Saltwater Taffy, Smoked Fish and a Day at the Beach

August 26, 2009 | By andrea | Filed in: Life in Oregon, Morsels & Musings, Seafood.

Haystack Rock in Cannon Beach, Oregon

So what do you do when you live in Oregon, it’s summertime and you’ve got relatives visiting? You head to the beach. I’m embarrassed to say that I don’t take advantage of this often enough, considering we only live an hour or so from the coast. I really have no good excuses. Even the fact that I’ve got a busy life (but who doesn’t?) sounds lame when you take into account that the driving time between my home and a scenic masterpiece  is about the length of a Top Chef show. So right now I pledge to take more outings to the beach with my family. Period. Life’s just too short not to.

The Oregon coast is a totally different experience than, say, a beach in Southern California. Sure, people surf and play in the water here but it’s cold water and the weather at the beach usually isn’t hot. But on those rare occassions when it is warm and sunny, it’s amazing!  


Dead jellyfish

Our day trip started off with blue sky and very few clouds early in the afternoon then turned to cloudy skies shortly thereafter. The kids didn’t mind, though; they were quite content building sandcastles and looking at the dead jellyfish that had strangely drifted ashore (I’ve never seen dead jellyfish before). Anyway, after several hours of sandcastle building and dead jellyfish gazing, it was time to make a few stops in town before starting the return trip home.


Saltwater taffy from Bruce's Candy Kitchen

Although I’ve never been a huge fan of saltwater taffy, how could I not take my kids to the candy store before leaving the quaint beach community of Cannon Beach? Besides, I’m all about supporting local business. The saltwater taffy that I bought at Bruce’s Candy Kitchen was probably the best I’ve ever had. It was soft, chewy and sweet (not stale and rock hard like other taffies I’ve sampled in the past). I didn’t try all of Bruce’s taffy flavors, just some of the fruity ones: blueberry, marionberry, watermelon, orange, green apple. I enjoyed each of the flavors. Bruce’s even has an open kitchen so you can watch the candy makers pulling the taffy. The candy store was filled with all kinds of sweet treats and knick knacks but I stuck to the saltwater taffy and a few old-fashioned candy trinkets for the munchkins.


Cherry turnover from Cannon Beach Bakery

Next was a stop at the Cannon Beach Bakery for a loaf of Haystack Bread, a French-like loaf of bread shaped somewhat like Cannon Beach’s famous Haystack Rock. The kids also wanted another treat so we got a cupcake and a cherry turnover. Normally I don’t let my kids go hog wild on sugar but it was a special day…we were at the beach! Child #1 thoroughly enjoyed his cherry turnover and was patient enough to let me take a picture of it. However, Child #2 inhaled his cupcake before I could even get my camera out of the bag.  Oh well, he liked the cupcake and that’s all that matters. 


Smoked fish from Ecola Seafoods

The last thing I had to do before leaving town was to stop at Ecola Seafoods for some smoked fish and a bowl of clam chowder. The cold case was filled with all kinds of fresh and smoked seafoods but I decided to buy my favorites: smoked Albacore tuna and smoked salmon.  In the photo, the big hunk of fish on the left is not a chunk of driftwood but actually a delicious piece of smoked Albacore tuna. Smoked tuna is a little drier than smoked salmon but every bit as delicious.

Our ride home was uneventful and we made it home safely shortly after Husband got home from work. The kids are already asking when we can go to the beach again, and I’m already daydreaming about my next tasting of saltwater taffy and smoked fish (not together, though). It looks like we may have a free day in a few weeks….

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3 comments on “Saltwater Taffy, Smoked Fish and a Day at the Beach

  1. robinsue says:

    Great post. This brought back many memories of the few times I visited Cannon Beach. We loved Bruce’s and his seafoam candy is very good too- or some call it honeycomb. We also like to stop in at Doogers and bring home their clam chowder kits to make a great chowder at home. The beach is so beautiful there, someday I hope to go back.

  2. Love this post. We moved away from Portland a couple of years ago and I miss the coast SO much (especially since I moved to a virtual desert!)

  3. Rita says:

    My son Thom took me to Cannon Beach on one of my first visits to Portland. It is a beautiful beach. I too enjoyed the saltwater taffy, and my daughter-in-law loves the haystacks! My favorite pastry from Cannon Beach Bakery is the Marion Berry turnover. Oh soooo good. What else can you ask for on a sunny day? Maybe a stroll along the beach. Hopefully next summer I can make it up to Portland and Cannon Beach, but for now I’ll fight the heat in Southern California.