My family has a strong connection with The Goonies: My cousin went into labor while watching the movie back in 2004. As 80s children, we all grew up wanting to visit the site of Pirate Willy’s treasure ship. Since my nephew, the baby born to said cousin, was in town we decided to go to Cannon Beach and explore the sights. Since it was the weekend after the 4th of July we decided to stay in Portland instead because the hotels at the beachfront were all full or didn’t have accommodations that would fit our needs.
To make the trip more exciting we decided to take the US 101 to run the coastline down to Oregon. Turns out that half of the route is pretty much trees and mountains, with an unfinished nuclear power plant in between, so we were bored out of our minds. Having spent an extra 1.5 hours stuck in traffic due to police activity prior to taking the PCH/101 at Olympia didn’t help either. To make matters more interesting, we couldn’t find the rest top. (We think it was probably a U-turn away.) What did we do? We stopped at a Dairy Queen Brazier, in Raymond, and got some ice cream too. (Note to self a Frappé has COFFEE.)
Shortly after the DQ stop we saw the first shoreline in our journey. The place was very quaint and looked like a fisherman’s town. If we hadn’t had lunch, this spot would have been perfect for a “fish and chips with a view” opportunity. If you can’t enjoy the PCH from further north, the view at this spot made the boring part of the trip worth it. It didn’t last long and we went back to evergreens and asphalt pretty fast! About 20-25 mins later we hit water again at the Washington/Oregon line which has a viewpoint dedicated to Lewis and Clark. The open water was littered with cargo ships anchored in place with minimal activity. We weren’t expecting such a slow evening since at 6pm, the PNW has a few more hours of sunshine left.
Luckily, Astoria, Seaside and Cannon Beach were across the bay. We got to the notorious Goonies town and drove by fast since the house used for the movie doesn’t allow tours or visitors. A couple of golf courses later, we hit Ecola and the beach. Public parking is ample and conveniently located for guests, and even though the place was full we didn’t run into delays or too many patrons. After a 45 mim walk to and from a cool shot of Haystack Rock, we spent some time wishing we had taken the kites from the car to fly them for a while. We were so worried of not getting there waaay before sunset that we had to ditch the beach party gear. 😦 It was a gamble that paid off because we had more time to FaceTime with our family and show them the beautiful scenery.
Famished because of all the walking we did on the noisy sand, we walked over to Harding Trading Co and had one of the best meals we had in a while: Gnocci, steak au poivre and fresh halibut accompanied by olives and cheese/fig baguettes. It was so decadent and delicious we could barely walk! The restaurant itself is part store part grandma’s kitchen with flair giving us a lot of items to choose from when playing a family game of “veo, veo”. We laughed so hard because our nephew made us guess the word Skull, since he could see it on a kite across the street. It took us a good 25 mins to find it. We couldn’t stop cracking up after that one.
If Harding is too full or has a long list, there is a brewery around the street with ample inside and outside tables. Castaways or any other restaurant nearby would be a good fit too. The convention center is nearby so many businesses flank it. There are also a few kite shops on the way to and from the restaurants for those who didn’t come prepared but they close before 6pm. Many places start shutting down at 9pm, even on Saturdays, so pay attention to the time as well.
Around 8:45-9:10pm we circled back to HW 26 and drove, through evergreens and winding roads, under the full moon, the 70+ miles to Portland’s Lloyd Center DoubleTree. Fresh warm cookies in hand, we trekked to our room and called it a day. Next time we will stay in the beach area. Judging on the 5 hr drive back due to unfortunate traffic events, we might have to fly there. No more road trips for us for a long time.