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What could be better for families than a miles-long playground in a spectacular natural setting? Cannon Beach offers memorable family getaways that guarantee fun whether you're eight or 80. From the sandy beach to family activities and downtown attractions, here are our favorite choices for kids of all ages:
Play on the Sandy Shores
Comb the beach for sea shells, build a sandcastle, fly a kite, toss a ball and roast hot dogs or marshmallows over a crackling beach fire. An outing to the beach offers fun for everyone in the family. On Cannon Beach, you can walk for miles at the water's edge or get sand between your toes as you splash through the incoming waves. Sand dollars, seashells and agates are the common finds, but beachcombers never know what treasures may be left on the outgoing tide. The coast's wide beaches and steady winds provide ideal conditions for flying kites. From a simple single line kite dancing on the breeze to highly maneuverable stunt kites, this colorful sport and pastime can be enjoyed by all ages. Cannon Beach kite shops stand ready to help with equipment, supplies and repairs. Rent funcycles for free-wheeling beach touring or just watch your kids delight in the pleasures of sandy fun as you sit back and enjoy the unforgetable sights, sounds and smells of the ocean.
From mid-May to Labor Day, Sea Ranch Stables offers horseback rides on the beach. Guided rides are led along Ecola Creek to Chapman Point and south to Haystack Rock. There are also night rides to Silver Point at minus low tides. Book your ride in person at Sea Ranch Stables just north of downtown Cannon Beach.
Picnic in Paradise
Cannon Beach offers the world's best view dining. Spread your blanket out on a beautiful stretch of beach or claim a picnic table at one of Cannon Beach's scenic parks for a picnic surrounded by fun and scenery. You'll find picnic tables at Ecola State Park, Tolovana Wayside, Les Shirley Park and the downtown City Park. Many are handicap accessible.
Sample Sweet Stuff
No trip to the beach is complete without sampling some of the local sweet treats. In Cannon Beach, you can taste locally-made saltwater taffy, fine chocolates or your favorite flavor of ice cream. Bakeries offer even more choices to satisfy any sweet tooth. Watch as taffy is being made or marvel at the amazing variety of flavors as you put together a bag of your own favorites.
Put History in Perspective
Gaze out to the beach and imagine the scene over 200 years ago when a rugged party of elkskin clad explorers from Lewis and Clark's Corps of Discovery found a 100-foot long whale on the beach. Picture the Indian village that occupied the shores of Ecola Creek. Look out at a lighthouse that guided ships along these shores over 125 years ago. The Cannon Beach History Center makes history an interactive experience for kids and is home to the original cannon that was found on the beach and gave this community its name.
Take a Family Portrait
What's a trip to the beach without capturing family photos? Shoot your own or hire a local professional portait photographer experienced at creating treasured mementos for families.
Learn in Nature's Classroom
Tidepools, wildlife, rainforests and other natural areas make the coast an important classroom for the next generation of visitors and nature appreciators. Haystack Rock Awareness Program is on the beach at many of the year's lowest tides to offer interpretive information,displays of live intertidal creatures and bird spotting scopes focused on nesting seabirds. Teach children to observe and respect these unique creatures and their environment to help preserve them for future generations.
Pack Up Your Pet
Don't forget your best friend. Is there a better vacation than the beach to bring your dog? Cannon Beach has been recognized as one of the Northwest's top destinations to vacation with your dog. There are many pet friendly hotels and businesses that welcome dogs with a fresh bowl of water, pet friendly outdoor dining and new toys for your buddy.