It’s hard to believe that plans for the Cannon Beach History Center & Museum twelfth annual Cottage & Garden Tour have already begun.  It seems only yesterday, that the tour was organized by only five volunteers and catered to just thirty attendees.  The Tour now boasts over five hundred annual attendees and, thankfully, over thirty amazing volunteers.  The event has become the Museum’s annual fundraiser providing 20% of the annual budget.

“Without the help of the community and homeowners, this event couldn’t happen,” says Executive Director, Elaine Trucke.

“Over the years, we have tried to add various events to the weekend,” adds Trucke, “But in the last two years we have focused on making the most popular events more streamlined and more enjoyable for tour-goers.  We also want to make life as easy on the homeowners and volunteers as we can.  They are the stars of the event.”

With the help of the City of Cannon Beach’s Tourism and Arts Commission grant program the Cottage & Garden Tour has been able to morph into the event it has become.  A weekend of music, gardens, and home tours, not mention fun.  For those who have never attended or even heard of Cannon Beach’s Cottage & Garden Tour, the event takes place one weekend in September.  The weekend is usually chosen based on the hope for better weather, but rain or shine those doors will open.  Each year, the Cottage Tour committee chooses from 9 – 13 homes and gardens in a select area of Cannon Beach.  They aim to keep the location easily walkable while incorporating historic gems, architectural wonders, and whimsical gardens.

Garden Features from the 2014 Cottage & Garden Tour.  Photo by Erin J. Bernard and Elaine Trucke.

Garden Features from the 2014 Cottage & Garden Tour. Photo Elaine Trucke.

Dahlia Garden Tour 2013

Photo of a Dahlia from a garden featured on the 2013 Cottage & Garden Tour.

A beachy cottage interior of one of the homes featured in Oregon Home Magazine in 2012.

A beachy cottage interior of one of the homes featured in Oregon Home Magazine in 2012.

For those who love interior design or just perusing homes for ideas, this tour has something for you.  Each home features unique a unique design and style.  Some are so innovative and stylish that they have been featured in Oregon Home Magazine.  To-date five homes have been featured.

In addition, the Cottage & Garden Tour includes a luncheon and presentation prior to the tour.  This event has taken place at the Tolovana Inn for the past few years.  The Inn has graciously donated the space each year, otherwise, as Trucke says, it wouldn’t happen.  For those who aren’t aware the Tolovana Inn stands where the Warren Hotel used to be. The Warren Hotel was an acclaimed hotel and retreat on the Oregon Coast that the Warren brothers constructed in 1911. One of their first guests was Oregon’s 14th governor, Oswald West. The original Warren hotel was razed sometime in the 60’s.  The lecture could cover a series of topics, but generally discussing architecture, history, or gardening.

Sunshine, wine, and live music.  What  could be a better end to a day of touring homes?

Sunshine, wine, and live music. What could be a better end to a day of touring homes?

When the homes have closed their doors for the day tour-goers are invited back to the museum for a concert and a glass of tasty wine from one of the event’s featured wineries.  The staff and board members generally raffle off a series of great items at this event, the highly sought after is the annual Cottage Tour quilt.  The quilt is created each year by a local volunteer and textile artist.  This year, Trucke hints that the committee has something a little different to offer up.

While planning of the 2015 Cottage & Garden Tour has begun, the committee plays it pretty close to the chest.  The location has been chosen and several homes and gardens have already been approached.  As part of the behind-the-scenes planning the committee has just begun approaching sponsors and vendors.  If you are interested in supporting the event that Sunset Magazine calls the best annual event in Cannon Beach contact Elaine Trucke at

Whatever locations that have been chosen, this year’s tour is already geared for another fantastic year!