Day Trip to Cannon Beach

I didn't want to leave the Pacific Northwest without actually spending some time at the Pacific Ocean so the day after my Mount Rainier trip, I took a little road trip to Cannon Beach. I'd read awesome things about the scenery and the town and it was all true. This is a beautiful area and I definitely recommend a trip out here. It's a really reasonable drive from Portland as well so if you're visiting Portland and you have access to a car, head out here.
It was too chilly for me to appreciate the ocean but it seemed like locals didn't give a flying F about the temperature. Plus, I'm sure they were just acclimated to the weather; everyone was complaining about how hot it was while I was chilly.

Knowing it was going to be about a 3-hour drive, I grabbed a couple pieces of turkey bacon and blueberry muffins from the free hotel breakfast buffet and hit the road nice and early.
Even though it was overcast, the drive was beautiful, including the awesome four-mile bridge.
At my dinner the night before in Olympia, one of my neighbors suggested Ecola State Park after I mentioned I was heading to Cannon Beach. It's $5 per vehicle to enter, which is a small price to pay for a really pretty park. The bathrooms are just glorified porta-potties so if that bothers you, go before you go.
The hike I had originally wanted to do was closed so the guy at the entrance booth told me to do the Clatsop Loop Trail. It was a fun 3-mile loop with awesome overlooks.
Before I hit the trail, I stood near the beach watching the surfers.
When I started the hike, I was cold but as the clouds started to break and the sun was climbing, it got hotter and more humid and by the time I reached the farthest point of the trail, I was sweating.
At the end of the trail, I was rewarded with this beautiful lighthouse.
And by the time I finished the hike, the skies were lovely and blue. I learned firsthand how fickle the weather in this region is.
After my hike, I rewarded myself with some well-deserved relaxation time on the beach. I sat and read a book, did some puzzles, and spent some more time admiring the surfers.
After a while, I got hungry so I headed into town. It wasn't easy parking the car; the place was bustling. But on my second loop through the main street, I found an awesome spot.
It was mid-afternoon by the time I was out searching for lunch and many of the places in town had closed up so I didn't have too many choices. I ended up at Sweet Basil's because it had decent reviews.
I got a blueberry ale, the mardi gras salad, and jambalaya. It was a satisfying meal that quelled my hunger but this meal wasn't anything to write home about.
Next to the restaurant there was an adorable little pet supply store so I stopped in to pick up some souvenirs for GM.
For dessert, I popped into the local creperie for the 'smuggler's cove' which was Nutella, strawberries, banana, and whipped cream.
This crepe was actually really good. Not Paris good, but better than most of the creperies stateside.
I managed to find a parking spot at the official Haystack Rock parking. The parking gods were smiling on me that day. Since I'd already gotten my fill of beach time at Indian Beach at Ecola, I just hung out at this beach for a few minutes to photograph the famous rock.
I didn't want to hit the road too late, mainly because I was tired from my early morning drive, and it was really hot on the beach so I hopped into the car around 5 to head to one of the suburbs of Portland.
I stayed at another Marriott just to the west of Portland. The rooms were humongous and comfortable. I've never stayed at an Aloft, but based on this one experience, I'd definitely recommend it.
For dinner, I was craving more Vietnamese food. Seriously, vermicelli bowls are the perfect food. You have all of the food groups represented. The spring rolls had deliciously crisp wrappers and the portion size was super generous. And I ordered a refreshing limeade to wash it all down.
After dinner. I called it a night. I'd had an early start that morning and knew I'd have another early start the next day.