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Seaside Stories

Accessible Adventures in Seaside

April 16, 2024 | by Michelle Kehm

From free electric track-chair rentals to ADA-accessible kayak launches and the longest Mobi-Mat beach access on the Oregon Coast, Seaside has made coastal adventures open to even more visitors. The historic 1.5-mile Promenade offers a paved, level path from which to take in the crashing waves and epic sunsets — but that’s just the beginning. Here’s a quick rundown of the highlights. 

Want to know more? Visit the friendly Seaside Welcome Center, located on the corner of Highway 101 and Broadway. Anyone wearing T-coil-enabled hearing aids can immediately connect to the hearing loop system installed at the front desk and learn all about the efforts that are making Seaside more fun and accessible for all.  


Fat-Tire Wheelchair and David’s Chair Rentals 

It’s easy and free to reserve a special beach wheelchair with fat balloon tires that can easily navigate the sand. Reservations can be made for up to four hours through the Sunset Empire Park & Recreation District by calling 503-738-3311. If you’d like to be in charge of your own adventure, the electric all-terrain track chairs available through the nonprofit David’s Chair are excellent for traversing the sand and getting close to the water. These tank-like chairs are joystick-operated for easy individual use and have a second joystick in the back, if needed. They even feature a tilt function, allowing the user to essentially stand upright while moving about, perfect for catching the fresh beach breeze. The track chairs are free to check out in two-hour intervals, and you can check the website for availability and reserve online. Pick up your rental at Seaside Elks Lodge on Avenue A for easy beach access from the Promenade. 


Rolling Out the Blue Carpet — Mobi-Mats

For visitors to the south side of town at Avenue U and to the north side at 12th Avenue beach-access points, Seaside has installed sturdy, electric-blue Mobi-Mats on the sand. Up to 1600 feet of recycled polyester mats will be anchored into the sand through the rolling dunes by summer of 2024. They provide a stable, flat surface for wheels to roll on, helping people with mobility aids get from the Prom and roll or stroll right onto the open beach. It’s just as helpful for those using a cane and needing a little stability or parents piloting strollers and wagons full of beach gear. 

The 12th Avenue beach entrance offers a public parking lot and restrooms with handy ramps, and is close to a range of fun things to do on the north side of Seaside.

Note that the Mobi-Mats are extended or contracted based on ocean and tide conditions, so visitors should expect the lengths to vary throughout the year.



Accessible Options to Enjoy Seaside by Water

If you’d like to experience Seaside’s wildlife-filled surroundings from the town’s calm waterways, the ADA-approved kayak launch at Broadway Park makes it easy to glide into Neawanna Creek, where you can paddle north into the protected Necanicum Estuary and hear resident ospreys, blue herons and other waterfowl singing their songs throughout the year. 

Quatat Park, located behind the Seaside Convention Center, has a floating dock with a ramp wide enough for a manual and an electric wheelchair, offering easy access to a dock on the Necanicum River. Wheel Fun Rentals has a fleet of paddleboats, kayaks and other ways for the whole family to paddle around the river. Note that the grade of the ramp changes based on the tide, with high tide offering the easiest grade and low tide becoming a little more challenging with steeper angles to the water.

For the perfect spot to watch the surfers braving the ocean waves, you won’t even have to leave your warm, cozy car. Head to Seaside Cove on the south side of town and you’ll find a long stretch of parking spaces tucked into the base of Tillamook Head. (Even better, there are accessible restrooms.) You can watch the waves crashing on the rocks, and on clear days, you can see all the way to the Washington coast. This is also a great place for visitors with limited visibility to take a seat on a bench and enjoy the invigorating sea spray on their faces.

Pictured at top: David’s Chair

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