Cannon Beach is an oasis for kids — especially in the summertime, when they can play on the beach, eat ice cream, and soak up the sunshine before school starts. It’s almost as if the town was designed specifically with kids in mind, as ice cream and candy shops, toy stores, and other kid-friendly destinations line the bustling Hemlock Street.
Whether you live along the coast or you’re planning a family trip here before summer ends, here’s everything you must do with kids in Cannon Beach. See just how many you can check off your to-do list. But don’t worry — this list will be fun to complete, no matter your age!
Eat Ice Cream
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! Nothing satisfies a sweet tooth on a hot summer day quite like an ice cream cone. And thankfully, there are plenty of ice cream shops in town, including Suzy’s Scoops, Schwietert’s Cone & Candy, and Osburn’s Ice Creamery. Grab a cup or cone of a sweet, ice-cold treat to enjoy while you walk up and down Hemlock Street.
Ride a Bike on the Beach
What’s better than taking a stroll along the beach? Riding a bike on the beach! If you don’t have your own, rent one from Family FUNcycles, which rents a variety of beach-friendly bikes. They offer funcycles, beach cruisers and fat tire bikes for just $22 for 90 minutes, with toddler trailers available for an additional $5 — or $10 for use on your own equipment/bicycle.
Make a Sandcastle
If you’ve been in Cannon Beach during the summer before, you might be familiar with the Cannon Beach Sandcastle Contest, which dates all the way back to 1964 (and has a pretty fascinating origin story). But this summer, you don’t have to plan your trip around the event’s date, because it’s lasting all summer long! From June 5–September 6, you can build a sandcastle on the beach and submit your entry virtually. Click here for more details!
Fly a Kite
With a constant breeze and lots of wide–open space, Cannon Beach is an excellent place to fly a kite. In fact, on the weekend, you’re likely to see a number of people flying colorful kites overhead. Don’t have your own kite? No sweat. Visit The Kite Factory on the northern edge of town to peruse their wide selection of multi-colored kites.
Explore Tide Pools Around Haystack Rock
If you read our list of 10 Fun Facts About Haystack Rock in Cannon Beach, you know all about the abundance of tide pools surrounding this 235-foot rock. Exploring the tide pools is like taking a crash course in marine biology, as they are home to a variety of sea creatures, such as crabs, starfish, sea slugs, sea anemone, chitons, limpets and more. But you can only see them at low tide! And make sure you’re not trapped once the tide rolls in — let’s just say the U.S. Coast Guard is accustomed to rescues around the rock.
Go to Bruce’s Candy Kitchen
Bruce’s Candy Kitchen is a confectionery sanctuary — and a staple in the Cannon Beach community. The story dates all the way back to April 1, 1963, when Bruce and Treva Haskell opened the shop with the help of their parents, who served as candy makers and clerks. Ever since, Bruce’s Candy Kitchen has evolved into a thriving candy store, selling everything from handmade saltwater taffy to chocolate truffles, plus a variety of packaged gummies and sours.
Get Fish and Chips
Photo Courtesy of Tom’s Fish & Chips
After all this activity, your family has surely worked up an appetite. And one of our favorite kid-friendly destinations in town is Tom’s Fish & Chips, which specializes in — you guessed it — fish and chips! But if you want something else, they also have burgers, fried clams, fish tacos and more. No matter what you order, make sure everyone in your family gets one of their famous paper hats!
If you’re looking for more options for places to eat in town, click here.
Go Shopping at Geppetto’s Toy Shoppe
Geppetto’s Toy Shoppe is a wonderland for kids of all ages. Let your little ones pick out a new toy or two to complete their trip to Cannon Beach! Geppetto’s is packed with a variety of toys and trinkets, from puzzles and games to stuffed animals and crafts. Your kids could spend hours perusing all there is to see and play with at this well-curated store in the center of town.
Explore Ecola State Park
Just north of Cannon Beach lies Ecola State Park, a scenic forested area stretching along 9 miles of coastline. This historic park is known for its excellent sightseeing opportunities and hiking options, but there is no shortage of outdoor recreation activities at Ecola State Park, such as picnicking, tidepooling, surfing and wildlife observation. Take in views of the ocean and sea stacks from the grassy bluff near the entrance, and continue the sightseeing throughout your visit. Learn more about Ecola State Park (and three other nearby state parks) in our guide!
Enjoy Your Time in Cannon Beach!
What must-do kid-approved activities are we missing out on? Let us know in the comments below!