Is escaping the hustle and bustle of city life your idea of a beach retirement? With a population of 1175, your dream of retiring in a small town will definitely come true in Cannon Beach. From its scenic beaches to its charming sidewalks and serene courtyards, the small-town vibes can be felt all over this city. The city even discourages chain stores from building in the area to preserve the small-town feel.
If for some strange reason you start missing the city life you’ve left behind, head over to Portland, OR for a weekend getaway. It’s an hour and a half away by car, but don’t be daunted by the drive. Known as the city of hipsters, Portland has tons of amazing attractions that should keep you busy for an entire weekend.
Year-round Events and Festivals
Just because it’s a small town doesn’t mean nothing ever happens in Cannon Beach. Surprisingly, it hosts annual events and festivals almost every month. The list includes Whale Watch Week in March, a literary festival in April, Spring Unveiling Arts Festival in May, Cannon Beach Sandcastle Contest in June, Earth and Ocean Arts Festival in September, a dog show in October, and holiday activities from November through December.
As one of the “100 Most Beautiful Places In The World” according to National Geographic, the nature in Cannon Beach never disappoints. Take in magnificent views of Oregon’s Haystack Rock as you take your morning walk or relax at the beach. Or if you want to diversify your experience, explore the different viewpoints in the city to enjoy marvelous views of the Oregon Coast. Discover the nature in Cannon Beach and marvel at dramatic rock formations, waterfalls, lush rainforest and more.
Just like its year-round festivals, the wildlife and sea life in Cannon Beach are available for your viewing pleasure all year long. Apart from the tufted puffins that nest on Haystack Rock, there’s a great deal of other fascinating creatures that roam the area, from herds of Roosevelt elk to lovely birds like bald eagles and brown pelicans to marine creatures like crabs, mussels, sea stars and snails. With its huge variety of bird habitats, Cannon Beach is the best beach retirement spot for beginner and experienced birders.
Easily Accessible Sandy Beaches
Four miles of sandy beaches await you here, with plenty of access points from Downtown Cannon Beach. Characterized by rock formations and sea stacks as well as the wildlife mentioned above, Cannon Beach will feel like your own little paradise. There are also a few other beaches nearby if you want more options, including Hug Point, Short Sand Beach and Arcadia Beach.
Arts and Culture
Cannon Beach may be a small town, but its offerings in the arts and culture department rival those of bigger cities. You’ll see artisan shops lining the streets selling artisan-made jewelry and crafts, delectable confections, quirky home décor and fine apparel. The town’s art galleries feature original pieces by successful local and nationally-known artists. If art galleries aren’t your thing, watch a live theater performance instead or live glass blowing at Icefire Glassworks.
Cannon Beach offers a wide variety of dining options and experiences, from fine dining restaurants to family-friendly eateries to adorable and cozy cafés. If you like restaurants with a warm and casual vibe, there’s Bill’s Tavern and the Driftwood Restaurant and Lounge. Feel like dressing up for a romantic dinner in an upscale restaurant? Check out The Irish Table. Fancy a drink or two? Cannon Beach has a few distilleries, breweries and pubs where you can socialize and drink the night away.
If you’re an avid hiker, you’ll be delighted to know that Cannon Beach offers some of the best hiking experience in Oregon. Ecola State Park’s trails feature views of secluded coves, lush promontories and an abandoned lighthouse. Besides hiking, there’s biking, crabbing, paddleboarding, surfing, kayaking and yoga. There’s also world-class golfing within 20 minutes of the city.
Family-friendly Activities and Attractions
The beauty of nature combined with some incredible cultural and outdoor experiences and great food makes Cannon Beach a suitable place to retire if you have family who’ll be visiting from to time. Get the entire family to learn surfing, fly a kite with the younger grandkids, escape from an escape room, watch a live performance together, or join the sandcastle-building contest in the summer.