Cannon Beach, Oregon, USA

Leben in Cannon Beach, Oregon

Iyna Bort Caruso

Locals boast that Cannon Beach has some of the best views of the Oregon coast. Even the explorer William Clark was smitten. In what is now a state park on the fringes of Cannon Beach, the co-leader of the Lewis and Clark Expedition wrote in his journal in 1806: “From this point I beheld the grandest and most pleasing prospects which my eyes ever surveyed.”

Of the dramatic coastal formations, none is more cherished than Haystack Rock, a 235-foot sea stack that’s home to colonies of tufted puffins and other birds. One local artist painted Haystack Rock every day for a year.

Cannon Beach extends for four miles along the northern Oregon coast, a prime getaway spot for Portlanders. Folks flock to its sandy beaches for bathing by day and bonfires at night. It is a quintessential beach town and one of the Pacific Northwest’s top art towns with a bounty of galleries, public art, live theater, an annual tour of classic cottages and festivals of all kinds. Downtown is easily explored on foot. You won’t find chains stores or chain restaurants here. Planning guidelines are strict, which has also prevented Cannon Beach from overdevelopment.

The city was named after a cannon that drifted ashore from a shipwrecked U.S. navy schooner in 1846. (The cannon is now part of the local history center’s collection).

It would be another half century before a stretch of road would be constructed. Once built it didn’t take long for stagecoaches full of tourists to arrive.

Some have called artsy and elegant Cannon Beach the “Carmel of the Oregon Coast.”

It has a year-round population under 2,000. However, its summer population swells with visitors by the hundreds of thousands and with vacation home owners, many from Portland just 80 miles west and Seattle 200 miles north.

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