Cannon Beach: home to the iconic Haystack Rock, and one of our nation’s most spectacular shores. It’s two hours from Portland, and you should be there right now.
Along with these pretty pictures comes the sad story of how I royally ruined a to-be camping trip by not making campsite reservations in advance. What was going to be a sunset on the beach and s’mores roasting over beach-side driftwood became, instead, a late-night rush to find a motel because there was no (legal) place to pitch a tent. After getting the boot by one Wright’s for Camping, which had promised to hold us a last-minute spot (do not go there), the lady and I decided to call it and were lucky enough to snag a discount rate at the McBee Cottages, where we slept soundly just a block from the beach. Bonus: they are pet friendly if your furry friend is taking a weekend trip with you!
Pro tip: finding a place to camp on the North end of the coast is hard! Most of the campsites that are actually on the beach are closed due to the dangers of old-growth trees falling down and injuring campers. We had planned to stay at Nehalem Bay, and then tried Camp Lookout after driving up to a full campground. No such luck. Everything was full, save for the RV parks–yeah, not happening. Take my word for it and make your reservations.
Nevertheless, waking up right in Cannon Beach was a surprise treat for these campers who were ready to rough it, and we spent the rest of the day exploring this and Smuggler’s Cove (located in Oswald West State Park, just a bit south of Cannon Beach), which has a plethora of hiking trails surrounding the beach. It might just be my favorite west coast sun spot. Here, take a look!