My wife and I have been going to Cannon Beach, OR since 1989 when my company that I was working for at the time moved us out here. While that job didn’t pan out, it did get us to the Seattle area where we’ve lived since then.
Cannon Beach holds a special place for us. It’s where we made the decision while walking on the beach that we would pull up stakes from Michigan and it was also the place we decided that rather accept a position to move to Cleveland, OH, we took a buyout and stayed. A decision that neither of us has ever regretted.
Our latest excursion to Cannon Beach was over my birthday weekend. We stayed at the Tolovana Inn which in my mind, is one of the best places in Cannon Beach to stay. If you are thinking of going, I suggest requesting either building three or four. Building three gives you the best view of the fantastic sunsets and it’s our favorite.
As for the town of Cannon Beach, we can tell that it has worked very hard to stay a small beach town. That being said, there are a lot of cool, funky shops as well as some great art galleries and of course, one amazing jewelry store, The Golden Whale in the heart of downtown. Both my wife and I have purchased some amazing pieces of jewelry. In fact, we purchased a gold wedding band for me (my third) as the first one I had broke beyond repair and the second one is somewhere in the walls of my home after some renovation was done.
We always stop at the Cannon Beach Book Company where we always find great reads. I am currently reading a science fiction novel called “The Three-Body Problem” written by Cixin Liu, one of China’s most beloved science fiction authors. Where else but in a book store would you find something like this? Would you find it doing a search on the Internet? Doubtful which tells me bookstores are still a wonderful place to find books to take you on a journey to anywhere you wish.
There are any number of restaurants you can choose from, depending on what you feel like having. From The Bistro Restaurant and Bar that evokes a French country inn to Bill’s Tavern and Brewhouse that makes their own beer. One of my favorites is the 2×4 stout. They sell growlers so be sure to grab some to take home. And if you are staying at the Tolovana Inn, you can walk to the Warren House Pub which serves Bill’s brews and has some tasty food as well.
The real find of our last few trips to Cannon Beach is the Cannon Beach Distillery. Established in 2012, owner Mike Selberg has distilled some of the best tasting dark rums and agave (which tequila is made from) that I have ever had the pleasure of tasting.
Also distilled are gins and single-release whiskeys. I am not a fan of gin but the tasting I had of their Lost Buoy gin was excellent.
As for the whiskeys, while I have not yet had the pleasure of tasting them, from what I understand, when they do these single-releases, they have people line up prior to opening to purchase. One of these days, we’ll get down there when they do have a release and find out just how good these whiskeys are. They release these whiskeys about every 2-4 months.
One of our all-time favorite wine shops is Laurel’s Cannon Beach Wine Shop. Laurel makes all her own wines and runs the shop. She is very knowledgeable and loves to discuss just about anything with you. And let me tell you, she has never steered us wrong on what wines to pair with what foods we have. If you can, pick up a bottle of her Pinot Noir. It’s one of the best on the planet as far as we are concerned.
And of course the best attraction of all is Cannon Beach itself. It’s a place you can spend a day walking up and down and see all kinds of wildlife from puffins on Haystack Rock along with various small sea life to sandpipers flitting with the waves or flying just above the sand at some amazing speeds. If your lucky, you can see some gray whales off the shore during migrating season. For all the years we’ve been going there, we’ve only seen one small pod come thru.
Or you can people watch or what we like to do, dog watch. We have seen many breeds of dogs and all have one thing in common: They are overjoyed being at the beach…well, with the exception of one English bull dog. My wife put his expression in the perfect light when she interpreted it while he (or she) was looking at the water: “Yeah, it’s the ocean…makes me want to pee. Can we go now?” We must have laughed a good 15 minutes watching that bull dog.
The town of Cannon Beach is very-dog friendly. In fact, many shop owners have bowls of water for thirsty dogs and if your dog thrives on pets, many people (including ourselves) love to have a moment of fur therapy with your member of the family.
And of course, at night, you can build a bonfire on the beach, bring a bottle of wine from Laurel’s or some agave from the Cannon Beach Distillery and watch the sun go down and see the stars come up.
For us, the Cannon Beach area is a place of peace, a place that recharges our soul and allows us to reflect on the past and look toward the future.
If you go, we can only hope it does the same for you.