The original Oregon Coast Vacation Destination, Seaside is a small coastal city located on the edge of the mighty Pacific Ocean in Clatsop County, Oregon. The city derived its name from an old summer house built in the 1870s by Ben Holladay, a renowned railroad mogul. In addition, Clatsop County’s name originated from Native American tribesmen who lived here – the Clatsop Tribe. The city has a total area of about 4.2 square miles, of which 0.20 sq mile is submerged in water. The Pacific Northwest coastal climate dominates the region, which means lots of rainy winters and mild to cool summers. The transportation network in Seaside relies heavily on two major highways, US Route 26 and US Route 101.
Play at the Beach
The seaside beach is, without doubt, one of the best beaches on the west coast. The wide stretch accommodates thousands of visitors every year and offers countless activities day and night during the summer. Despite the high population that flocks the beach, you will still find plenty of room to relax. Additionally, the beach hosts several events annually. One of the most significant is the Hood to Coast Relay and the world’s largest amateur volleyball tournament. The tournament is made up of over 1000 teams that compete for different prizes. Kids could also fly kites, toss a Frisbee or build extravagant sandcastles.
If shopping is your thing, Seaside has you covered! On Historic Broadway street you’ll find many different shopping opportunities including gift shops, clothing stores, art shops, candy shops, and many more. You can also head North on 101 to the North end of town and checked the Seaside Outlet Mall. There you will find the Nike Outlet and many more name brand clothing stores.
Visit the Seaside Aquarium
Built circa 1937, it is one of the oldest aquariums in the west coast. This privately owned aquarium is home to a variety of fish species and marine wildlife. It opens from 9 am and is a favorite destination for everyone, old and young. The aquarium has several touch tanks where kids can explore and touch sea anemones, prickly sea urchins, rough-textured starfish, a giant pacific octopus, and other marine exhibits. Visits can also feed the seals which is a tradition that dates back more than 80 years! Located just North of the Turnaround not he Seaside Promenade, the Aquarium is the perfect family friendly activity! There you can explore many varieties of Pacific Ocean marine life and many “hands on” and kid friendly activities.
Visitors could interact with the seaside harbor seals and could also purchase fishy treats to feed them. Visiting the aquarium requires a small fee, but there are several discounts and family packages to buy for up to six visitors.
Walk the Prom
Originally constructed in 1921, the Seaside Promenade is an Oregon Coast Landmark. The Prom as it’s known by Seaside residents, is an over 1.5-mile walkway that borders the Pacific Ocean. One of the most iconic tourist attractions for more than a century, the Prom is a great way to start your day by walking, jogging or riding a bike. There are several eye-catching sceneries along the way, including the Pacific Ocean, sandy dunes at the beach, quaint cottage architecture, and the city’s historical buildings. You could also see the statue commemorating Lewis and Clark at the end of the trail.
Lewis and Clark Salt Works
In the early 1800s, when Lewis and Clark arrived at the town, there was a shortage of salt during the winter. The explorers set up salt works that extracted salt from ocean water by boiling. They used it to spice and preserve food. The site has been maintained to this day and is used to teach people of the difficult times the explorers experienced during their expedition.
Rent a Paddle Boat
Wheel Fun Rentals, the primary watercraft rental company in Seaside, has a launch site just under the 1st Ave. Bridge, near the Seaside Convention Center. The company offers paddle bikes, swan boats, peddler boats, kayaks, and stand up paddle boards. Most options fall under $30 an hour and are an awesome option for people and families looking for some fun. Not interested in frolicking in the water? Wheel Fun Rentals has multiple locations in Seaside that also offer land cruiser. Choose from a classic Surry, regular bikes, two-person bikes, mopeds and more! The waterway boaters travel along passes under three bridges and offer up scenic sites including Great Blue Herons, marine life, and whatever you may come across on shore.
Ride The Historic Carousel
The Seaside Carousel Mall is a mall offering unique shopping from over 15 vendors. While some of the fun shops can be accessed via Broadway, the bulk lie inside of the little mall. There you can find a restaurant, coffee shop, old-time malt shop, a toy store, Seaside apparel and so much more. The concentration of fun inside the Carousel Mall makes for a must see on your visit to Seaside. So grab a friend and take a spin around the famous Carousel – you’re sure to make memories that will last a lifetime.
