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The Best & Worst Times to Visit Cannon Beach in 2024

The Best & Worst Times to Visit Cannon Beach in 2024

What's the best time to visit Cannon Beach?

Summer offers the best weather at Cannon Beach, with clear skies and temperatures in the high 60s to low 70s Fahrenheit, ideal for outdoor activities and viewing puffins at Haystack Rock. Despite higher prices and crowds, the season guarantees full business operations and a variety of events, making it the most enjoyable time to visit.

Cannon Beach is one of the best beach towns in Oregon and a great vacation destination in the Pacific Northwest. The spectacular natural beauty of the coast is definitely the main reason to visit.

You can see amazing formations such as Haystack Rock, but don’t skip the rest of the coastline, including the sandy shore, tidal pools, and nearby Ecola State Park. The town itself is the perfect Oregon small town, with small boutiques, coffee shops, and a welcoming atmosphere.

Since most of the main attractions in Cannon Beach are outdoors, you want to visit when the weather is perfect for exploring. Keep reading to learn more about the best time to plan a visit below.

Overall Best Time to Visit Cannon Beach

Two people walking along the still water while it laps their feet on the black sand beach pictured during the best time to visit Cannon Beach


The best time to visit Cannon Beach is during the summer, when you have the highest chances of having good weather even in moody Oregon.

Make no mistake—no matter when you visit, you’re never going to enjoy Miami-level temperatures. The Oregon climate is cool and temperate, and even during the summer temperatures usually don’t get very hot.

According to year-round weather averages, temperatures in Cannon Beach are in the high 60s to low 70s even in the summer, although some days may reach 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

The real benefit of visiting in the summer is that you have the highest chance of enjoying clear skies. The months of June, July, August, and September have the least cloud coverage throughout the year in Cannon Beach.

They also receive the least rain, with an average of 2-6 rainy days per month during the summer, compared to up to 17 rainy days per month in the winter.

The clear weather is the main reason to plan a visit in the summer. Like the rest of Oregon, most of the year along the coast is rainy and cloudy. While this doesn’t bother the locals, it’s not exactly the best weather to spend lots of time outdoors.

The sunny skies and lack of rain mean you can enjoy plenty of outdoor activities in the summer, like:

  • Surfing (with a wet suit)
  • Hiking
  • Boating
  • Cycling

There is another great reason to visit Cannon Beach in the summer and that is puffins. These adorable Arctic birds make their nests on Haystack Rock from April to August.

In the summer, you can spot newly hatched puffin chicks and their parents on birdwatching tours organized by groups such as Friends of Haystack Rock. The summer is Cannon Beach’s high season, like for many beach towns.

While there are some drawbacks, such as higher prices and more crowds, it does mean you have the most things to do during this time. All businesses are guaranteed to be open, even seasonal equipment rentals.

To entertain tourists and allow locals to take advantage of the nice weather, the town also puts on plenty of summer events and festivals, including:

Cheapest Time to Visit Cannon Beach

Fog rolls over the deep green trees of the Pacific Northwest during the best time to visit Cannon Beach

Thye-Wee Gn/Shutterstock

The cheapest time to visit Cannon Beach is during its off-season, from October to May, when many resorts lower their prices. Outside of the summer, crowds are far more manageable.

That also means demand is down for hotels, which means you can get good discounts even for popular resorts. For example, in early March, hotels are offering 20-25% discounts, even for top resorts and beachfront hotels that are normally in high demand.

If you are visiting Cannon Beach from out of state, the easiest way to do so is to fly to Portland and then rent a car. Car rental prices also tend to decrease during the off-season, and you can save money by visiting in late fall, winter, or spring.

Flights to Portland usually cost the least in spring (March-May, although excluding popular spring break times and Easter) and fall (September-October).

Prices during parts of the off-season do rise slightly, for example around the holiday season (late November-December). Cannon Beach organizes the Haystack Holidays, a series of events including lighting ceremonies, Holiday Tea, and concerts.

