Typically, our vision of a vacation to Cannon Beach includes kite flying, ice cream licking, beach walking, and forest trekking — all of which are best enjoyed in the spring and summer when the weather is nicer. But there are plenty of warm, indoor things to enjoy at Cannon Beach throughout the winter months — and, let’s face it, there are less people to deal with.
Let’s look at a few activities to do in Cannon Beach throughout the winter, whether you enjoy drinking a craft beer or walking on the wild side in the middle of a storm, whether you live just down the road or across the state.
1. Attend a Wine Tasting
On a chilly day, curl up at the bar with a glass of red wine, preferably pinot noir, the grape that placed the Willamette Valley on the map for wine enthusiasts all over the world. The Wine Shack, The Wine Bar at Sweet Basil’s Cafe, and Laurel’s Wine Shop are just a few of the town’s charming wine stores and wine bars where you may sample some of the region’s greatest wines.
2. Spend some time at a coffee shop.
Winter is the ideal time to spend an afternoon at a coffee shop with a book or a laptop — or none of the above if you’re meeting a friend or significant other for a coffee date. Sleepy Monk, Sea Level Bakery + Coffee, and Insomnia Coffee are just a few of our favorites among the many charming coffee shops in Cannon Beach. Warm lighting, wood seats, comfortable cushions, and, of course, superb coffee make Sleepy Monk extremely inviting.
3. Take a Whale Watching Trip
Gray whales are the most frequent variety of whale spotted off the coast of Oregon. The best time to observe them is during their twice-yearly journey from Mexico to Alaska. If you saw the whales migrate up to Alaska in March, you’ll see them again in December through mid-January as they make for the warmer seas of Mexico. During this spectacular migration, almost 20,000 whales pass through Cannon Beach. Ecola State Park is one of the greatest spots to view this phenomena!
4. Pay a Visit to a Couple of Art Galleries
Cannon Beach is well-known for its outstanding art galleries and vibrant cultural scene. Check out these 12 Must-See Art Galleries in Cannon Beach, along with an interactive map to help you plan your trip. Bundle up and travel to and from each of these stunning galleries, which each provide a welcome respite from the cold and a wealth of great art to appreciate, most of it made by outstanding local artists!
5. Enjoy the Holidays!
Each year, the community looks forward to Haystack Holidays, which is one of several yearly festivities. WOW! Cannon Beach, Mimosa Madness, the downtown Lamp Lighting Ceremony, photos with Santa, Holiday Foods Around the World, the Winter Holiday Concert, and more will help you kick off the holiday season in November and December.
6. Take a Seat at the Irish Table for Dinner
While Cannon Beach has several excellent restaurants, we can’t conceive of a more quiet, intimate getaway than the Irish Table. The Irish Table is a warm and pleasant cafe with a particular emphasis, tucked beneath the famed Sleepy Monk Coffee Roasters. Chef and owner Crystal Corbin’s daily menus include handmade soup, soda bread, and fresh seafood, fusing Pacific Northwest cuisine with Irish taste. This intimate café, which is only open for evening, is decorated with wood paneling, soft lighting, and rustic touches. The Irish Table’s variety of Irish whiskey, beer, and homemade cocktails round out the experience.
7. Visit the Coaster Theatre to see a play
The historic Coaster Theatre, located in the center of Cannon Beach, offers tickets to plays and musicals. The theatre, which was formerly home to a skating rink in the 1920s and beyond, has been a neighborhood fixture for the arts since 1972. Take a peek at the upcoming events calendar to see what’s up. There isn’t a poor seat in the house in our small and intimate theater!
8. Try a Different Brewery
Warm up with a seasonal brew from one of the town’s two breweries, which both launched in 2016. Even on a dark day, Pelican Brewing’s lofty ceilings and wide windows bring in plenty of natural light, creating a cheery atmosphere. Pilsners, light lagers, blonde and pale ales, IPAs, porters, stouts, saisons, and more are among the beers produced by this small-batch brewery. Public Coast Brewing Co. is a contemporary and energetic brewery with a fantastic assortment of beers located in the northern part of town. The term alludes to the fact that the whole Oregon coast is still free and available to the public. Similarly, Public Coast creates great and accessible artisan beer. Take a seat at the wrap-around bar and look out the brewery windows to see how beer is brewed.
9. Experience a winter storm
A winter storm in the Pacific is worth seeing – as long as you approach with prudence. There are lots of secure vantage locations, including a few resorts along the coast, where you can take in the strong wind, rain, and waves. Consider arranging a room to have a front-row seat to one of these spectacular storms.
10. Visit the Ecola State Park
Throughout the summer, Roosevelt Elk are few and far between, but during the rest of the year, they are considerably more visible and active – particularly if you know where to look. These magnificent elk are often seen in herds of ten or more, with some reaching ten feet in length and weighing over 1,000 pounds. To see these strong animals, go to Ecola State Park’s meadows, the border of Ecola Creek, City Park, or the Highway 101 Sunset Boulevard Exit, particularly during their most active hours of dawn and twilight.
