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Seaside Stories

A Family-Friendly, Car-Free Weekend in Seaside

June 20, 2024 | by Matt Wastradowski

When skies are blue and the weather’s warm, families flock to Seaside. If you’re looking to avoid traffic or search for a parking spot, simply leave your car at your hotel for the weekend. Downtown’s cozy, compact size makes it easy to enjoy a fun trip without ever getting behind the wheel. All within a few blocks, you can ride vintage surrey bikes, paddle the Necanicum River and stroll the lively Broadway corridor. Read on for three days packed with car-free family fun in Seaside.

Day 1: Cycle Around Downtown Seaside

Start out your morning at one of Seaside’s great coffee shops before a day of cycling. Landscapes include wet sandy beaches, quiet neighborhoods and the paved Seaside Promenade, which runs 1.5 miles north to south between the town and the beach. 

Rent your ride at the Prom Bike Shop at 12th and North Holladay. The locally owned shop is open year-round, and its friendly employees are happy to help you find the right cycle for your needs. For beach rides, choose from among beach cruisers, available for solo and tandem cyclists, and three-wheeled Fun Cycles, designed for wet sand on the shore around town. Note that the store’s beach-bike rentals depend on the tides and that day’s sunset time, so it can’t hurt to ask in advance if you’re looking to shred some sand.

If you’d rather cruise around town, choose a solo or tandem road bike or the group-friendly four-wheeled surrey bikes. The latter include a shade cover and can seat up to nine people. Other rental options include jogging-friendly strollers and bike trailers if your youngest isn’t ready to hop in the saddle.

Be sure to stop for a quick street snack along your route at a Seaside classic like Sea Star Gelato or Phillips Candies. After a day of cycling, you might enjoy the decadent pasta dishes at Nonni’s Italian Bistro, an intimate, family-run spot with red-checkered tablecloths.

 

Day 2: Paddle the Necanicum River

On the second day of your vacation, you’ll hit the water after a hearty breakfast. The Necanicum River runs north-south through the heart of Seaside, and Wheel Fun Rentals at Quatat Park makes it easy to safely enjoy the city’s sights from the slow-moving waterway. Between late March and early September, paddlers may choose from among a variety of watercraft. Solo travelers may enjoy an easygoing kayak or a stand-up paddleboard.  Tricycle-like paddle boats and double kayaks are fun with a partner, or book your family of five into an elegant swan boat.

Choose your rig and head south to paddle past some of Seaside’s quiet side streets, or north to where the Necanicum River empties into the Pacific Ocean. In the Necanicum estuary, views include the occasional herd of elk and more than 300 species of birds that frequent nearby wetlands and meadows.

After your ride, grab a bowl of Asian-style noodles or a plate of sushi at one of two casual spots right on the river, The Noodle House or Mighty Thai & Sushi.

 

Day 3: Explore Seaside’s Historic Broadway Corridor

Seaside has been welcoming families on holiday for 150 years, and you can participate in that tradition by finding all the family fun along Broadway Street. The 0.4-mile street runs east-west between Pacific Ocean and Highway 101, from the Prom to the historic Upper Broadway district.

A big, traditional pancake breakfast at Pig ’N Pancake is a great way to start the day before you hit the games and shops. Kids of all ages can choose from among 16 classic animals to ride at the historic Seaside Carousel Mall — which also hosts nearly a dozen stores, two restaurants and a laser-tag course. Nearby Funland Seaside Arcade has been the region’s largest arcade since 1931 and today features a mix of video games, bumper cars and the old-timey Fascination, which mixes bingo and Skee-Ball. Parents may enjoy browsing nearby antiques shops, boutiques and gift shops with beach-themed crafts and clothing.

When hunger comes calling, try the charmingly old-school Seaside Slushies & Dogs — which specializes in shave ice, baked potatoes and hot dogs — or Finns Fish House, serving up burgers, pasta and locally sourced seafood.

After dinner grab all the essentials for a beach campfire at Leo’s Corner. At the market, you’ll find firewood, snacks and other goodies for a memorable night. 

 

If You Go:

Keep in mind you can also leave your vehicle at home altogether. Regular bus transit to Seaside is available from Portland, Salem, Lincoln City and other communities on the Oregon Coast.



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