If you are thinking of going on a vacation in Oregon, Cannon Beach offers many exciting opportunities for you. Named after a cannon that was discovered when it was washed ashore from the shipwrecked US Navy schooner, The Shark, Cannon Beach is a nine-mile stretch along the Pacific Ocean. Cannon Beach is probably the most popular beach resort town in Oregon.
A major attraction in Cannon Beach is Haystack Rock. Tide pools on the rock formations in Haystack Rock are many, and it is a nice scenic place to go and look at the many creatures swimming in the small pools. Haystack Rock is one of the most photographed formations at Cannon Beach, and perhaps even in the whole of Oregon.
Downtown Cannon Beach boasts many stores, galleries, restaurants, motels, and of course the city park. There are also pizza parlors, seafood restaurants, coffee houses and bars. Because Cannon Beach is small, it is easy to get around on foot or on a rented bicycle. Downtown Cannon Beach has something for everyone.
Located north of Cannon Beach is Ecola State Park where you can find a nice place to enjoy a picnic or simply take in the amazing view of Cannon Beach, Haystack Rock, and the Coast Range. The park has a small entry fee and has the basic amenities such as restrooms, picnic tables and parking. Ecola State Park offers several nice hiking trails through the coastal rainforest leading to many spectacular views of coastal points.
One of the more famous views in Ecola State Park is of Tillamook Rock Lighthouse, also called “Terrible Tilly”. Tillamook Rock Lighthouse is a small lighthouse built in 1879 on a rock in the breakers when some engineers decided that they needed a lighthouse here. The location was so harsh and dangerous that none of the locals would work on the construction. The engineers had to recruit outsiders to come in and work while keeping them away from the locals to prevent the locals from telling the workers the dangers of the area. The construction was difficult and one storm was so big it washed away most of the workers’ tools and food and kept them trapped on the rock for 16 days; wet, cold and disheartened. The project was eventually finished and “Terrible Tilly” was a functioning lighthouse. Being a lighthouse keeper at “Terrible Tilly” was a very hard job with violent storms and wind along with isolation and cramped quarters. Rumor has it that many of the keepers went mad.
In 1957, a violent tempest raged in the sea and pounded “Terrible Tilly” causing flooding, structural damage and destroying the fog light. After this, the lighthouse was retired. In 1980, a group purchased the lighthouse and made it in to a columbarium where families could store deceased relatives’ ashes, in 1999, they lost their license. Now, the lighthouse sits vacant, out in the sea, looking like a spooky ghost house.
Cannon Beach is a favorite vacation spot for many people. It is a short drive from the Portland area and offers a welcoming change from the hustle and bustle of city life. Last, but not least, Cannon Beach has one of the best views of the sunset over the Pacific Ocean.