On our way to Cannon Beach (right off the 101), we stopped at my favorite beach I have been to so far (like, in my life): Oswald West-Short Sand Beach Creek. And let me just say this, I really think weather has everything to do with first impressions of places. In this case, the weather was absolutely perfect. The trail to the beach was lush, and rainforesty, and I couldn’t believe we were heading to the coast, and not deep into the forest (you know, I am from so.cal, so…). When we got out onto the beach, the fog hung over the trees, exactly the right way, the lighting was perfect, and the tide had dropped so we were able to climb on rocks and look at all the cool little crabs and anemones. It was beautiful.
We arrived at Cannon Beach and we did the whole, famous Haystack rock looking thing. Not unexpected, it was crowded and very touristy which makes the experience a little less enjoyable for me. But it was interesting to see up close, and it needed to be checked off our list.
The town of Cannon Beach is really what I fell in love with. Most of the houses are wood shingled, and I loved the ambiance of the stores, and the contrast of the dull, weathered houses surrounded by the bright hydrangea.
We stayed in Cannon Beach 2 nights, in approved pullouts- because we try to save money where we can. The campsites in Cannon Beach were just okay, and if we don't think it's worth it for the cost, we usually hang out at the beach for the day and drive to the pullout to sleep.
We checked out the beach just north of Cannon Beach, Crescent Beach. It was nice because there was a mile and a half hike out (2.4 miles out and back total), so the beach was way less crowded, and so beautiful. The hike down was moderate- and a nice way to get to the beach. You can get here by parking at Ecola State Park ($5 to get in). From Ecola State Park, you can also get to Indian Beach.
The last day we spent the entire day enjoying Indian Beach. Another beautiful day, it was more of a spot for families I noticed. You can get here from Ecola State Park as well. The most exciting part for me was being able to make a fire on the beach- we roasted marshmallows, and we enjoyed a fire made out of scraps of driftwood as we watched the sunset. Magic.