Cannon Beach in the winter offers new ways to experience a classic Oregon Coast destination.
Thousands of visitors from around the world travel to Cannon Beach for views of the iconic haystack rock, its fresh coastal cuisine and its art galleries that showcase international masters alongside local artists. Art, wine and waves mix easily here. So, too, do sweatshirts and dogs.
Day 1: Pancakes, pinot noir, petite brie
We emerge from Highway 101 in Cannon Beach at mid-morning to a steady rain that has teased out brightly-colored umbrellas. My husband has forgotten his umbrella and darts into the main street grocery for one as I lift the hood on my raincoat and head for our first destination.
The Pig ‘N Pancake is the roadside diner from your childhood. Plates of hotcakes whisk by our cozy table, as we sipped good coffee. I opt for a vegetarian omelet while my husband dived deeper into the menu for the coastal twist on eggs benedict with Dungeness crab.
A post-Pig walk through the village draws us to a colorful courtyard. Cannon Beach seems to be perpetually in bloom with hydrangeas, hanging baskets full of poppies and ornamental grasses dancing on the breeze. January is the quiet season, but there is still plenty of activity.
Off of the courtyard is Provisions 124 Market, the perfect place to build a picnic basket or linger for an afternoon wine tasting. The market carries an award-winning pinot noir, Puffin, which complements slices of Olympic Provisions salami and Rivers Edge smoked chèvre from Three Ring Farm near Corvallis.
A little farther up the road is EVOO. Chef Bob Neroni was busily prepping for a dinner performance. Neroni and his wife, Lenore, welcome twenty-two guests to their kitchen stage each weekend for a meal reflecting local, seasonal ingredients and the best of their onsite orchard.
Pan-seared, spicy, lime-marinated duck breast and chocolate ginger-cinnamon soufflé were on the playbill tonight. Neroni’s performances concentrate on technique. “I’d rather teach people how to make a good risotto than focus on complex ingredients that may be hard to find.” Reservations are mandatory.
The rain subsided as we grabbed slices to go at Fultano’s pizza to take along with us to the beach. As we took our first steps on the sand, the dark clouds split to reveal a sliver of sunset behind the haystack. Hot pepperoni mixed nicely with the cold air and the roar of the churning tide.
For more on how to spend a weekend at Cannon Beach, visit 1859 Oregon’s Magazine.