by Phil Corless
If your family stays at the Hallmark Resort in Cannon Beach, you won’t be able to take your eyes off Haystack Rock, the iconic monolith which looms over the beach. That’s because Hallmark Resort sits practically right next to it. But the amazing view is just the start of what the resort has to offer its guests. Families come to Cannon Beach to enjoy the sun and sand, and Hallmark’s prime location on the beach provides quick and easy access to the fun.
There’s a casual spa-like atmosphere as soon as you enter the lobby, with its huge windows overlooking the town and beach. You’ll be greeted by the smell of freshly-baked cookies, shelves of the latest DVDs for guests to borrow, and a rack of local and national newspapers to read by a warm fireplace. Hotel staff is very friendly and eager to help, and they will get your family up to speed with all that the resort has to offer. That includes free bike rentals, beach chairs, two indoor pools, and the onsite spa, Elements By The Sea.
Beyond the lobby, you’ll find three floors of spacious rooms for families both large and small. The rooms, many with fireplaces and balconies, are clean and roomy, so a big family won’t feel squeezed for space. There are suite options that can accommodate up to six guests. Most of the suites have a kitchenette or galley kitchen, which can help you save money at meal times. Mostly, though, that view of Cannon Beach and Haystack Rock will have you mesmerized. If you can spend a little more to get an oceanfront room, you will not be sorry.
Our Editor Loves
- Prime location on the beach
- Free bike rentals
- Indoor saltwater pools
- Free Wi-Fi
Rooms & Rates
The most economical choice at the Hallmark Resort is its standard, non-view room, which can hold a small family of three. You'll get a very comfortable space with one queen bed and one twin bed. However, you'll give up the convenience of a kitchenette for just a microwave and a refrigerator. It's a good choice if your stay is short and you plan to eat out for most of your meals.
The amazing view is close enough, as the walk from any part of the resort to the beach is no more than a few minutes. There are various standard rooms that do have a view of the beach. You'll pay more, but the extra amenities of a balcony, fireplace, and jetted tub might be worth it. There are three floors of standard rooms, sleeping two to three guests comfortably.
For a family of four or more, you'll want to look at Hallmark's selection of suites. Our family stayed in a one-bedroom oceanfront suite that felt like a small apartment. It featured queen and twin beds in a separate bedroom, and a surprisingly comfortable queen Murphy bed in the living room that we could fold up and get out of the way during the day. The full kitchen was perfect for breakfast, although we didn't use all of its features, like the dishwasher, during our relatively short stay.
Our favorite memories of this suite were the walk-out balcony, where all four of us could sit and watch the sunset, and the cozy fireplace, which we could retreat back into the room for after the sun was gone and a chill had hit the air.
For an even larger space, Hallmark has two-bedroom suites available that include most of the same amenities. For a large suite that is more economical, Hallmark has a separate building located just one block away from the main building. These Hallmark Suites all sleep up to four guests on king and queen beds.
Amenities here include spacious living rooms, galley kitchens, and jetted tubs in the bathroom. You may be giving up an ocean view, but you get a lot of space for a lower price. The Hallmark Suites are the newest addition to the resort, so the rooms can feel a bit less dated than the rest of the grounds. This separate building contains its own heated indoor saltwater pool and spa, so you're not missing out on anything except the view. But even that is just a minute's walk across the street.
For even larger accommodations, Hallmark Resort offers several beachfront vacation homes right next to the resort. These four luxury-style homes can sleep from six to 10. They all sit right on the beach for instant access to the sand. Each of them have huge decks, guaranteeing the perfect spot for your family meals. As with the other Hallmark rooms and suites, the beach cabins come with all of the amenities that you would expect in a resort stay, including housekeeping. This a great choice for a large family or several families vacationing together.
by Kristi G
My boys loved the easy beach access and the daily baked fresh cookies! Our room was clean and spacious, but I wish that we had opted for the ocean view room for a little more money. I did like the patio though.
Loved the location of this hotel, it is literally steps to Haystack Rock. Can't beat that!
In all fairness, when I made the reservation they did tell us they were under construction. Let that be a lesson learned. What we found out is that, although the construction was going on in the building next door, they really haven't done much to update the rooms in the building where we stayed. It was dated. Staff was so-so and didn't really go out of their way to welcome you or accommodate any special needs. They did tell us there would be cookies in the lobby later in the evening! OK....
The bed was not uncomfortable, but not completely inviting...if you know what I mean. I had higher hopes!
Linens were dated (bed and bath) and there was a small humid odor (just not that Downy smell). It's a bit of a drive or a long walk into the downtown, beach walking is probably safer. We ate breakfast at an awesome little place in downtown, called Fireside Grill and it was warm, inviting and decorated for Christmas - plus they had a roaring fire going, which was special.
