Astoria, Cannon Beach and Ecola State Park
On our whirlwind trip to the northern Oregon coast, we booked our hotel in Astoria. We made this our homebase. There’s quite a bit to do in Astoria, but we actually didn’t spend a lot of time there. Our daughters favorite spots are actually farther south in Cannon Beach and Ecola State Park.
While I am always up for adventure and trying something new and unexpected, my family isn’t always on board. Astoria was pretty busy the second weekend in August. It was their city celebration and they were having a Regatta. Also, there were many people staying in Astoria and traveling down to Seaside for a huge volleyball tournament.
Astoria has a cruise ship dock, which also makes it a busy place to be. It is located right along the Columbia River.
There are several museums; including the Oregon Film Museum. I couldn’t talk my family into going there this time, but it is on my list for another time. There are several movies that have been filmed in this area!
- Free Willey
- The Goonies (June 7 is Goonies Day in Astoria)
- Come See the Paradise
- Short Circuit
- Kindergarten Cop
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III
- The Ring Two
Gluten Free eating in Astoria
We only ate once in Astoria, we often got in late and the places we were interested in going were often closed. Frite and Scoop was a good find! I had many recommendations, before our trip to try this place.
We made it at the right time! They have some odd hours and are closed on Wednesdays. Check their hours, so you can plan to make it in time!
They only have fries and a custard-style ice cream. They offer gluten free cones and have one sorbet that is dairy free. The fries can be ordered with their special hot honey drizzled on top! Then you have a wide variety of sauces to dip into! We chose a blueberry mayo.
Cannon Beach is the home of Haystack Rock. From the beach, you can also see Tilamook Lighthouse in the distance. This is a favorite town and beach to visit. While parking can be hard, at least in August, the town didn’t ever feel over-crowded.
There are a couple of public restrooms available and be prepared to walk a lot! There are great shops and restaurants to visit. However, the best part is going down to the beach to play!
At low tide you can walk right out to Haystack Rock. There are a tide pools where you can observe sea urchins and other sea life. Playing in the water and walking along or in the ocean is relaxing and fun!
The beach was a little crowded this visit and so we decided not to rent beach bikes this time, but have in the past, and it is a lot of fun! Beach bikes are ridden down on the packed wet sand during low tide.
The wind was just right to set up windsocks or fly a kite. I was wishing we would have remembered to bring our kite!
Gluten Free Eating in Cannon Beach
Check hours of the places you want to eat! Some places have weird hours and others close early. If you spend a long time on the beach, you may miss eating somewhere you were looking forward to.
We found a wonderful pizza at Fetta-A-Pizza! It was worth the wait! Most of the seating is outside. The crust is a large 14″ crust made in Portland, Oregon. They take precautions, but are not a gluten free kitchen. Our family is pretty sensitive and no one had any reactions.
Ecola State Park
Ecola State Park isn’t far from Cannon Beach. There is a toll fee before entering the park of $5 per vehicle. Our first stop was to the left, after leaving the toll booth. There is a viewing area, some short trails and picnic tables. There are no places to buy food in the state park, you have to bring it with you.
We stopped back at this stop one last time before we left the park and could hear sea lions but couldn’t see them, because of all the foliage.
You get to Indian Beach by going right instead of left at the toll booth. It is a bit of a drive to get to the beach and the roads weren’t in great condition due to the heavy storms last winter. In places, you were unable to go on trails, because of damage from those storms.
Indian Beach has iconic rock formations that can be seen in the movie Goonies. Sometimes people call Indian Beach the Goonies Beach. There are fun smooth rocks and other things that wash ashore. People like this area for bonfires, barbecues, hanging out, and surfing.
Our girls enjoyed having a photoshoot on the beach. (All photos are uploaded at a low resolution and not for use. Please respect.) A gymnast can’t resist doing gymnastics at the beach!
Long Day, Late Night
We stayed at the beach for a long, long time. People were beginning their bonfires, just before we left the beach.
By the time we got back to the towns like Cannon Beach, most of the food places were closed. The ones still open were much more expensive and fancier than we were up for.
We found an open Wendy’s in Warrenton! It was the best Wendy’s experience we have had in many years! The cashier that helped us, also has celiac disease and was able to guide us and help us have a great experience!
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