Skip to content

Seaside Stories

Discover Marine Wonders at Low Tide

April 19, 2019 | by Shellie Bailey-Shah

One of the great delights when visiting Seaside — especially for families — is coming into contact with the otherworldly wonders of the ocean. If you know where and when to look, you’ll discover dozens of intriguingly bizarre creatures right at the water’s edge.

 

When to go

To plan your exploration, consult a tide table in advance to identify low tide times. To learn how to read a tide table, check out this primer. Ideally, you’ll want to venture out about two hours before low tide to give yourself plenty of time to search. As always, use caution near the ocean. Never turn your back on the water and be mindful of sneaker waves — large coastal waves that can appear without warning. 

 

What you’ll discover

As the tide pulls back, a treasure chest of hidden gems are revealed on the beaches of Seaside. While you can make discoveries along any of its stretches of sand, I particularly like the beach on the north end of The Promenade at 12th Avenue. Here, I’ve made the rarest of Oregon Coast finds — a fully-intact sand dollar that survived the crashing surf of the Pacific. My sons gravitate to creatures like scurrying hermit crabs or washed-up jellies. But perhaps their favorite beach find at low tide is the alien-looking bullwhip kelp. Some kelp can be quite impressive in length, reaching more than 100 feet, if you care to untangle it.

 

Where to go tide pooling

The best spot for tide pooling in Seaside is on the far south side of the beach near Tillamook Head in a place called “The Cove.” Here, you’ll want to focus your search around the large rocks. Many creatures – sea stars, mussels and barnacles — clamp onto these rocks to survive the heavy surf. The rule of thumb is look but don’t touch, as disturbing these special creatures may kill them. You’ll also find sea cabbage, seaweed, sea moss and kelp. In the pools of water at the base of the rocks, look for small sculpins, hermit crabs and my favorites, sea anemones.

 

Dive deeper

If you’re not quite sure what you’re looking at, use this Oregon State Parks species guide. Or pay a visit before beachcombing to the Seaside Aquarium. One of the oldest aquariums on the West Coast, it boasts a new Discovery Center with a touch tank filled with prickly sea urchins and sandpaper-like sea stars. You also can use the aquarium’s microscopes to glimpse the sea’s tiniest creatures. Best of all, the aquarium staff is on hand to answer all of your questions.

Then head out to the waterline to make your own discoveries. Just remember, take photos instead of souvenirs. Even empty shells provide critical habitat for hermit crabs, limpets and others. By using good beach etiquette, you ensure that all visitors will have something to see at the sea.

and so much more!

A Kid-Free Couple’s Getaway

We know kids love Seaside. And Seaside loves kids. But you can, of course, enjoy Seaside without the youngsters in tow. Whether yo...

The Perfect S’more

As the sun continues to make more regular appearances, I continue to look forward to external sunshine. And, yearning for a sweet treat, I’m reminded of that summer favorite: S’mores!

5 Ways to Stick to Your Healthy Resolutions in Seaside

The New Year is here, and along with it your New Year’s resolutions. If being more mindful about your health and well-being is o...

Clam Chowder
Must-Eat Clam Chowders in Seaside

A look at five of the more than 20 clam chowders found in Seaside, Oregon

Grab a Great Cup of Coffee or Roast Your Own Beans

Want your favorite coffee drink for free? Easy! Help us keep the beach clean and your coffee is on us. Foggy days on the beach, ev...

Discover Marine Wonders at Low Tide

One of the great delights when visiting Seaside — especially for families — is coming into contact with the otherworldly wonde...

How to Explore the Historic Gilbert District

While many visit Seaside to stroll the Prom, ride the carousel and load up on saltwater taffy, walk east on Broadway over the Neca...

COVID: What to Expect at Hotels and Vacation Rentals

Great news for those craving the revitalizing sea air and the sounds of the crashing surf from your balcony: Seaside’s hotels an...

Living with Cooler Temperatures

Analyzing the weather in Seaside

Northwest Travel Magazine: Best Eats on Oregon’s North Coast

Article on Best Eats on Oregon's North Coast

Bird is the Word

Birding opportunites abound in Seaside and the surrounding area.

Great Breakfast Spots in Seaside

Osprey Cafe Breakfast! It’s the most important meal of the day. And when you know where to go, it can also be the most delicious...

See What’s New in Seaside This Summer

Find more fun spots that have opened since 2021 here. When’s the last time you visited Seaside? Maybe it was last season, or las...

The Daddy Train

The Seaside train depot was the major transportation hub before 1938.

Cozy Up With Bookstore Owner Karen Emmerling

SEASIDE SPOTLIGHT: Our latest profile in a series focused on the behind-the-scenes movers who make Seaside the unique destination ...

From Arcade to Aquarium: 8 Things To Do When It’s Raining In Seaside

When it rains, you’ll have plenty to do in Seaside, Oregon. Photo: Rupert Britton Our charming oceanfront town is, after all, in...

Riding the Streetcar in Seaside

Riding the streetcar in Seaside is a fun and affordable way to see the town.