“The grandest and most pleasing prospects which my eyes ever surveyed, in front of a boundless Ocean.”
So wrote explorer William Clark, of Lewis and Clark fame, on his first view of what would later become Cannon Beach, Oregon.
Over two centuries later, the Cannon Beach landscape retains its ability to strike awe. The wide beach sparkles as the Pacific pours its lacy tide over its sands. Just off shore, rugged Haystack Rock rises dramatically from the ocean waters.
At its foot nestle magical tide pools filled with colorful creatures. Not far away, surfers and kayakers ride the waves. And on the beach’s soft sands, children fly kites and dogs romp with their owners.
Quiet streets are lined with Arts-and-Craft style or cedar-shingled saltbox-style homes. Homes range from cottages to specious properties with breathtaking views.
Residents of Cannon Beach enjoy:
Nestled between the Pacific’s ever-changing waters and the green-forested foothills of Oregon’s Coast Range, Cannon Beach’s charms are many. With a year-round population of just 1,670, its quaintness comes, in part, from its enthusiastic embrace of artists working in many media.
In fact, its old-time streets – ideal for leisurely strolling – are lined with galleries and antique shops. They flourish along side wine shops, microbrew pubs, bookstores and boutiques, making the town center perfect for whiling away the hours.
Instead of big-name box stores and fast-food chains, locally owned markets and restaurants thrive. Neighbors enjoy friendly competition for roles in the year-round community theater. Home to three museums, Cannon Beach also hosts a Fourth of July parade and annual sand-sculpture contest.
It’s not just its small-town charms, art and fine food that attract people to Cannon Beach. With its beach, four parks within city limits and another state park at its northern border, you’re never far from natural beauty.
The Cannon Beach Trail explores the Little Pompey Wetland and settling ponds, where you’ll find hundreds of fowl and water birds. Nearby trailheads lead to hikes culminating in spectacular views. With dozens of hikes to choose from, walkers of all ages and fitness levels can find the right degree of challenge.
And the 3.5-mile long beach, with its soft welcoming sands, is perfect for jogging, running with the dog, kite flying and exploring the marine wonderland.
Cannon Beach offers very good public schools. Younger children attend Cannon Beach Elementary School, part of the highly regarded Seaside School District, for grades K-5. Older students attend nearby Broadway Middle School and Seaside High School, a few minutes away in nearby Seaside.
With its walkable neighborhoods and intimate atmosphere, Cannon Beach offers an enviable quality of life. In Cannon Beach, people know and look out for one another. They pride themselves on volunteering to improve the community. Perhaps that’s why it’s among the safest communities in America.
Cannon Beach is located on the coast of the Pacific Ocean, about 80 miles west of Portland, and south of the Columbia River and Astoria.
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