A May 1999 trip
to Cannon Beach by Elli Metz
Quote: An introspective traveller and beachcomber's guide to Cannon Beach, Oregon.
Aside from the natural beauty, there are boardwalk-style shops, small places to take in the atmosphere, and lots of things to do. If you're going to be along the Oregon Coastal region, make sure Cannon Beach is one of your stops.
That said, if you're going to be in one region of the town, walking in the salt air will wreak havok on your hair and make you taste salt on your lips for hours afterward, but it's such a part of the beach experience. No motorized vehicles or wheeled vehicles of any kind are allowed on the beaches themselves -- leave your bikes, skateboards, and rollerblades at the hotel.
Similar in style to the rest of Cannon Beach, Harrison Street stands out with its extra room features. Wood stoves. Stained glass. Everything is wood inside from the furniture to the paneling. Decks and balconies with ocean views. Full kitchens.
It''s like a home away from home, with a better view and higher rent.
Located in the dead center of town, almost nothing is out of walking distance. The beach, the stores at the north end of Hemlock, the smaller shops up the hill. You can get anywhere by foot, though it is sometimes more convenient and tempting to stay in when the accomodations are this nice.
A note of caution: every room is smoking and pet free -- if you''re a smoker, you''ll be required to do it outside, and your pets will have to stay elsewhere. Other than those restrictions, the only rule is to have a relaxing time while staying here.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 19, 2001
Harrison Street Inn
987 S Hemlock Street
Cannon Beach, Oregon 97110
The sign outside advertises sandwiches and fresh breads, and although it seemed like a sideline, we went in on our first trip to CB.
Not only is it a first-class bakery, with specialty breads and confections to replenish even the most beach-weary travelers, it also shares a building with an art gallery -- so there's plenty to do while you wait for your sandwiches. They're of an average price (as opposed to the cost of the breads, which is competitively low), probably around $5 - $6, which isn't bad for beach food.
The variety is what makes this place so irresistable. Albacore white tuna and capers on a baguette. Brie and grilled garlic on marbled rolls. Not much meat, and a whole lot of flavor. Truly an amazing menu. They will bag your sandwiches up and let you take them back on the beach with you, or you can sit indoors or out to soak up the sun while you dine.
My one complaint is that, at times, customers have to wait an inordinate amount of time for service. It's happened to me on two successive trips, and although I can understand a bad day, twice starts to indicate a trend or a lack of customer focused employees. This isn't enough to keep me away, mind you, but it's enough for me to hesitate just a moment before recommending this at one hundred percent.
Overall, it's an amazing part of the Cannon Beach experience, and if you can get service, I can't see you being any less than satisfied.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 19, 2001
Cannon Beach Bakery
144 North Hemlock
Cannon Beach, Oregon 97110
At low tide, there are incredible, clear tidal pools filled with plant and animal life waiting to be discovered. You can also climb over some rather large rocks to get onto Haystack Rock itself, provided that it's not Puffin mating season -- during those times, since the Puffin is protected in Cannon Beach, you won't be able to go onto the rock itself. (The Puffin, by the way, is a bird that looks a lot like a penguin, but flies. You'll see a lot of them in Cannon Beach.)
One note of caution: Know the tide schedule. Almost anywhere in town has a Cannon Beach Gazette, and you'll want to look up those tables before you head out onto the rock. If the tide comes in -- and it does so very rapidly -- you could be stranded on the rock with very deep, very fast, pounding waves all around you. The Coast Guard has to be called quite often to rescue poor stranded souls.
It is a very popular location among pacific northwesterners, I'm warning you now. This means that finding alone-time during the low-tide hours of the summer is nearly impossible. I know from experience that there is no way to get a full sketch of anything in a tidepool done without several people of varying ages interrupting to ask what you're doing, or to comment on your work. People are friendly to a fault, which is both a good and bad thing, depending on your activity.
The majority of the beach is also protected from the removal of objects. Don't head here if you're looking to collect sand dollars or shells -- you won't find any, and if you -do-, you're not allowed by law to take them with you when you leave. They are strict about this, and although most of the beach patrols won't give you a $500 ticket, they are allowed to -- and might if you cop an attitude.
The sea rolls in here with an overwhelming roar. Despite the crowds, it is one of the most beautiful places in Oregon to watch the sunset -- and there's a local legend that says that as the sun dips finally over the Pacific, there is a flash of green. Photographers have tried to catch it -- whether they have or not, I'm unaware. It's still wonderful to watch.
Two other monoliths share the surrounding area, neither is accessible, even at low tide.
This is possibly my favorite place along the Oregonian coast. At the whopping cost of free, you can't find any better than this.
Cannon Beach, Oregon
Attraction | "Center Diamond - Fabric for the Fearless"
Up a set of wooden stairs, this misleadingly small shop utilizes all of its space, keeping bolt after bolt of fabric in groups by color. I'm not a quilter, myself, but I do make a lot of fabric-covered books, and spend a lot of time in fabric stores as a result -- Center Diamond is one of the few well-organized, well-stocked, and friendly-staffed shops of its kind.
If you happen to be in the area for more than a few days, CD offers classes, including beginner's classes, and block exchanges -- where you give them a piece of your work to display in the store and they give you one of someone else's. They have a brisk mail trade, and have been able to supply me with fabrics I can't find elsewhere with a quick phone call.
This is one of those specialty shops that you'll come back for. The fabric may be available elsewhere, but the attitude of the employees is exceptional -- relaxed and friendly.
1065 East Hemlock Street
Cannon Beach, Oregon 97110
We happened upon the Cannon Beach Book Company on accident. We got lost looking for a beach enterance, and found instead this wonderful little section of the town that houses this store.
Like the other retail locations in town, it's a clapboard building with an open door and large windows to take in the view. The Book Company is two levels (separated by only a step) of books with soul. The people who work there are also owners in some cases, and do not hesitate to take a moment out of whatever they are doing to find out what you like to recommend something that fits your tastes. They publish a newsletter that feels like a letter from a friend -- a very enthusiastic letter that makes you want to run right out and buy the books they review.
I bought my favorite book of all time from this store. Sandi, the girl behind the counter, happened to see it out the corner of her eye while taking me to a section of other books she thought I'd like as beach reading, and ended up giving me a discount on it to get me to try it.
Now -that- is personalized service.
It's located just off the beach. If you're sunning yourself or you're tired of the beach culture, head on in and find a book to distract and entertain yourself. You'll be glad you did.
Cannon Beach Book Company
130 North Hemlock Street
Cannon Beach, Oregon 97110