Whether you're seeking a quintessential West Coast beach community for a romantic getaway, a corporate team-building retreat, or an outdoor-oriented family vacation, consider Cannon Beach. Just an hour from Portland on a winding highway featuring forests, a small mountain range, wild meadows, and rambling creeks and rivers, Cannon Beach offers travelers a combination of small-town charm and world-class amenities, and there are Cannon Beach vacation rentals to suit every preference. You can start the day with a sunrise horseback ride on the long, sandy shoreline, take the kids for hand-pulled taffy made with fresh local seawater in the afternoon, and wind down with a gourmet meal complete with fine wine with your partner against the background of a gorgeous Pacific Ocean sunset. Iconic Haystack Rock is visible from any spot in town, but you'll want to get as close up as possible for a good view of the tufted puffin colony that makes this rock their seasonal home. You'll find prime picnicking spots just south of town at Arcadia Beach, where you can explore tidepools on the beach before or after an al fresco meal. Nature trails, a picturesque lighthouse, and sweeping ocean vistas are waiting for slightly north of Cannon Beach at Ecola State Park. The community's quaint downtown offers boutique shopping, cafes with chowder and other seafood delights, and art galleries brimming with works created by local talent. Although most visitors enjoy the Oregon coast during the summer season, don't overlook its possibilities the rest of the year. Crowds are noticeably thinner after school starts in the fall and until it lets out again in spring -- and although Oregon experiences many calm, sunny days in fall, winter, and spring, the dramatic beauty of a Pacific storm is one of nature's most stunning sights.