Fans of "The Goonies" will love visiting the movie's site, Cannon Beach, Oregon. This small hamlet packs in a ton of beauty and activities.
Anyone blown away by the sheer grandeur of the mystical coastline in Spielberg’s classic 1985 kid’s flick “The Goonies” can drop by Cannon Beach to see the landscape up close and in person. Along with nearby Seaside, Cannon Beach is one of Oregon’s most popular beach towns — and for good reason. The scenic beach and ocean view is beautiful, and it’s been touched by Hollywood.
A small hamlet with only about 2,000 full-time residents, the seaside paradise fills up on weekends as nearby residents of Portland hit the coast in droves to soak up some sun and explore this dramatic edge of the continent. You won’t be disappointed by the renowned majesty of this sliver of the Pacific Northwest. Plan to let your inner Goonie out in this natural amusement park for all ages.
Play in the Shadow of Haystack Rock
Rising more than 230 feet above the shoreline, Haystack Rock is the third largest freestanding sea stack in the world that can be reached by land. It stands as an iconic symbol of the rugged beauty of the Oregon Coast. Several key scenes in “The Goonies” were shot with Haystack Rock in the background, including the opening race scene and the scene with the kids riding their bikes along the bluffs. Centrally located on the town’s beach, it provides a picturesque backdrop for all the action happening on the stretches of golden sand.
Besides sun worshipping and people watching, Cannon Beach is a popular place for kiting, surfing, kayaking, and bicycling. The FUNcycle, a three-wheeled, pedal-powered vehicle that really flies along the flat compact sand near the water’s edge, is the most exciting way to get around. Tide pools at the base of Haystack Rock and the other dozen or so sea stacks along the beach are great spots to hunt for starfish and sea urchins, and bonfires frequently light up the night sky.
Small Town Charm, Big City Flavor
Explore Cannon Beach’s cultural side along the charming pedestrian streets that lead down to the golden sands from Highway 1. The town is popular with people from nearby cities and is home to a fairly large artist colony. As a result, Cannon Beach is surprisingly sophisticated in terms of dining and shopping. After checking out the many galleries in town, stop by the Cannon Beach Arts Association to view a sampling of works created by top local talent and check the current schedule of cultural events in the area. Die hard Goonie fans may want to check out the posters and memorabilia at the Oregon Film Museum, located about 25 miles away in Astoria, where most of the film was shot.
When the sun sets in Cannon Beach, choose from a diverse array of dining options, including outdoor dining at Driftwood Restaurant & Lounge and white linen service at EVOO, which also runs a beachfront cooking school that teaches students to integrate Oregon’s local bounty into classic Mediterranean dishes. It wouldn’t be a Northwest vacation experience without knocking back a micro-brew or two before bed, and the Pelican Brewing Company knows how to pair its Umbrella IPA and Tsunami Stout perfectly with fresh local oysters on the half shell.
The Wild Side of Cannon Beach
A visit to Cannon Beach clears up the mystery of why Oregonians always say they’re going to “the coast” instead of “the beach.” Sandwiched between Ecola State Park and Hug Point, which features caves much like the ones where a lot of the action took place in “The Goonies,” Cannon Beach is right at the trailhead of footpaths that wind through ancient Douglas fir and Sitka spruce forests and lead to jaw dropping vista points far above the crashing surf. The experience is amazing, but nothing like a typical tropical beach. If you want to Goonie out on a hidden cove beach, then Cannon Beach offers a bit of heaven on earth.
As with many parts of the Pacific Northwest, Cannon Beach is visually stunning at any time of year. Take plenty of photos when you visit, and share your Goonie adventure with us on Twitter.