With miles of wide sandy beach and clean sea breezes sweeping along the oceanfront Promenade, Seaside is one of the best places to explore while social distancing on the Oregon Coast. Here are five fun and safe activities for your next visit.
1. Paddle on the River
What better way to remove yourself from the crowd than by taking to the water? Seaside has a number of options when it comes to waterway excursions, one of the favorites being a glide along one of two grassy-banked rivers to the majestic Necanicum Estuary. With a mix of fresh and saltwater, the tidal wetlands here are a great place to glimpse birds such as blue herons, bald eagles, and many others. You can rent watercraft of all kinds at Quatat Park, and you can find an ADA-accessible boat launch at Broadway Park.
2. Take a Bike Ride
Exploring Seaside on two wheels is a great way to pack in an adventure while also maintaining your distance from others. You can leisurely pedal along the sand-packed beach at low tide or along the concrete and picturesque Promenade or even right around Seaside’s famed automobile Turnaround, which is especially fun in a four-person canopied surrey bike. If you’ve graduated from pavement, head to the Klootchy Creek County Park, a 25-acre greenspace home to an impressive system of mountain bike trails under development. The dirt paths offer a mix of easy-grade switchbacks and heart-stopping downhills that will appease beginner mountain bikers and adrenaline seekers alike.
3. Dine Outdoors
You would be making a mistake to visit Seaside without tasting its culinary offerings. While eating out has become trickier these days, you can do so safely at many of Seaside’s restaurants with patio seating. Finns Fish House has a brand-new patio with three 6-foot-long fire pits, allowing groups to safely dine on opposite ends. You can find upscale farm-to-table and seafood cuisine at Maggie’s on the Prom, which has a patio looking out across The Prom to the beach. Most restaurants also offer their tasty dishes to go, creating the perfect opportunity to picnic just before building a sandcastle or while sitting along the banks of Neawanna Creek at Broadway Park.
4. Take a Hike
Long before the phrase “social distancing” entered common vernacular, a popular way to escape and enjoy nature was to take a hike. South of town about 17 miles is Oswald West State Park, a dense rain forest that boasts several hiking trails. The 4.6-mile Cape Falcon Trail is an out-and-back path that reveals views of the curved coastline along the way, making it a crowd pleaser. If you want a change from the ocean views or are after a shorter hike, nearby Soapstone Lake Trail is an easy 2.7-mile trail that loops around a lake known for its resident newts. If you’d like to stay closer to homebase, there are good options starting right here in Seaside.
5. Enjoy the Beach
Quite possibly the easiest place to keep 6-feet of distance in Seaside is on the beach that extends the length of the city. The trick, however, is finding the lesser-used spots and avoiding the crowds, which tend to swell with sunny weather. There are several beach-access points along the Prom and three main access points via city streets, though your best bet is to reach the beach from Avenue U at the south end of town. As an alternative, head north to the 12th Avenue parking lot and spread out along the beach toward the estuary.
Photo by Don Frank