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Local information on what to do, and what to avoid, while visiting Cannon Beach and the North Oregon Coast.
Local Scoop - Excellent food, for both Parents and children. Family friendly staff and atmosphere, with indoor and outdoor seating (in the summer months). Great for hosting large groups or children's birthday parties.
Picnic Basket- Ice Cream, Taffy, and espressos for mom or dad! Also little trinkets and souviners are available here.
The Cookie Company- need I say more? The ladies that work there are great, ask them if your little one can decorate a cookie, if it is slow.
Lazy Susan- excellent food, but take to go if you have kiddos as the sitting is tight, and it is a small place. It is right outside the Coaster Theater though, so they might even have outdoor seating in the summer.
Lumberman's- is very family friendly, and they have a full bar. And if you NEED to get a pizza they make their own here.
Pig N' Pancake - a Tried and true restaurant, good for kids and breakfast, that you know they will eat, it has all the normal breakfast fare, with a nice staff and a little gift shop at the enterance.
Pizza a' Fetta- excellent for young children, and you can buy pizza by the slice, it is all made to order, and excellent.
Everyone knows to visit Haystack Rock. But when I was a Biology Major what I found was the best tidal animals reside actually at Indian Beach. So take a lovely wooded drive up to Ecola State Park and hang a right into Indian Beach. Make sure to put your parking ticket in the window of your vehicle (if it is summer you will need to pay to get this, it is not $$ but I am not sure the cost). If you feel like hiking you can hike over Tillamook head from here to Seaside's Cove area. One little tidbit, Ecola St. Park not only has whale viewing at certain times of the year, with a covered picnic area with a fireplace, it was also the filming stage for part of the movie Goonies.
Just South of Cannon Beach, all the way to Short Sands (aka Oswald West St. Park) lay many pull offs and little beaches.
In them reside Hug Point, where postmen went around on carriage, and at low tide you can see the wheel marks in the rock, and the handholds carved out of the rock. And also waterfalls, and pools, and caves for adventurous types, all safe for children with parents. All walks to the beach from parking areas (even short sands) are doable with 3 year olds. I should know I was a Preschool Teacher of 20 of them, and ever Wednesday we would adventure to a new place. So if staying in Cannon Beach take a drive, and bring sunscreen and a towel, with your swimsuit and extra shorts.
Well, there are so many little shops in town I thought I would just make one post about them. For children depending on temperments of course.
The DragonFire Interactive Gallery is one that is FOR CHILDREN. Make sure they are one on one supervised though. It is a gallery that has premade ceramics that kids or parents alike can paint. They then fire them, it usually takes about 24 hours to get yours in and out of the oven, if you have to leave before you can retrieve it, they will ship it to you.
Bookstores - are very very family friendly here, so take a break and let your children wander the comfy kids section, while you pic up a book to read on the beach or beside the pool
Gepetto's toy store (Gepetto's - has a train table that the children can play at while parents browse)
Tis the Season (A Christmas store, but be aware there are breakables here).
Just some tips-
Watch out for Beach safety of course, don't camp on the beach, or let your little one get up on logs in the water. Make sure they don't go above their knees. My mother always said NO WATER above the knees period, and that included splashing, so we had to stay in shin deep water, or be with Dad.
Watch out for Galleries- there are some very high end galleries with hand blown glass and custom framing, so either have a quiet little one with both hands your are holding, or take turns viewing the awsome artwork. There are a few Galleries that are more child friendly, but peek in before you leap in.
Watch out for Traffic - in the summer time it can be difficult to manuver down the main street, but cars usually yield to the pedestrian here, so just hold the little hands, and you will do fine.
Watch out for My friends- and say hello!
Besides the aforementioned and obvious beaches, and shopping.
Cannon Beach has a little library that features a story time.
The Coaster Theater often has performances suitable for children, so check performance times before you head over.
City Park- includes playground equipment safe for most ages, especially with an adult. Skate park, tennis courts and often live music.
Tolovana Park- Play equipment, restrooms, and beach access, safe again for ages over 3yrs old.
More Outdoorsy activites-
Whale watchjng at Ecola St. Park
Hiking from Ecola to Indian Beach or on to Seaside over Tillamook Head (good for older kids). There are also hiking trails at Oswald West State Park, the one that goes down to Short Sands is about .5 miles and is suitable for even little kids, I hiked it with a group of about 15 preschoolers, who all carried their food and change of clothes and a towel in a backpack, and they did fine. Some needed a hand for a couple wash outs.
Neah-Kah-nie Mountain- is a great hike, though not for little kids, ages 6 on up should be able to manage it fine, it is 1 1/2 miles to the top.
Clamming (often better clam beds in Seaside or Gearhart), crabbing (check out Seaside for that), in the Summer there is the Haystack Awareness Program available at Haystack Rock (it is a program with trained adults or teens) that can teach you or your children about the animals in the tidepools and around Haystack Rock, from the puffins and the Cormoronts to the sea urchins or bull kelp). Of course in my opinion if you rarely get to the beach, there is nothing better for a kid than a bonfire on the beach with hotdogs and smores. You should be able to get firewood at Mariner Market or Family Market.
Cannon Beach has lots of events- Here are a few I have participated in, check the Chamber for more events.
Annual Sandcastle Contest (June 17th)- awsome fun for kids of all ages. Come early and stay late though, as the traffic out of Cannon Beach (especially if the weekend is nice) is horrendous, and could take you a hour to get to Seaside. There is usually a booth ran by the Cannon Beach Children's Center with hotdogs and hamburgers, coffee, softdrinks and concessions. All proceeds go to the Center. You can register to build a sandcastle at the Chamber website listed in the links section.
Annual Puffin Kite Festival- April 22nd- This is perfect for kids, often staff of the Cannon Beach Children's center help with the children's crafts and games, and so I was in charge of it one year. There are hotdogs, and of course lots of kites. ENJOY!
Arbor Day- Cannon Beach is noted for its trees and the replanting and enviormentally friendly city (town) planning. Every year they plant a certain amount of trees and maintain a status of a green town.
Stormy Weather Arts Festival- This year it is from November 3-5th. The cost to show your art was $5.00 per piece a few years ago, and you must be a resident of Clatsop County. The festival includes watching NW artists create art within a couple hours, and an auction for their works (in which food is provided by area restaurants), a gallery walk, concerts, reading, an art show with all local artists and special programs. I took my little ones to the art show, simply because I was in it, but check out their programs and see what they would most enjoy. The paint off where the artists paint or create a work of art would probably not be suitable for young children, unless they are really interested. It is also usually held about 7pm or later.
Cannon Beach Chamber of Commerce