand. We snapped lots of pictures, and ran our fingers through the chilled ocean water. We could have stayed on that beach forever, but our rumbling bellies reminded us that lunch was imminent.

We passed so many people carrying warm crepes that we had to find out where those sweet treats were from. Our next stop was Crepe Neptune , a little shop located in downtown Cannon Beach. We enjoyed a hearty tomato, chicken, and mozzarella crepe and walked through the streets, popping in bookshops, candy shops, coffee shops – all the shops. Now that our belly was full and settled, we decided a hike was necessary. We looked up the best coastal hikes in the area and settled on Ecola State Park, a breathtaking park just minutes from Cannon Beach.

Veering off from the main road, we began our ascent up the winding, narrow road to Ecola State Park. The rainforest along the coast is a deep green, filled with ferns and Sitka spruce trees. When we reached our destination, we were rewarded with a spectacular view of not only Haystack Rock, but an overview of Cannon Beach, where we could see the beach go on for miles and miles. An abandoned lighthouse sits out in the ocean as well. We took lots of pictures, hiked up one of the coastal trails, and saw yet another secluded beach. This beach is called Indian Beach – a beach even farther from the beaten path. It’s a beach that was perfect for photography because there was hardly anyone there. The low hanging mist added to the spectacle, making us want to stay longer, but the sun was sinking low in the sky. We gathered our things and headed back to the car. Our trip to Ecola concluded our day trip to Cannon Beach. As we drove out through the parks exit, the hazy sunset casting our car with warm hues through the trees, we decided that we had to return one day.

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