Seaside & Cannon Beach
Enjoy free time in two of Oregon's most famous coastal towns -- Seaside and Cannon Beach.
Sit back and relax for the scenic drive south on the famous coastal Highway 101. You'll have views of Saddle Mountain and pass through the towns of Warrenton and Gearhart as your guide shares some local history.
More than a century the coastal town of Seaside has been considered the Northwest's most popular ocean resort for family fun. Gift shops, fine eateries with local seafood and miles of beach are the drawcards here. Take a stroll on the 1½-mile promenade, feed the seals at the aquarium, try your luck in the arcades, shop for souvenirs or take a ride on the carousel in the heart of downtown. Be sure to sample some of Seaside's famous salt water taffy (at your own expense) -- a locally made confection that comes in all sorts of exotic flavors from huckleberry to habañero!
Cannon Beach derived its name from a US Navy cannon that washed ashore in 1846. It was lost from the schooner Shark that was wrecked as it was leaving the Columbia River earlier that year. This town is considered an artist's colony, and some of the best photographers, writers, painters, glassblowers and ceramists on the Oregon coast call Cannon Beach home. Enjoy a fine meal at one of the many bistros (at your own expense), or take in the fresh sea air on a walk along the pristine beach. Cannon Beach is also known for the natural phenomenon known as Haystack Rock, which lies just south of town. Composed of basalt, this 235-foot-tall monolith rises up out of the ocean and is home to many sea birds such as puffins, gulls and cormorants.
You are free to use your time in each village any way you choose; then meet up with your guide, re-board the bus, and return to Astoria via the same scenic route.
Walking is mainly at the guests' discretion. The downtown areas are flat, compact and easy to walk and shop, but there may be some steps and uneven surfaces to negotiate. Wear comfortable walking shoes and weather-appropriate clothing; bring a hat and sunglasses. Travel on this tour is by local school bus.