Exploring Oregon’s Hug Point State Park with Kids


Escape any crowds you might have encountered on Cannon Beach by heading south to Hug Point Oregon. It is easy to let little (and big) imaginations run wild as you explore caves carved out by the rising tide, skip a few stones and stalk a few crazy surfers.

History explains the name of Hug Point State park; stagecoaches would travel along the beach, hugging the point as they rode by. You can still walk the original trail early settlers took just north of the parking lot.

We skipped the trail and just headed to Hug Beach.

Hug Point Oregon with Kids

My family and I were spending a few days up the road in Cannon Beach, OR. There are a couple of state parks in the area, including Hug Point State Park and Ecola State Park.

Our adventures started around 10am and we had Hug Beach almost completely to ourselves. A few surfers were out catching some small waves before heading off to work. They were in full, head to toe wetsuits; smart move since the water couldn’t have been more than 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10c). We were in sweatshirts; they were throwing themselves into the ocean. My toddler was trying to follow suit.

My son Dek looked for dragons in the caves with my husband Mike. I climbed a few boulders looking for the waterfall that supposedly was to be found in Hug Point State Park. I later learned that the tiny trickle coming off one of the stones was a much larger waterfall in wetter weather. We’d had a pretty dry summer so far in Oregon.

Hug Point Oregon was an easy morning exploration with a baby and toddler in tow. We were soon back at our hotel for nap time. Of course we had to do a little more digging in the sand at Cannon Beach, Oregon too. I’m just disappointed we didn’t get back to Hug Point at sunset. The light would have been incredible.

Know Before You Go Hug Point

  • Hug Point State Park, 5 miles south of Cannon Beach on U.S. Route 101
  • Cost: free to everyone
  • Strollers? No. Put your baby in a carrier and let walkers explore on foot.
  • Restrooms are available in the parking lot
  • Hiking is easy and the beach is flat.
  • Dangers: keep a very careful watch on the tide. You can get trapped during high tide.

Where to stay near Hug Point State Park

Hug Point Oregon isn’t a day trip for many people. Portland residents can go out for the day and back, but anyone else living in the Pacific Northwest will want to book a hotel room close to Hug Point up in Cannon Beach. Oregon and Washington families love this quiet beach town. The laid back attitude, food, and simple amusements are the perfect place for parents to relax.

Grab the best rates and availability for Cannon Beach hotels now!

Our favorites will always be the Inn at Cannon Beach and Surfsand Resort. The Inn at Cannon Beach is just a block from the surf and offers multiple setups for families both large and small. The Surfsand Resort is your quinntesential beach resort. It is also dog friendly. Amenities abound and the price matches it, but this ocean front property is worth the price. Both hotels are within an easy walk of Haystack Rock, famous from the movie Goonies.


Hug Point Oregon

More photos from Hug Point OR

Oregon State Park via ShutterStock.com

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Showing 12 comments
  • Sabrina

    Beautiful shots! And a very pretty beach. Those caverns would be so fun to explore 🙂

  • Jackie Smith

    I could almost smell the sea in these photos; nice job of capturing the sense of place.

  • Mary @ The World Is A Book

    I love the scenery here. Your posts on Oregon’s coast make me want to skip Portland altogether and just head to this area the next time we make it up there. Beautiful pictures! What a great place to explore.

  • jenny@atasteoftravel

    I can’t get over how beautiful this part of the coast is! Your photos are stunning. It certainly is a perfect spot for a great family holiday

  • Laurel

    Beautiful and so nice that you had the beach to yourself. Sounds like a great day.

  • Leigh

    I love those wild Oregon beaches in rain, wind or sun. It looks like a perfect family outing!

  • Michele @ Malaysian Meanders

    I never seem to think of Beach when I think of Oregon. This looks like such a wonderful place to take the family.

  • InsideJourneys

    I love seeing empty beaches. How beautiful!

  • Debbie Beardsley @ European Travelista

    Oregon’s beaches are indeed beautiful! You’re lucky you caught them when the sun was shining. I wasn’t so lucky but they were still very picturesque.

  • Margaret

    I’ve never been to this Oregon beach, but now I’ll have to. This is gorgeous!

  • Lisa Wood

    Looks so pretty and sounds like a great place to explore with kids 🙂

  • Charu

    What a fabulous place to explore with kids! I love that stretch of beach!

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