Throwing it back to our honeymoon today…
I thought visiting Cannon Beach was a guarantee I’d see some sea stars and other interesting intertidal creatures. No such luck. When we got back to the hotel for the evening, Jeff and I set off to work figuring out what we’d do the next morning. Hitting up the beach again was definitely my priority. I was determined to see at least one dang sea star. I just wasn’t sure if we should head back to Cannon Beach and time our visit around tide times better or find some place new. In true ~us~ fashion, we decided that since our time was limited and the coast was just so magical we should check out somewhere new.
I started to tell Jeff about this spot I had found photos of when he said “…I think we’re looking at the same place!” That sealed the deal, I checked tide times, and the next morning we headed off to Hug Point. The internet promised waterfalls, caves, and access to tidepools. I could not wait!
We pulled in to an empty parking lot an hour and a half before low tide. The view as we walked down the stairs to the beach assured me we had picked the right spot. Almost immediately I spotted my second banana slug ever. I was over the moon! It didn’t matter what else I found or saw on the beach, I was pleased!
I couldn’t believe we had the whole place to ourselves. It didn’t seem real. In the morning light, Hug Point looks like a movie set. It was nothing short of magical. We wandered the beach, back and forth, waiting for the tide to go completely out. More creatures revealed themselves as each minute passed. It’s truly amazing how quickly the water drops (and in turn, how quickly it comes back in!)
We spotted many colorful sea anemones, interesting little fish, and exactly what I came to the coast looking for – sea stars! I was surprised how hard they were to see. In photos, it’s so obvious where they are but in person, they’re much better camouflaged. I concentrated on one specific rock that I felt was promising. On a part of the rock a bit further away, in water too deep to walk into, I could see a red sea star so I knew there had to be more. I finally spotted a purple one I could walk out to (with caution because the waves were too deep to squat in but when the water washed out I could bend down real quick to snap a photo.) After visiting the same one three or four times throughout the course of our visit I spotted two more that I had just walked right by. I was THRILLED!
I still can’t believe Hug Point is real. It’s so close to Cannon Beach (just five miles south!) and in my humble opinion, a thousand times better. So why is it not overrun with people as well? It’s certainly strange but I’m very happy we were able to have that experience. We had the whole place to ourselves, aside from one guy with a dog, for over two hours. It was perfect. Easily my favorite beach experience, ever.
If you’re visiting the Oregon coast, Hug Point is a must!
For more on our PNW trip, including hotel + food recommendations – check out this post.