You don't want to go swimming in the chilly waters of the Pacific Ocean, so Hallmark's two heated indoor saltwater pools are the next best thing. Each pool, in separate locations, includes a hot tub. There's also a sauna just for adults. The main pool is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. while the pool at the Suites across the street is open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Both pools range from about 4 to 6 feet in depth and are great for cooling off on warm days -- or warming up on cool days.
Hallmark's cruiser bikes are a popular way to get around town, and they are free to guests of the resort. The bikes are easy to ride, with big wheels for stability. The clerk at the front desk will set you and your family up with a bike and lock. However, bring your own bike helmet if that's a concern.
Hallmark Resort sits on a low bluff above Cannon Beach and opposite the iconic Haystack Rock. The beach is accessible down a short flight of stairs. Before you descend, kids can pick up a play bucket in the lobby, because you can't go to the beach without building a sand castle! The resort also provides beach chairs to guests. At night, purchase firewood in the lobby for a roaring beach fire (don't forget the marshmallows).
Staying so close to Haystack Rock allows plenty of time to explore Haystack Rock, which is a National Wildlife Refuge. At low tide, you can walk right up to explore its many tidal pools, where kids will thrill at the variety of sea life, including sea stars and anemones, or gawk at the many birds that call the rock their home, including cormorants, falcons, and puffins.
There is no onsite dining at Hallmark Resort, but guests can walk just a few blocks to find several excellent restaurants, including The Wayfarer, The Irish Table, and Cannon Beach Hardware & Pub. The latter is exactly what it sounds like -- a family-friendly brew pub located inside a hardware store that will have your kids wide-eyed and delighted.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
Wi-Fi is strong throughout the resort, so your teens will be happy.
Pets are very welcome, and the resort even provides exercise areas, wash-down stations and dog treats.
Stock up at nearby Theresa's Family Market, which is small, but convenient for your in-room kitchenette or kitchen.
There are freshly baked cookies in the lobby each afternoon and evening, along with popcorn.
The Art of Smart Timing
Cannon Beach is a popular destination on the Oregon coast, and the summer months of June, July, and August can be crowded. As one of the more sought after accommodations in town, Hallmark Resort books up well in advance of the summer season. To secure the best room or suite for your family during that time, we advise that you plan ahead as early as October of the previous year. Summers may be ideal in terms of weather and time off from school, but if you can manage a family vacation during the spring or fall, you will find smaller crowds, cheaper prices, and decent weather.
Temperatures on the Oregon coast are generally above 60 from May through October, with the warmest months of August and September averaging near 70 degrees. For outdoor exploration, the only time of the year you might want to avoid is the winter storm months, lasting from mid-November through early March. But if your idea of fun is to curl up in front of a cozy fireplace while admiring the amazing ocean view, then any time of the year will be fine.
Hallmark Resort routinely offers special packages during the non-summer season, such as huge discounts to stay one night and get the second night free.
Cannon Beach is nearly 90 minutes east of Portland, and four hours south of Seattle. To get there by air, the closest international airport is Portland International Airport, serviced by Alaska, Horizon, American, Delta, Southwest, United and most other major airlines.
By road, Cannon Beach is an easy 90-minute drive from Portland, via Hwy 26. If driving from the Seattle area, travel south on Highway 101 for a leisurely four-hour drive.
Cannon Beach is a small town, and Hallmark Resort is centrally located, so most every place in town is within a leisurely 15-minute walk. If your family is tired after a day of running up and down the beach, catch the Cannon Beach Shuttle, which travels a north-south route along the town's main street on an hourly basis. There's a shuttle stop just two blocks from Hallmark, making it easy to get from one end of town to the other for only $1 per person.
While the shuttle is convenient, our family enjoyed walking along the sandy beach to the shops and restaurants north of the resort. Good parking spaces close to beach access are hard to find during the busy summer months, so you might be better off just leaving your car at the resort, where parking is free. Take advantage of the free bike rentals offered by the resort for yet another way to easily get around town.
For Mom and Dad
Try The Wayfarer restaurant and lounge, a 5-minute walk from the Hallmark Resort, for fresh seafood and a breathtaking ocean view. Also nearby is the Sleepy Monk Coffee Shop, where you can enjoy a fresh-roasted cup of coffee in a relaxed atmosphere while the kids sleep in back at the resort.
And don't forget the onsite spa, Elements By The Sea, where you can get a massage, facial, body wrap, or much needed down time in the steam room. Down by the resort's indoor pools, you'll find an adults-only spa to enjoy, along with sauna and exercise room.