Cannon Beach Winter Wonders

Winter’s Wonders are on full display in Cannon Beach this year storm watching, whale spotting, elk viewing and beachcombing for treasure are all popular coastal activities. And don’t forget forest hikes and mushroom hunting on the other side of the road!

Storm Watching

There’s nothing quite like experiencing the power of a Pacific Ocean storm battering the coast to make you appreciate nature in all her glory. It’s even better when you’ve got an oceanfront vacation home and can watch the show from the comfort of a cozy abode. If you want to get out in the weather, the panoramic views from Ecola State Park will give a perspective like no other.

Bring a raincoat and test the winds along the beach or dance in the rain; we’ll have flashlights for you in all our homes for the periodic power outages.. it’s all part of the adventure!

Whale Watching

And if the weather turns fine during your planned storm visit? No worries, just switch it up for some whale watching! Grey whales migrate past our coast on their way to and from Mexico. You’re likely to spot them, or orcas, December through March. Go to the higher view points for the best spout spotting.


Take your beachcombing up to the next level and go on an agate hunt; you’re most likely to find them from December to March, especially after storms. Erosion of cliffs along beaches and rivers wash out toward the ocean and the silica/stones get polished in the surf over time. Winter storms remove the beach sands that have covered them and expose the agates underneath. You’ll find agates nearby at Arcadia Beach, Tolovana Beach, Hug Point, Cove Beach, and Short Sand Beach. Keep an eye open for beach glass pieces too; these treasures are often found on rocky shores.

If you’re looking for sand dollars, well, their skeletons, the locals like to stroll the northern end of the beach for the best collections. Another great place to find lots of sand dollars is Arcadia Beach, just south of town.

Once you’ve collected your shells, you’ll probably want to clean and save them. Rinse them in freshwater through a few cycles to help remove the funk. Once the sand is mostly out, soak in a 1:10 bleach water solution to definitively remove the funk. Rinse well. Dry well, and brush a water/glue or mod podge over the top and dry again. Now they’re ready to decorate! Get your paints or pens out and doodle or just admire nature as she is.

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