"CANNON BEACH - CHANGE IS GOOD, OR?" Top 5 Page for this destination Cannon Beach by mtncorg

Cannon Beach Travel Guide: 92 reviews and 289 photos

Cannon Beach offers probably some of the best known views of the entire Oregon Coast. It has long been one of the favorite destinations on the beach for Portlanders. The beaches, mountains, sunsets, magnificent sea stacks and headland cliffs all combine for a natural tour-de-force that allows one to overlook the explosion of development that has taken place - especially since the 1980's - after a 1964 tsunami partially washed away parts of the small town. That event re-routed US 101 to the east of town which in the long-run has been a blessing for the town since the traffic on weekends is already a mess. In an attempt to get visitors to return to Cannon Beach after that tsunami, city fathers hit on the idea - or maybe 'borrowed' the idea from nearby Seaside is more appropriate - of holding a sandcastle building contest. This has become an annual event that is probably far more popular than originators could have ever hoped for.

While Cannon Beach can leave one wondering about development gone wild in a beautiful setting - farther south, Otter Crest near Newport wins the crown for crass over sublime - Cannon Beach still has provided the impetus for the preservation of Oregon's beaches as opposed to private - and hear, read rich! - property owners. Oswald West, governor of Oregon from 1911 to 1915, built himself a weekend log cabin here, just across from Haystack Rock. As a part-time resident, he was well aware that the beaches needed some sort of public protection and he established public domain over all wet sand areas by executive action for the purposes of keeping the beaches as a public highway - which they did serve as in the days before highways became better developed. Still, after these actions, 112 of Oregon's 360 miles of coastline remained in private hands. In 1966, local motel owner William Hays - Surf N' Sand Motel - decided to fence off part of the beach for the exclusive use of his guests. This didn't sit well with local Oregonians nor with the governor of the time, Tom McCall. He pushed through the Oregon Beach Bill which increased the size of beach within the public domain to beyond the actual tidal zone and Hays' fences finally came down in 1969 when the bill was upheld by the Oregon Supreme Court.

  • Last visit to Cannon Beach: Jul 2008
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (4)

Comments (2)

  • Greggor58's Profile Photo
    Nov 12, 2010 at 9:48 AM

    Its a beautiful coastline isnt ..Id like to make it here someday..maybe Winter time to see some wicked wave action! Nice page...I always enjoy visits to the Coast!Thanks for the tour!

  • karenincalifornia's Profile Photo
    Jul 26, 2008 at 3:20 PM

    I have fond, fond memories of Cannon Beach. We Seattleites considered it fairly tropical, so when we wanted "warm" beach weather we made the drive down here instead of going to Ocean Shores, WA which was guaranteed to be fogged in.


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