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Seaside lies on the northern Oregon coast and is a popular day trip for those who live in the Portland area, but well worth a visit for those who live farther away too. Just a little over an hour’s drive from the City of Roses along scenic Highway 26, and you’ll be transported to this picturesque spot. Filled with tourist attractions, a beautiful promenade that runs along a 3-mile stretch of beach, you’ll find lots of fun things to do, including these.
Take a stroll on the Promenade, which locals refer to as the “Prom,” a two-mile paved walkway that borders the three-mile stretch of beach, you’ll be able to take in stunning views of the magnificent expanse of the Pacific as well as some fantastic people watching, especially on a sunny day. Built in 1920, it has historic significance too, including the “Turnaround,” a roundabout designed to turn traffic around when the street dead-ends at the Pacific. In the middle stands a statue of Lewis and Clark which signifies that not only tourists “turn around” to get back down Broadway in Seaside, but that Lewis and Clark turned again for home after reaching the western end of the nation. You can also pick up a copy of The Walking Tour of Historic Seaside Prom for only a quarter to discover more interesting sites.
There are countless fishing opportunities in and around Seaside, including ocean fishing from shore and charter options all along the northern Oregon coast. Chinook/king and coho/silver salmon fishing ocean excursions are available through multiple companies for the chance to catch tuna, halibut, bottom fish and even Dungeness crab during the appropriate seasons.
One of the oldest aquariums on the West Coast is located near downtown Seaside just off the “Prom.” Visitors can feed the seals, and the curious, entertaining creatures have even learned to perform tricks on their own in an effort to convince tourists to throw a fish their way. Kids will also love the touch tank, where they can feel the sea anemones, sandpaper-textured starfish, and prickly sea urchins. One of the favorites here is the giant Pacific octopus, absolutely mesmerizing.
Of course, the main Seaside attraction is its beach. With such an endless stretch there is always plenty of room for flying a kite, tossing a Frisbee, building a sandcastle, playing in the water, or just relaxing and soaking up the sun and the sand. If you time it right, about an hour or two before low tide, you’re likely to see countless sand dollars spread across the shore which make the perfect free souvenir.
The Funland Arcade is just steps from The Prom and is the largest arcade on the northern Oregon coast. It features hundreds of arcade games, bumper cars, pinball, video games, skee ball and numerous carnival-type amusements. erience the North Oregon Coast’s largest arcade. It hosts everything from the latest and greatest “virtual reality games” to longtime favorites.Kids will love playing the redemption games to earn tickets for prizes. There are hundreds of fun gifts to choose from including novelty items, candy, games, toys, electronics and more.
Bell Buoy of Seaside sits at the south end of town off Highway 101 and is often overlooked as it’s away from the popular Prom area. It may not look like much on the outside, but you’ll find some the best fresh seafood for miles around here – and at great prices too. The halibut fish and chips are a favorite and include especially thick pieces of tender fish. The clam chowder is homemade, rich, and creamy – truly some of the best you’ll find on the coast. The menu is filled with a myriad of other fresh seafood options too, including sweet, meaty, local Dungeness crab. It also hosts a market if you want to pick up your own fresh fish to cook.
Tillamook Head rises 1000 feet from the Pacific, with jagged capes and rocky islands. The Lewis and Clark expedition crossed the treacherous headland in 1806 to purchase blubber from a stranded whale from the natives at Cannon Beach. At a viewpoint along the way Clark marveled, “I behold the grandest and most pleasing prospect which my eyes ever surveyed.”
Today, the trail traces Clark’s route across the headland from Seaside to Cannon Beach, and can be reached from either town. The trek offers one the best vantage points for viewing the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse offshore, and you’ll be able to see, and hear the birds and sea lions hanging out on offshore rocks on a clear day – or, when the weather is rough, the waves thrashing the rock.
Although Seaside is best known for its expansive beach, it offers so much more when it comes to nature and striking beauty. Not only are the gorgeous mountains and coastal scenes, but the Necanicum Estuary, which is where the Necanicum, Neawanna, and Neacoxie rivers converge. The mudflats are formed at low tide and salt and freshwater combine together, creating a popular place to relax, fish, and watch for the many birds in the region. Here, birdwatchers and lovers of the outdoors can enjoy quiet strolls along the grassy marshes while keeping an eye out for blue and green herons, elk, otters, and other creature. There are also interpretive signs dotted along a wooden walkway.