Things to Do in Arch Cape, Oregon
In need of some tranquility and relaxation? Arch Cape is your answer. It’s a small Oregon Coast community that’s considered by many to be one of the best-kept secrets in the state, and the perfect place for travelers hoping to break away from busy cities and towns and enjoy a restful stay. When you want to enjoy top restaurants, visit world-renowned art galleries, sample some of Oregon’s top Pinot Noir, or do a little shopping, the nearby towns of Cannon Beach or Manzanita are just a ten minute drive away. When you stay in Arch Cape, you get to enjoy the best of both worlds. Discover some of our favorite things to do in Arch Cape below!
Things to Do in Arch Cape, Oregon
Arch Cape is less populated than the neighboring towns of Cannon Beach and Manzanita. Visitors can enjoy wandering along the peaceful, serene beaches while exploring interesting tide pools, caves, and even a waterfall, as well as hiking nearby trails. Arch Cape is the ideal destination for those seeking relaxation but also a chance to explore the natural beauty of the coast. Curious what else this off the beaten path beach town offers? Here are a few ideas:
Just north of Arch Cape is Hug Point Recreation Area, a designated Oregon state park. The sweetly named area earned the moniker from early travelers to Arch Cape. Prior to the highway being constructed, in order to get around the rocks that jet into the ocean, the 19th-century stagecoaches and cars would travel south along the beach and then “hug” the point at low tide in order to get to Arch Cape. In fact you can still see the tire ruts that were carved in the rocks. You’ll also want to spend some time exploring the caves and waterfall. You can easily make an afternoon of it with a packed lunch, frisbee for the dog, and kites for the kids! If you are staying in Arch Cape, you can avoid the sometimes crowded parking lot and take a refreshing walk up the beach to reach the area. You’ll have the added bonus of walking past a smaller version of Haystack Rock. Be sure to time your walk at low tide so you can explore the tide pools that surround the rock.
Walk to the south end of Arch Cape and you’ll find an equally interesting rock outcropping. At the very lowest tides, you’ll even be able to walk through the arch to reach a magical beach that is only exposed during low tide. Just be sure to allow time to return back through the arch before the tide rolls in.
The 382-mile Oregon Coast Trail passes through Arch Cape. You can pick up the section that crosses over Neahkahnie Mountain by walking east on Shingle Mill Road at the south end of Arch Cape. Watch for a little foot bridge on your right and follow that to access the lush trail that winds its way through the exceptionally-preserved old growth forest. If you hike 3.5 miles to Cape Falcon, you’ll be rewarded by stunning views of the Pacific. If you’re looking for a longer hike, continue on until you reach Oswald West State Park. Follow the trail down to Smuggler’s Cove, aka Short Sands Beach, where you can take a break and marvel at the surfers in action.
If you’re looking for adventure, bring your surf board, boogie board, or sea kayak, or if you prefer, you can rent from nearby Cleanline Surf in Cannon Beach. The water is definitely cold, so you will likely want to pack a wetsuit too. For a fun and challenging afternoon, try kayaking around Castle Rock at the south end of Arch Cape. Once you get over the break, head out to get a close up view of the variety of birds nesting on the rock.
Restaurants Near Arch Cape
After a day of adventure and exploring, you’ve likely worked up an appetite. Drive 10 minutes up the coast, and you’ll find just what you’re craving! Whether it’s a fresh seafood feast or a casual burger and beer, nearby Cannon Beach offers a variety of restaurants:
- The Wayfarer: Boasting gorgeous views of Haystack Rock and fresh seafood, The Wayfarer is the perfect date night spot.
- Pizza a’Fetta: Whether you dine in or take out, you’re sure to enjoy the selection of hand-tossed pizzas. This spot was voted one of the top 50 pizza restaurants in the nation by Pizza Today Magazine.
- Sweet Basil’s Cafe: This hip Cannon Beach spot is serving organic, vegetarian, and gluten-free options in Cajun and Creole cuisine.
- Driftwood Restaurant and Lounge: This local favorite is known for having good clam chowder and a sunlit patio for al fresco dining.
- The Cannon Beach Hardware Store: Affectionately known as The Screw and Brew, this is another local favorite. Stop in for a cold beer and generously sized burger…and pick up any hardware needs while your at it.
- Seasons Cafe: This is a great, casual spot with a good selection of sandwiches and salads. They have vegetarian-friendly and gluten-free options as well.
- Public Coast Brewing: Head to this brewpub to catch the game or try some of the award-winning local beers.
- The Irish Table: This restaurant is the perfect spot for a special dinner. It’s commonly considered one of the best along the coast!
- Sea Level Bakery + Coffee: The closest spot to Arch Cape for your morning latte – you’ll be tempted by the freshly baked pastries and French-style bread.
- EVOO: Enjoy dinner and a show at this unique spot! Guests can watch the cooking show while you wine and dine on a culinary feast. This is a must for foodies.
One of the best things to do in Arch Cape is to relax by the ocean. Get inspired by the natural beauty of the area, and try your hand at photography, poetry, or meditation. For a relaxing night in, stop at Cannon Beach’s gourmet grocery, Fresh Foods. Pick up some wine, cheese, and chocolate for a French-inspired picnic by the fireplace (or on the beach if it’s warm). There are no grocery stores in Arch Cape. It’s entirely residential, which means fewer crowds for those who prefer seclusion. On stormy days, curl up with a novel or throw a board game night. A simple stroll on the beach is always soothing, even when it’s drizzling.
Where to stay in Arch Cape
Arch Cape has a range of vacation homes, from classic beach cottages to magnificent oceanfront homes. Check out our selection of Arch Cape homes and call our local area experts at 503-297-4090 to help you plan your perfect escape.
How to Get to Arch Cape
Arch Cape is 85 miles from Portland, about a 100-minute drive. Take US-26 West for about 74 miles, then merge onto US-101 South. After 9 miles, you’ll arrive in Arch Cape. Click for directions on Google Maps.