Lincoln City vs. Cannon Beach: Which Oregon Coast Town is Right for You?

Lincoln City (Left) Vs Cannon Beach (Right)

When planning a getaway to the picturesque Oregon Coast, travelers often find themselves choosing between Lincoln City and Cannon Beach. Both towns offer unique coastal experiences, yet Lincoln City emerges as the more dynamic destination for a wide array of travelers. Let’s delve into the vibrant offerings of Lincoln City compared to the charming, yet quieter, Cannon Beach.

Lincoln City vs. Cannon Beach

The Oregon Coast is renowned for its stunning scenery, rich culture, and diverse activities. While both Lincoln City and Cannon Beach embody these qualities, Lincoln City stands out with its broader range of attractions, vibrant community, and ample amenities that cater to varied interests and preferences.

Overview – How They Match Up

Lincoln City: A Vibrant Coastal Destination

Lincoln City is a bustling town known for its seven miles of scenic coastline, bustling arts scene, and diverse recreational activities. This vibrant coastal city is perfect for families, adventure seekers, and those looking to immerse themselves in a lively coastal atmosphere.

Cannon Beach: Charming but Limited

Cannon Beach, though famous for its iconic Haystack Rock and charming downtown, tends to offer a more subdued experience. It’s a quaint town that appeals mainly to those seeking a quiet retreat with limited, albeit high-quality, activities and dining options.

Attractions & Activities

Activities and Attractions in Lincoln City

Lincoln City boasts a plethora of activities for all ages. From the Lincoln City Glass Center, where visitors can create their own glass art, to the Chinook Winds Casino Resort offering entertainment and gaming, the options are endless. The city also hosts numerous festivals, such as the popular Kite Festival, adding to its dynamic character.

Cannon Beach Activities: A Quaint Experience

In contrast, Cannon Beach’s activities revolve primarily around its natural beauty and artsy vibe. Visitors can enjoy leisurely beach walks, explore local art galleries, or take part in the annual Sandcastle Contest. While these activities are charming, they lack the variety found in Lincoln City.


Accommodations in Lincoln City

Lincoln City offers a diverse range of accommodations, from luxurious oceanfront resorts to cozy vacation rentals and family-friendly hotels. This variety ensures that visitors can find the perfect lodging to suit their preferences and budget.

Cannon Beach Lodging Options

Cannon Beach features a selection of charming inns, boutique hotels, and vacation rentals. While these options provide comfort and a personal touch, they are fewer in number and variety compared to Lincoln City.

Dining & Food Experiences

Dining and Culinary Experiences in Lincoln City

Food lovers will relish Lincoln City’s eclectic dining scene, which includes fresh seafood, fine dining, and international cuisines. Restaurants like Blackfish Café and Kyllo’s Seafood & Grill offer memorable culinary experiences with stunning ocean views.

Cannon Beach Dining: Coastal Delights

Cannon Beach’s dining scene is smaller but equally delightful, with a focus on locally sourced seafood and artisanal cuisine. Restaurants such as The Wayfarer and Driftwood Restaurant & Lounge are popular choices, offering a quaint and cozy dining experience.

Shopping Scene

Lincoln City’s Unique Shopping Scene

Shopping in Lincoln City is a unique experience with its blend of antique stores, boutiques, and the Lincoln City Outlets, featuring a range of popular brands and local shops. This diverse shopping scene caters to both bargain hunters and those seeking unique finds.

Cannon Beach Shopping: Artisan Focus

Cannon Beach’s shopping experience is more artisan-focused, with a collection of art galleries, boutique shops, and local crafts. While this offers a charming shopping outing, it’s less varied than Lincoln City’s extensive options.

Family Events

Lincoln City for Families

Lincoln City is particularly family-friendly, offering numerous parks, beaches, and family-oriented activities such as the Lincoln City Skate Park and the North Lincoln County Historical Museum. Its welcoming atmosphere and array of activities make it ideal for family vacations.