Hike Tillamook Head
Rising 1000 feet above sea level is the Tillamook Head, which backdrops the seaside beach. The magnificent rock formation is part of the larger Ecola State Park. Lewis and Clarke wrote about the site, saying it was one of the grandest prospects they have ever seen. Visiting the high vantage points will get you amazed by the beauty of Tillamook. There are several activities to do in the area, the most popular being hiking the trails that stretch to over 4 miles. Though hiking here could not be easy for everyone, the paths are well-trodden, and the scenic experience worth it. It also has one of the best camping grounds at the top.
Play at Funland Arcade
Just near the promenade is the Funland Arcade which was opened in the early 1930s. It is a favorite destination for families with children. It is the largest arcade on the North Oregon Coasts and features a variety of fun games, including skee ball, bumper cars, go-karts, miniature golf, air hockey, video games, virtual reality games, pinball, and a carousel among several other carnival-type amusements. Kids participate in a variety of activities to earn prize tickets of toys, candy, novelty items, electronics, and many more. The arcade also has a pizza restaurant where visitors can grab a slice as they wait to get back to the arcade games.
Visit the Seaside Museum
The Historical Society Museum incorporates the past, present, and future history of the Seaside. The multi-room exhibitions display the entire story of Seaside, from the ancient inhabitants of the town to the 21st-century development of the city as one of the best resort cities in the area today. The museum hosts exhibits including antique photographs and artifacts that help guests get a better understanding of the area. Next to the museum is the Butterfield Cottage which is also under the historical society. The renovated cottage gives insight into the city’s beach life circa 1910. The historical society also organizes events annually.
Drive around the Turnaround
The city hosts the turnaround, where the historic promenade connects with the city’s main street – Broadway Street. The structure was built to commemorate the expeditions of Lewis and Clark that ended at Seaside in the 19th century after they made it to the Pacific Ocean. It marks the area where the explorers visited and also has two statues of the explorers that overlook the city’s traffic. The turnaround is one of the most exemplary attractions that shows the historical and cultural side of Seaside. You would want to carry a camera to take a photo of this iconic landmark.
Check out Restaurants & Nightlife
Seaside is known for its many different restaurants and bustling bar scene. Once the sun goes down, the late night action can be found on historic Broadway Street. There’s many different bars and restaurants to choose from including Dundee’s, Finn’s Fish House, Twisted Fish, and many more. Plus, make sure you check out the newly renovated historic Times Theater & Public House. There you can grab a pint of your favorite beer while watching a movie not the big screen.
Even more activities in the Seaside area…
Hike Saddle Mountain
addle Mountain State Natural Area is a popular destination for hikers from all parts of the country. It provides breathtaking scenery of different geographical features and a variety of wildflower species and plants. You could either hike the two and a half-mile trail to the summit or a shorter 0.16 mile at the side of the mountain. The panoramic view at over 3,200 feet at the peak of the mountain is spectacular and on a clear day, you could see the Columbia River as it connects with the sea, cascading mountains in Oregon & Washington and several miles of the pacific coastline.
Even more activities in the Seaside area…
This refuge was created in the late 1960s and is managed under the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. About thirty minutes from the beach, this wildlife sanctuary is home to a variety of bird species and wild animals. During the winter, visitors can expect to see several herds of elk. Birdwatching is the most popular activity for tourist who visits the area.
Arcadia Beach State Recreation Area
The area is strategically perched along the coastal line south of Cannon Beach. It provides breathtaking views of the ocean and the surrounding landscape. Since the area is less populated, miles of beaches are clearly visible for all to see. Some of the public amenities provided include a picnic area and restrooms.
Ecola State Park
This sandy coastal beach park is also known as the Indian Beach is located in the serene beach area close to the popular Cannon Beach. It provides a perfect setting for hiking and escapes for the adventurous backpacker. The beach also has generous space for cooling off. The other attractions include; breathtaking views of the nearby rocky cliffs and far reaches of the ocean
Seaside’s rich legacy and history as a logging town are all evident in the magnificent camp museum. The sightings include vintage logging tools such as steam-powered bandsaw and logging rail car. The other attractions include a photo exhibition of various logging activities, past and present along with efforts to preserve the industry.