In April 2023, we scheduled a team summit to be held at our Portland, Oregon office. I had been to Portland a few years back including some extra days of touring around. That time, I went our the Columbia River Gorge. This time, I wanted to see the coast so headed west to Cannon Beach.
Fri 21-Apr and Sat 22-Apr
I was able to get an evening flight to Portland direct from Newark. This was great as I could work most of the day but it did make for a long day. My flight left on-time at 7pm EDT and arrived in Portland around 10pm PDT (so 1am EDT). I elected to stay a hotel right near the airport. This worked out well as they even had a shuttle. Given the long day, I just crashed after my arrival.
On Saturday morning, after a run and breakfast, I grabbed a Lyft downtown to pick up my rental car for the weekend. (There is a train but Portland has gotten a little rough and it was suggested we not take public transport.) After grabbing my car, I headed west toward the coast. I first headed to Seaside (about 90 minutes from Portland) to poke around a bit. While there, I hit up Sisu Brewery (cool location in an old theater but only so-so beer), walked along the beach and the town, and had lunch and beer at Seaside Brewery (decent food and beer).
I then headed south about 15 minutes to Cannon Beach. This was the main destination for my trip. After stopping by my hotel, The Hallmark Inn (a bit too early to check in yet), I headed out for photos of the famous Haystack Rock, which is right in front of the hotel, and a walk along the beach back to town. It was very cool to see Haystack Rock itself and the whole beach area. I wandered through town some more, hitting up Public Coast Brewing (good stuff, best in town) before heading back to the hotel (about a 15 minute walk) to check in. My room was fine and I even had a sliver of a view of the beach. (I hadn’t booked a beach view room.) After a bit of relaxing, I headed back out for what I thought should be sunset photos. However, I was a couple of hours early. Not sure how I had the wrong time. Next up was a decent dinner and beer at Pelican Brewing followed by a few more photos at actual sunset (though it wasn’t a poor sunset due to clouds).
I got up early for sunrise photos. It wasn’t a great sunrise (clouds again) but was cool to be the only one on the beach early in the morning. I had planned for breakfast at Sleepy Monk but there was a long line so I headed back into town and had a wonderful (though pricey) crab eggs Benedict at Oros Fireside. After a quick stop at Mariner Market, it was back to the hotel to hop in the car and head to Ecola State Park for some views and hiking. My first stop was to do the 3 mile Clatsop Loop Trail, starting from Indian Point. This was a great trail and included a nice view of Tillamook Rock Light. It was a pretty muddy though. After the hike and a walk on Indian Beach itself, I drove down to Ecola Point for a great, though foggy view, of Haystack Rock in the distance. I started the Indian Beach Trail but it got pretty muddy and the weather was iffy. I ended up turning around and heading back to Cannon Beach.
After parking back at the hotel, I headed back to town for lunch at Pizza a’Fetta (really good). I wandered town some more, stopping for some taffy for my colleagues at the summit at Bruce’s Candy Kitchen. I hit up Bill’s Tavern and Brewhouse (so-so beer) before heading back to Public Coast (in a heavy rain). Luckily it had stopped raining after a while so I headed back toward the hotel, stopping at Screw N Brew in the Cannon Beach Hardware store for dinner. Yes, there’s a pub/restaurant inside the hardware store. It was actually quite good.
I woke up early enough for sunrise but my weather app said it was cloudy. I finally got up an peeked out my window to see a wonderful sky. I rushed to get dressed, grabbed my camera and headed out for some great morning photos around Haystack Rock. After packing up, I headed to some delicious pastries and coffee at Sleepy Monk Coffee Roasters. Then it was back to the hotel to grab my car and head back to Portland. Cannon Beach was a wonderful side trip and worth the extra couple of days. While my hotel was just a bit outside of town (15 minute walk) it was great to be right at Haystack Rock.
After dropping off my car in Portland, I checked into the Woodlark Hotel which was a very nice, older hotel. I ended up meeting a new colleague from Europe who had just joined for an okay burrito at the food truck market before heading up to Backwoods Brewing (good) for a couple of flights and then meeting my boss and the other team lead for dinner at Deschutes (very well known and very good). Following dinner, we headed over to Ground Kontrol arcade bar to meet up with the rest of the team. On the way back to the hotel, we also made a quick stop at the famous Voodoo Doughnuts.
Tue 25-Apr – Fri 28-Apr
Tuesday was a work day. After the day, we headed to Vancouver, WA for dinner at WilFin (so-so) and a quick flight at Ruse Brewing (really good) and another at Trap Door (so-so). Wednesday was another work day but our evening started with a team building session at Celtic Axe Throwers at Laurelwood Brewing. This was a ton of fun and the beer was decent as well. To finish the evening, we hit Paydirt, some other place I don’t remember, and then closed out the hotel bar.
Thursday was more work. In the evening, I had tasked one our team members who used to work in the Portland office with a brewery crawl. We hit the Portland location of Ruse (very good again), head great beer and great bbq at Little Beast, and then finished up Cascade (also good). We had hoped to hit another couple but most closed at 10pm so we didn’t have enough time.
Friday was my last day in town. I had the day off so after breakfast in the hotel cafe (decent enough) and some final chatting with a few colleagues, I headed up to Washington Park (about a 1.5 mile walk). I wandered through the rose garden, nothing was blooming yet, before spending some time at the wonderful Portland Japanese Garden. Next up was beer at Second Profession and lunch from Tamale Boy next door. Following stops at Ex Novo and Upright (2 beers on cask!), I headed back to the hotel, grab my bag, and grabbed a Lyft back to the airport. I ended up meeting a couple of my UK colleagues who got to the airport a bit earlier at Deschutes and then had dinner and a final couple of beers at Hopwork Urban Brewery before getting the redeye flight home.
The trip was great. I was great to see our whole team in person, our work sessions were very productive, I had lots of great new beer, and my side trip to Cannon Beach was wonderful.