11. Embrace the cold and go for a stroll on the beach.
Although colder temperatures and less sunlight may not be the most appealing combination for luring you to the beach, it can be a particularly lovely setting if you wrap up in lots of warm clothing. Fall and winter at Cannon Beach are substantially less busy tourist seasons, resulting in significantly less people on the beach. Take a walk to Haystack Rock with a cup of coffee in hand, and watch the massive waves smash on the coast while breathing in the cold fresh air.
12. Visit the Ecola State Park bonus tips
Ecola State Park, just to the right of Cannon Beach, is must-see. The state park’s approach road twists and turns through an old-growth forest before arriving to one of the state’s most famous vistas. The park, which spans for 9 miles down the coast, is ideal for surfing, hiking, animal viewing, tourism, and tidal pool exploration.
From Cannon Beach to Seaside, the Tillamook Head National Recreation Trail runs virtually the whole length of the park! It’s about 12 miles long and will take you through a beautiful rainforest, over headlands and rocky outcroppings, and even past “Terrible Tilly” or Tillamook Lighthouse, a lonely, abandoned lighthouse offshore formerly famed for its treacherous commute.
One of the finest things to do in Astoria is visit Ecola State Park, which overlooks Cannon Beach and has a beautiful view of the beach and rock islands. The Clatsop Loop trek is slightly over three miles long and has some of the nicest vistas in the region. Indian Beach is the place to go if you have a surfboard and want to catch a wave. The waves are quite regular and seldom crowded here. Summer is the finest season for surfing in this area.
Look for marine life in the tide pools while you’re at Indian Beach, and keep an eye out for eagles, elk, and even migrating gray whales throughout the winter and spring months.
13. Visit the Hug Point
Hug Point State Recreation Site is a sight to see. Imagine deep-sea tunnels etched into the sandstone, as well as a seasonal cascade cascading down the cliff of this difficult stretch of shore. Despite its tiny size, the region is densely packed with natural beauty.
Hug Point is located between Manzanita and Cannon Beach and was formerly a stagecoach route that traveled down the beach prior to the construction of the freeway. Hug Point offers a misty view of people strolling on a beach in the distance, surrounded by big rocks. One of the nicest things to do near Cannon Beach is to go to Hug Point.
Walking along the beach and admiring the beautiful cliffs is the major pastime here. There are several beautiful marine tunnels and unique rock structures to explore. In the distance, you should be able to see Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach. It’s just about a half-mile one way, so it’s not too taxing.
14. Visit the Oswald West State Park
Oswald West State Park stretches about four miles along the Oregon coast. With miles of paths winding through deep, temperate rainforest, spectacular vistas of the Pacific Ocean, and quiet sandy beaches, the park has it all.
There are a few day-use picnic spots, and some of the state’s biggest Sitka spruces may be found in the old-growth coastal forest. This huge gem is unquestionably one of Oregon’s most spectacular coastal state parks, and a must-see for visitors visiting Cannon Beach.
Beachgoers, hikers, and surfers flock to the park, which offers a variety of outdoor activities. The Oregon Coast Trail snakes its way through the park for 13 miles, finishing in the town of Manzanita. The park also includes the two big coastline features of Cape Falcon and Neahkahnie Mountain, which provide excellent hiking opportunities.
15. Hike to Cape Falcon
When it comes to activities to do in Cannon Beach, the Cape Falcon trek is probably one of the most gorgeous on the Oregon Coast. The cape is located in Oswald West State Park, and the route starts near the parking lot’ northernmost end, however it may be accessible from anywhere in the park.
At the end of the Cape Falcon walk in Cannon Beach, an aerial picture of a rocky headland with the ocean in the backdrop. One of the nicest things to do in Cannon Beach is hike the Cape Falcon route.
It’s a doable trek, measuring about 2 miles one way and passing through a coastal forest of Sitka spruce with plenty of views of the Pacific Ocean via gaps in the trees. The route is well-kept, and the muddy portions are covered by boardwalks. If you seek out the vista, which will spread out before you across a protected marine reserve, it is difficult to get lost. You may turn around and return the way you came after you’ve taken everything in.
If you choose to continue hiking, you may continue north on a track that will lead you 6.5 miles to Arch Cape Creek after you reach the summit of Cape Falcon.
16. Beach with Short Sand
Short Sand Beach, a popular surfing site in the vicinity, is another spectacular beach in the neighborhood. The beach is located in a secluded cove surrounded by dense woodland and cliffs of volcanic basalt and sandstone.
Despite its location in a cove, this beach is often visited by surfers and boogie boarders. The cove shields it from the worst of the weather, and the waves are quite steady. The waves are clean and break on sandbars all around the beach.
Short Sand Beach in Oregon offers a variety of water activities. Even if surfing isn’t your thing, the beach is still a lovely spot to visit and a fun activity in Cannon Beach. Go skimboarding, boogie boarding, kite flying, or paddle boarding. It’s a short walk through the woods from the main parking area at Oswald West State Park.
Walk down the route, following Short Sand Creek’s twists through the woodland until you reach a picnic place with a view of the ocean. If you’re feeling adventurous, you may access the modest climb to the end of Cape Falcon from the beach.
Focus on these things and go ahead to get the best experience as you spend your winter at the Cannon Beach. You will fall in love with the overall experience it offers.