Cannon Beach is located in Clatsop County on the Northern Oregon Coast. Cannon Beach was named after a small, iron cannon that came ashore from a shipwrecked U.S. Navy schooner, "The Shark.
Although incorporated in 1955, the Native residents of what is now known as Cannon Beach were visited by William Clark as early as 1806. The area has also been known as Ecola (from the Salish "E cu-la" meaning whale) and Elk Creek.
Cannon Beach is recognized by its well-known landmark, Haystack Rock, located to the southwest of downtown Cannon Beach, near Tolovana Park. This igneous rock has an elevation of 235 feet, and is often accessible at low tide, especially in the summertime. There is a small cave system that penetrates the rock and can be seen from the coastline. The rock is also protected as a marine sanctuary, Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge. Near Haystack Rock are the Needles, two tall rocks rising straight out of the water.
Downtown Cannon Beach is filled with small businesses. Chain stores such as Safeway and McDonald's have been discouraged from building in Cannon Beach in order to preserve the local economy and small town feel. A wooden whale commemorating the encounter between Clark, his companions and the Native Americans sits in a small park at the northern end of Hemlock Street.
Cannon Beach, a popular vacation resort, extends for four miles along the Pacific Ocean. The downtown commercial area is approximately four blocks on the north end of Hemlock Street - the main street thru town. It is adorned with bright flowers and lots of places to stop and sit. South of "downtown," is the area known as "midtown." The far south end is known as Tolovana Park.
The arts are emphasized in Cannon Beach, and some of the best crafts, shopping and galleries on the coast are located here. The city is planned for strolling, and many visitors take advantage of this to visit the quaint bookstores, shops and bistros. Strict planning regulations have helped Cannon Beach keep its earth toned, rustic look.
Stroll along the 9 mile stretch of beach, fly a kite, watch the sea creatures in the tidepools, or take pictures of famous Haystack Rock. Relaxing on the beach is part of the Cannon Beach experience. The tidepools in the Marine Garden are dynamic areas rich with marine life such as seastars, anemones, crabs, algae, and many others. Collecting is strictly prohibited and it is crucial to be aware and use extreme caution while walking in these areas. The marine life in and around the Marine Garden is very vulnerable to human disturbance.
For Cannon Beach events, festivals, live entertainment and happenings go to our Oregon Coast Calendar.