While the price of accommodation increases during this time, the holiday season is the least expensive time to shop since many local stores offer discounts during Mimosa Madness, a holiday shopping special event.

Least Busy Time to Visit Cannon Beach

Hug Point pictured with a walking path to Cannon Beach as seen during the least busy time to visit

Art Boardman/Shutterstock

The least busy time to visit Cannon Beach is during the off-season, from October to May. The official Cannon Beach tourist board calls this season “magic season.”

Since there are fewer crowds around, that makes it easier to discover the magic of the reason why people visit in the first place—the beautiful nature.

The wonder of this town isn’t limited to just one season. You can see wildflowers blooming in the spring, watch the Pacific Flyway bird migrations in the fall, and go whale watching in the winter.

The other benefit of visiting Cannon Beach during the off-season is that you can enjoy the town way more than you would in the summer, when you’re stressed about parking and crowds.

Have a leisurely stroll through the center, linger over a beer at one of the breweries, or talk to a local artist at one of the many boutiques. Cannon Beach isn’t one of those beach towns where they roll up the sidewalks in the winter, and most businesses are open all year round.

It is true that the weather is a bit wilder outside of the summer, but that’s part of the appeal. Cozying up by the fire and watching a storm over the Pacific is another way to enjoy the beautiful nature.

If you still want to enjoy good beach weather but also want to avoid crowds, then the best time to visit is in the early fall. In September and early October, the weather is still mostly sunny (and quite warm in early September), but most tourists have gone home.

Worst Time to Visit Cannon Beach

Man holding his wife on a rainy day on Cannon Beach during the worst time to visit

Marina Poushkina/Shutterstock

There is no bad time per se to visit Cannon Beach, but it depends on what you want to get out of your trip. If you were hoping for good beach weather, you shouldn’t visit in winter. Avoid the summer if you dislike crowds.

Cannon Beach never gets truly cold, like the rest of the Oregon coast, but winters can get quite dreary. November-March average 16-17 days of rain per month!

Pacific Northwest locals have a habit of saying “there’s no bad weather, only bad clothing,” and you can still have a good time if you bundle up. However, there’s no denying it’s not the most pleasant time for a beachside stroll.

On the other hand, if crowds are your nightmare, you definitely want to avoid the summer. Cannon Beach is a popular destination for family getaways, and its proximity to Portland makes it a common day trip or weekend beach journey as well.

That means that summer crowds can be thick, especially on the weekends.

The local tourism board even publishes tips to help people navigate this time—and urging them to come during the off-season. To enjoy the good weather but beat the crowds, visit in September when things quiet down a bit.

Frequently Asked Questions

Photo taken from the top of the hill looking out over the ocean above houses for a guide titled Best Time to Visit Cannon Beach

Art Boardman/Shutterstock

Here are some of the best questions people have about picking the best time to visit Cannon Beach:

What is the best month to visit the Oregon Coast?

September is the best month to visit any part of the Oregon Coast because it’s not too crowded and still has good weather.

How many days do you need in Cannon Beach?

Two or three days are enough for Cannon Beach, and you can even explore the area in just a day. It’s a fairly small town, but great for relaxing.

Does Cannon Beach get crowded?

Yes, Cannon Beach gets very crowded in the summer which is one of the benefits of visiting in the off-season.

What are rainy months on the Oregon Coast?

The rainiest months on the Oregon Coast are from November to March, although October and April are also fairly rainy.

Is Cannon Beach free?

The beach itself in Cannon Beach is free for all visitors, but you’ll have to pay for other expenses such as parking.

So, What’s the Best Time to Visit Cannon Beach?

Cannon Beach is beautiful all year round. For the best beach weather, visit in the summer, but for moody landscapes and crowd-free streets, visit from October to May.

So, with so much to see and do and plenty of amazing times to visit, what are you waiting for — book your trip today and experience for yourself all that Cannon Beach has to offer. Happy travels!