Looking for Puffins in Oregon (Our Impromptu Oregon trip with kids part 2!)


August 18, 2014 by Terumi

looking for puffins at cannon beach with kids

The hubby and I honeymooned through Oregon on a drive from British Columbia to California just over 12 years ago and we couldn’t believe that after all this time living in Seattle, we haven’t been back to the coast.
And then my friend Jamie heard me whining at a mom’s night that I hadn’t seen any puffins in Iceland and enlightened me that we actually HAVE puffins in the northwest and they come to Cannon Beach and she even had a post to prove it.

Cannon Beach in oregon with kids
So that might have been what set this whole trip off in the first place and all the while that we drove through Astoria and Seaside, I could only think of seeing my favorite puffins in the wild.

looking for puffins at Cannon Beach in oregon with kidssleepy monk coffee roasters is a great latte stop
But after we grabbed our coffee at the Sleepy Monk Coffee Roasters in Cannon Beach (where I smiled when I heard a barista tell a customer they were old-fashioned and DID NOT HAVE WIFI because they wanted people to unplug and relax) and arrived at Cannon Beach, there were NO puffins anywhere to be seen.

looking for puffins in Cannon Beach with kids

Now puffins usually leave Cannon Beach by the beginning of August so I would have been out of luck anyways.  But this year, they were late arriving and will be around for a few weeks longer, so I actually had the perfect chance.  I asked a beach naturalist who confirmed they were there, but just in their burrows and we had to come back before 7:30am in the morning if we actually wanted to see them.

So for one of the only times EVER (this includes Black Friday and early airplane flights) I was actually happy my guys are early risers.

The next day, we arrived at the crack of dawn.

And there they were.  Millions and millions (okay not millions.  But more than a handful) of adorable puffins.

puffins at Cannon Beach in the summer time on the haystack rock

PUffins at Cannon Beach with kids in oregon

I felt like I achieved a life-goal.

Puffins at Cannon Beach

My kids helped me spot a puffin, then went back to tunneling in the sand.

digging in the sand

They were more thrilled when we arrived at Pig ‘n Pancake for pancakes and hot chocolate.

Pig n Pancake in Oregon with kids hot chocolate  pig n pancake at Cannon Beach Oregon with kids meal hot chocolate

And loved that we had more beach time at Hug Point with sandwiches we picked up from the Tsunami Sandwich Company in Seaside.

picnic at Hug Point oregon with kids bring sweaters

Hug Point

I think we could have spent a lot more time at Hug Point.  This place was filled with waterfalls and caves and the beach was so gorgeous.  The restrooms were just a little odd because they had toilets but no sinks but it was nice that they were not outhouse restrooms, I guess.

caves at Hug Point with kids adventuring in oregonHug Point in OregonHug PointOregon Beach

I have no idea why it’s taken us so long to come back to the coast.  We’re already thinking about which weekend we’ll return next year.  (It’ll definitely be timed with puffin season too!)  Have you been to the Oregon Coast?  Do you have recommendations on what to do or where to stay?

bird onshore at Hug Point





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Terumi-author of An Emerald City Life

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