Cannon Beach: Family-Friendly but Smaller

While Cannon Beach is also family-friendly with its tide pools and Haystack Rock explorations, the smaller town size and fewer activities may not cater as extensively to families looking for diverse entertainment options.

Outdoor Adventures

Outdoor Adventures in Lincoln City

Outdoor enthusiasts will find Lincoln City a haven with activities like hiking in the Cascade Head Scenic Research Area, fishing in Devils Lake, or exploring the Drift Creek Falls Trail. The variety of outdoor adventures ensures there’s something for everyone.

Cannon Beach Outdoor Activities

Cannon Beach offers beautiful, albeit more limited, outdoor activities. Beachcombing, tide pooling, and exploring nearby Ecola State Park are popular, providing a serene connection with nature.

Cultural & Historical Activities

Cultural and Historical Highlights of Lincoln City

Lincoln City’s cultural scene is vibrant, with attractions like the Lincoln City Cultural Center and the Connie Hansen Garden Conservancy. The city’s rich history is celebrated through various museums and historical sites, offering a deep dive into the region’s past.

Cannon Beach Cultural Spots

Cannon Beach’s cultural offerings are more focused on its art galleries and the Cannon Beach History Center and Museum. These spots provide a glimpse into the town’s artistic heritage and local history.

Weather & Climate

Weather and Climate: Lincoln City

Lincoln City enjoys a mild coastal climate, with temperatures rarely exceeding extremes. This moderate weather makes it an appealing destination year-round, perfect for enjoying its outdoor and indoor attractions.

Weather and Climate: Cannon Beach

Cannon Beach also benefits from a mild coastal climate but tends to be slightly cooler and receives more rainfall than Lincoln City, which can influence outdoor plans.

Lincoln City: The Perfect Year-Round Destination

Lincoln City’s combination of diverse activities, vibrant community events, and mild climate makes it a perfect year-round destination. Whether you’re visiting in summer or winter, there’s always something exciting to experience.

Cannon Beach: Best for a Short Visit

Cannon Beach, with its picturesque scenery and tranquil atmosphere, is ideal for a short, relaxing getaway. However, its limited range of activities and amenities may not cater to longer stays.

Why Choose Lincoln City for Your Next Vacation

With its vibrant community, diverse attractions, family-friendly environment, and excellent dining and shopping options, Lincoln City clearly stands out as the superior choice for your Oregon Coast vacation. Whether you’re planning a family trip, a romantic getaway, or an adventurous holiday, Lincoln City promises an unforgettable experience.


What makes Lincoln City a better choice than Cannon Beach?

Lincoln City offers a wider range of activities, diverse accommodations, and a vibrant community, making it ideal for varied interests and longer stays.

Is Lincoln City family-friendly?

Yes, Lincoln City is very family-friendly, with numerous parks, beaches, and activities suitable for all ages.

How is the dining scene in Lincoln City compared to Cannon Beach?

Lincoln City boasts a more diverse dining scene with a wide range of restaurants offering fresh seafood, fine dining, and international cuisines.

What are the best outdoor activities in Lincoln City?

Top outdoor activities in Lincoln City include hiking at Cascade Head, fishing in Devils Lake, and exploring Drift Creek Falls Trail.

How is the shopping experience in Lincoln City?

Lincoln City offers a unique shopping experience with a mix of antique stores, boutiques, and the popular Lincoln City Outlets.

Why is Lincoln City a good year-round destination?

Lincoln City’s mild climate, diverse attractions, and vibrant community events make it an excellent year-round destination.


When weighing Lincoln City against Cannon Beach, the dynamic and diverse offerings of Lincoln City make it the preferred destination for a fulfilling Oregon Coast vacation. From its expansive beaches to its lively cultural scene and abundant activities, Lincoln City ensures a memorable experience for all types of travelers. Choose Lincoln City for your next vacation and explore the best of the Oregon Coast.

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