Gayle Christopher

Setting: In Clatsop County, Cannon Beach enjoys peacefulisolation, lying 79 miles northwest of Portland and 9 miles southof Seaside.

Attractions: Haystack Rock anchors a glorious 31⁄2-mile-long beach. Surrounding pine-covered hills serve asa playground for outdoor-activity lovers. The quaint, compactvillage offers art galleries, restaurants, and boutiques. Winterand summer temperatures average 44 and 60, respectively. An average90 inches of rain each year contributes to lush greenery.

Drawbacks: Real-estate prices have skyrocketed in the pastfew years. Except for privately owned mom-and-pop shops, hotel andrestaurant jobs constitute most of the town's employment. Low-lyingparts of town sit in a tsunami zone. Winter storms can beintense.

Housing Options: Geologic restraints to new development,coupled with residents' reluctance to sell existing homes, resultin a tight housing market. Cottages along the "presidentialstreets" sit in close proximity to both the beach and shops.Beachfront Tolovana Park homes, south of downtown, enjoy moresolitude and space. Luxury residences perched on Chapman Pointcommand, appropriately, million-dollar views.

What It Costs: "$330,000 will get you a basic,1,600-square-foot inland home with no view," says broker DuaneJohnson. "Small cottages near the beach could go for $500,000; fora home, several hundred thousand more." For anything oceanfront orwith water views, expect to pay at least $1 million. Developedlow-income homes average $225,000.

Your Next-door Neighbors: A gallery owner, a hotel clerk,any one of several past mayors, retirees, weekend vacationers,professionals from Portland, a wine shop owner, a fireman.

How You'd Spend Your Free Time: Strolling the beach, pokingaround tide pools, taking a cooking class, volunteering at theHaystack Rock Awareness Program, dodging summer tourists, hikingalongside heart-soaring vistas in Ecola State Park, surfing atIndian Beach, people-watching from the deck at Driftwood Inn,participating in productions at the Coaster Theatre Playhouse.

published October 2005

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