I’ve been wanting to take a trip to Oregon for well over a year and we finally made the 464 mile trek to Cannon Beach in April. I know, I know, this post is a little late. But with travel and camping season in full swing, I feel like it’s still relevant. (Psst… You can check out Kyle’s video from the trip here.)
We made the tough decision to leave Juneau at home this trip. Because neither of us had ever been to Cannon Beach, we weren’t sure what to expect. As it turns out, Cannon Beach is the perfect place to bring a dog on vacation – but I’ll get to that in a bit.
I love driving through the northwest because the scenery is constantly changing. I don’t know what the terrain is like farther east, but around here you can drive through mountains, prairie, forests, high desert, gorges, and rain forests over the course of half a day.
We made it a point to stop in Hood River, along the Columbia River Gorge, to try some local eats and check out some of the great shops. As we strolled along the hilly downtown, we came across Mountain View Cycles and (of course) Kyle had to check it out. The shop was larger than I anticipated for such a small town. We chatted with one of the employees (whose name I can’t remember) and he was very helpful. We talked bike racks and, like most cyclists, the conversation quickly shifted to beer and he gave us a great recommendation for lunch.
Leaving the shop, we headed two blocks down to Double Mountain Brewery to grab some pizza and a beer before continuing on. The taproom was really fun. Surrounded by local art and a total hipster vibe, we were definitely not bored while we waited for lunch. I admired the stained glass hanging in the windows and discovered a really cool hop on the back wall, made entirely of bottle caps.
The pizza was good, I mean, really good. We split the Truffle Shuffle and it was amazing – I feel like we eat a good amount of pizza and this easily makes my top three. The beer was great, I wish we would have gotten a growler of the Black Irish for the weekend. Needless to say, I will be going back.
Before leaving town, we went and sat along the river and watched some kite boarders do their thing. It looked really cold (remember this was back in April) but they looked like they were having fun and they caught some amazing air.
We arrived in Cannon Beach in the late afternoon, just in time to unpack and watch the sun set below the horizon. I was shocked at how empty the beach was. Just a few people and a few dogs. We rode our bikes along the beach, the smell of salt water and seaweed filling the air. It’s times like this that remind me of how much our memories are tied to senses other than sight. As soon as I smell the ocean, I’m taken back to time spent at the beach when we lived in California. There’s just something about the ocean that feels like home.
We stayed at the Ocean Lodge, just steps away from Haystack Rock. Let me tell you, in all of my vast years of exquisite and lavish travel (I hope you’re picking up the sarcasm I’m putting down there) I have never come a hotel that is so dog-friendly. There were dogs everywhere, both at the beach and downtown.
While there we encountered three stores that specialized in awesome doggy-ness and it made me feel so guilty that we left Juneau at home. Every restaurant that offered outside seating was dog-friendly and most of the lodging allowed dogs. My favorite dog store was definitely Dogs Allowed.
I think Kyle was hoping for more of a brewery scene, but I think that’s more Portland than the coast. We did eat at a couple good restaurants, but since it was a quick trip we didn’t get to try as many as we would have liked. One night we ate at the Warren House Pub, which was really good. We split the ribs and I would highly recommend them. One of the things I loved about Cannon Beach was that everything had a story and a history, so be sure to pay attention if you go, you’ll learn something new at every stop.
Well folks, that’s Part 1 of our time in Cannon Beach, stay tuned for Part 2!