Beautiful Beaches to Visit in 2014

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So many beaches, so little vacation time: here’s where to leave your footprints in the sand this year.

Cannon Beach, OR

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Conifer forests meet the Pacific Ocean at Cannon Beach, where colossal rocks add a primal touch to the seascape. This nine-mile stretch of sand is known for Haystack Rock, a hefty 235-foot-high landmark that has caves you can explore at low tide. (It also attracts around 2,000 seabirds, including puffins and oystercatchers.) A pair of neighboring sea stacks is called The Needles. The 50th anniversary of Cannon Beach’s annual Sandcastle Contest takes place June 21, 2014, but that goes nowhere near to explaining how creative these sand sculptures can get. Try envisioning a fairy-tale turret complete with Rapunzel lowering her hair or a group of sharks and seals hanging out at a sand bar. cannonbeach.org

Best time to visit: June through September

Beautiful Beaches to Visit in 2014

Cannon Beach, OR

Conifer forests meet the Pacific Ocean at Cannon Beach, where colossal rocks add a primal touch to the seascape. This nine-mile stretch of sand is known for Haystack Rock, a hefty 235-foot-high landmark that has caves you can explore at low tide. (It also attracts around 2,000 seabirds, including puffins and oystercatchers.) A pair of neighboring sea stacks is called The Needles. The 50th anniversary of Cannon Beach’s annual Sandcastle Contest takes place June 21, 2014, but that goes nowhere near to explaining how creative these sand sculptures can get. Try envisioning a fairy-tale turret complete with Rapunzel lowering her hair or a group of sharks and seals hanging out at a sand bar. cannonbeach.org

Best time to visit: June through September

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