One of our staff is returning to her home overseas soon and she mentioned the scenic places along the West Coast that she’d still like to discover before her departure. Cannon Beach, Oregon quickly came to my mind and after telling her about it, I wanted to blog about this gem – it’s picturesque and relaxing…a place I’d highly recommend for a family, romantic or personal retreat. Since my first vist there in 2006, I’ve enjoyed returning several times.
WHERE TO STAY
Cannon Beach (CB) lodging and food can be rather expensive. If you’re on a budget, some hotels offer a price break if you stay for 3+ nights. But, if you avoid busy times (May - September, weekends and long weekends) and are willing to risk it, you could arrive at CB later in the day, drop in to a few hotels and get better rates than if you’d booked on-line. I did this during a trip last year and was offered an excellent rate. I checked out the rooms at numerous excellent hotels and the ones I’d particularly recommend are The Ocean Lodge, Inn at Cannon Beach as well as the ultra-deluxe, award-winning Stephanie Inn. If you’re looking for less expensive lodgings, try motels and hotels in neighboring Seaside. You might also want to try out a vacation rental through vrbo.com. There may be a 2-night minimum stay but otherwise, you’ll cut costs, be able to cook your own meals, have more space and live like a local. These are my favorite lodgings:
Surfsand Resort (photo at right) - The staff here are professional and friendly, the rooms and facilities are clean and well-maintained, the
side view of Cannon Beach from my room was absolutely mesmerizing, the rooms have great amenities, the decor is unique, the fitness facilities and swimming pool were a real joy to work out in, and there were delicious complimentary snacks…they really made my stay a special one.
Gearhart Ocean Inn (photo at left)- Situated in a quiet residential area of the nearby town of Gearhart, this small, lovely New England-style inn is a short walk to the ocean. The grounds are well maintained, and rooms are clean and nicely decorated. They offer free beach cruiser bikes, well-stocked kitchenettes, free WiFi, and an extensive free DVD library. Book early because this place is popular!
WHAT TO DO
Anyone I know who’s been to CB has commented that unless you’re into outdoorsy pursuits, options for things to do can be limited. CB is a wonderful place to rest and enjoy nature. Go for long walks along the nine mile stretch of beach…morning, noon and at sundown. Haystack Rock (as seen in the top photo), located right on the beach, is a fascinating geological wonder that you won’t want to miss. Although I haven’t visited the nearby Ecola State Park (photo at right), I see from TripAdvisor.ca that 400+ travellers gave it top marks. Dozens of travellers also highly recommend Oswald West State Park and Hug Point State Park. As for shopping, there are a few shops and galleries in the town of CB as well as the small Seaside Outlet Mall in the neighboring town of Seaside.
WHERE TO DINE
When I travel, I keep costs down by buying meals at a supermarket. It’s a great opportunity to rub elbows with residents and try out local fare. There’s a Fred Meyer grocery store in Warrenton – about a thirty minute drive north of CB. But if you’re looking for great restaurants, from my research, the following offer excellent culinary experiences: Castaway’s ‘Tini Tiki Hut, Lazy Susan Cafe, Irish Table, Stephanie Inn Dining Room and Newman’s at 988. For coffee lovers, the Sleepy Monk is top-rated. If you’re a foodie, you’ll enjoy the highly entertaining “Watch & Learn, Wine & Dine” program at the popular EVOO Cannon Beach Cooking School.
WHAT TO PACK
Weather at the beach doesn’t usually get really hot and can be windy, so in the summer, be sure to pack long pants, a sweater and light jacket. For the rest of the year, take a warm coat and if you get cold easily, mitts, a toque and a scarf as well. You might also want to pack an Eagle Creek Packable Daypack. (photo at upper left), Violight travel toothbrush (photo at upper right) and one thing I never travel without: Cloudz Cozy Travel Slippers.
Enjoy this Pacific jewel!