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A week in Oregon (final part 4): the coast, Cannon Beach, and Portland adventures

A week in Oregon (final part 4): the coast, Cannon Beach, and Portland adventures
A week in Oregon (final part 4): the coast, Cannon Beach, and Portland adventures

After running the Portland Marathon, I spent a week in Oregon exploring, eating, and hiking. Missed part 1? Read it here: exploring Portland and running the Portland Marathon.

Ecola State Park Ecola State Park

Read part 2: hiking in Columbia River Gorge and driving Historic Highway

Read part 3: hiking at Mount Hood and Timberline Lodge

For our final Oregon adventure we rented a car and drove out to the Oregon Coast for the day. It was just over 1.5 hours from Portland to Haystack Rock and Cannon Beach.

Haystack Rock and Cannon Beach

I didn’t want to leave Oregon without seeing Multnomah Falls and Haystack Rock. Once we arrived in Cannon Beach, a small beach town, Haystack Rock was steps from the main road. 235 foot high, the rock prominently sticks out of the middle of the beach. It is hard to miss! Although we overheard a family at lunch saying they couldn’t find it. I would have loved to walk along the beach, but the weather was terrible, windy and wet. We were soaked after only a few minutes!

Haystack Rock

Ecola State Park and hike at Indian Beach

After our short-lived beach adventure, we warmed up in the car and made the quick drive to Ecola State Park. Located between the towns of Seaside and Cannon Beach, Ecola State Park stretches along 9 miles of coastline. The drive into the park itself is beautiful, winding roads through thick and mossy forest.

Ecola State Park

Despite the near-torrential downpour, we decided to hike through the forest and along the coast to Indian Beach. The views were stunning and I can only imagine what it would be like on a sunny day. We hiked for about 20 minutes and didn’t seem to be getting any closer to the beach. The rain was getting worse, so we called it a day! There were also several cougar-sighting signs at the trailhead and right before we turned around I spotted some fresh cougar pawprints in the mud. It was a good time to head back to the car!

Lunch at Sweet Basil’s Cafe

Lunch at Sweet Basil’s Cafe, a quirky spot featuring Cajun and Creole cuisine, hit the spot! The service was warm and friendly and I enjoyed my soup and sandwich. Hilary’s crab and artichoke melt was also delicious and the serving of crab very generous.

Drive along Oregon Coast

Despite the fog, wind, and increasingly worse weather, we drove in the opposite direction of Ecola State Park, continuing along the coast and US Highway 101. This is now on my bucket list to return to one day soon and explore more. The views of the Pacific ocean, the rugged coastline, the scattered trees, and thick patches of forest. What a place!

Oswald West State Park

Oswald West State Park and hike to Short Sand Beach

Our final stop before returning to Portland was Oswald West State Park. We did a short hike from the parking lot through temperate rainforest to Short Sand Beach. By this point, we couldn’t take the rain anymore! Next time, I’ll remember to bring a change of clothes.

Oswald West State Park

Dinner at Swagat Indian Cuisine

I was in the mood for Indian and we wanted to explore a different area of Portland. Swagat Indian Cuisine had great reviews and was in Northwest Portland, so off we went. The food was great and very filling.

Downtown Portland

Final day in Portland

Shopping in Pearl District

Hilary flew out early Friday morning so I had half the day to explore on my own until my train left. I kicked it off with some shopping in the Pearl District. How can one resist shopping when Portland has no sales tax.

Powell's Books

Powell’s Books 

I visited Powell’s Books a few times while in Portland and each time was overwhelmed by its size and the number of books. It claims to be the world’s largest independent bookstore and occupies a full city block.

Pine Street Market

As I made my way to the water, I stopped in Pine Street Market, the city’s first food hall featuring 9 different restaurants, cafes, and food offerings. I wasn’t hungry so just walked around but the coffee, ice cream, fresh juice, rotisserie chicken, and more all looked delicious.

Walk across bridges: Steel Bridge and Hawthorne Street Bridge

I had a bit more time to kill so I googled walking tours in Portland. I had yet to walk across any of the Portland bridges, so it was now or never! I ended up following this route and it was a great way to see more of the city’s waterfront, walk across two bridges, and stroll along the Eastbank Esplanade and its 1200 foot floating walkway.

Prasad Cafe

Lunch at Prasad Cafe (925 NW Davis Street)

My last meal in Portland was at Prasad Cafe, the sister restaurant to Harlow (which we ate at earlier in the week). After some indulgent meals, it was nice to have a big salad and giant green juice at the vegan and gluten-free friendly cafe fittingly located inside a yoga studio.

Cannon Beach

Thanks for following along on my Portland and Oregon adventures!

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