Look for Cannon Beach on a map of Oregon and you’ll find its not only the name of a stunning stretch of west coast shoreline, but also a city in Clatsop County. Named one of the world’s most beautiful places by none other than National Geographic (and they should know), Cannon Beach also featured in the last scene of the 1991 cult classic Point Break.
Face out from the soft sands and you’ll be met by the Pacific Ocean gently rolling in around Haystack Rock, a pinnacle that stands close enough to shore that it can be reached at low tide. Rising more than 200 feet (70 metres), it is a National Wildlife Refuge home to Tufted Puffins among other bird species.
But it’s also worth looking back to shore, where a successive series of vistas unfold. They begin with the flat yellow sands that stretch for several kilometres, and drift across to low dunes, then the city that shares its name, and finally the fairy-tale mountains covered in firs and other evergreen trees. Not far away waterfalls tumble onto the sands at Hug Point.
Cannon Beach took got its name in 1922 after a cannon lost by the schooner Shark was rediscovered. It now has pride of place in the local museum. Two more cannon were discovered as late as 2008.
A popular weekend getaway, Cannon Beach is just 90 minutes from Portland. Despite several public parking lots, its popularity means parking spaces can still be tricky to find.
- Kite surfing
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