A summer spent in Seaside is like a good clam chowder — fresh, flavorful and filling. Fortunately, we know just the ingredients for a memorable trip: a pinch of old-fashioned fun, a dash of adventure and a whole lot of Oregon Coast beauty.
1. Catch your own dinner
If you enjoy the challenge of catching your own grub, you’ve come to the right place! Seaside is known for being a superb spot for trapping Dungeness crabs and an even better spot for digging razor clams; in fact, 95-percent of Oregon’s razor clam harvest comes for an 18-mile stretch of Clatsop County beaches, which includes Seaside.
The best time to go crabbing is late summer through fall, when the crabs are more filled out with a higher percentage of quality meat. Crabbing is open in estuaries, beaches, tide pools, piers and jetties all year. Ocean crabbing is closed from August 15 to November 30. Head to the 12th Street bridge in Seaside and drop your crab pot off the side. Don’t worry if you have questions, as there’ll be plenty of locals around to help. You’ll need an inexpensive Oregon Shellfish License, which can be purchased at Trucke’s One Stop or Rite Aid; kids 12 and under can crab for free. In addition to a crab ring or pot — which can also be purchased at Trucke’s — you’ll need a bucket or cooler with seawater (not freshwater) for your catch; change the water frequently to keep the crabs cool and oxygenated. Click here for more information from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) on how to crab along the Oregon Coast.
Razor clamming requires less gear — just a bucket and shovel! You’ll also need an Oregon Shellfish License. The daily limit is your first 15 clams dug up. A local’s tip: Try clamming on the south end of Seaside Beach, closest to Tillamook Head, around two hours before peak low tide. Click here for more information from ODFW on how to clam. (Update: Razor clamming is currently closed but could open again at any time. Click here to check current closures and openings. Annual closure happens July 15 to September 30 for juvenile development of young razors.)
If you’d rather not work for your dinner, don’t worry: Seaside is home to dozens of restaurants serving fresh seafood. You’ll find plenty of great dining suggestions here. Or if you want the fresh catch, without the work, pot into Bell Buoy for some of freshest seafood along the North Coast.
2. Find a “fascinating” way to spend quarters
Chances are, if your family has been coming to Seaside for years, the game Fascination at Funland Seaside Arcade (201 Broadway St.) is part of your summer tradition. If you’re a newcomer, know that you’ll soon be addicted! What is Fascination? Think skee ball meets bingo. You earn tickets and can redeem them for prizes. More importantly, if you win, you get bragging rights.
Looking for more vintage fun? Head around the corner to Bumper Cars Tilt-A-Whirl (101 Broadway St.) or the opposite way on Broadway to the iconic Seaside Carousel (300 Broadway St.). Bumper cars cost $2.50/ride; a spin on the carousel is $2.
3. Eat sushi while watching the surf and surfers
OK, we’re about to let you in on a local secret. It starts with a trip to Tora Sushi Lounge (619 Broadway St.), where you’ll order your favorite rolls to go. Now head down Sunset Boulevard to the south end of Seaside near Seltzer Park. You’ve arrived at an area known as “The Cove,” the primo surfing spot in all of Seaside. Bring a blanket or find yourself a comfortable rock and take in the show featuring rip curls and a spectacular Seaside sunset.
4. Feel like a kid in a candy store
Yes, literally. No trip to Seaside is complete without stopping at The Seaside Candyman (21 N. Columbia St.). You’ll be surrounded by a forest of tall, taffy towers, filled with 180 flavors of salt water taffy. The shop also sells other treats, including chocolates, fudge and ice cream. Or you could head down the street to Sea Star Gelato (8 N. Columbia St.) for a handcrafted scoop of flavors such as Hood strawberry, marionberry cheesecake, double shot espresso and more. And then there’s the gelato panini. Now we’ve got your attention, don’t we?
5. Bike the beach
Simple and serene, biking the Promenade during your visit to Seaside is a must-do. The paved 1.5-mile stretch borders Seaside Beach from Avenue U to 12th Avenue. If you didn’t bring your own ride, rent one from Prom Bike Shop (622 12th Ave.) or Wheel Fun Rental (151 Avenue A). Each shop offers several choices, including some for multiple riders. Make sure to stop at the Turnaround for your photo op with explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. For more on enjoying Seaside by bike, click here.
6. Enjoy a peaceful paddle
As you’ve probably discovered by now, a visit to Seaside has a lot to do with water — the ocean, rivers, ponds and estuaries. Heck, even the craft beers at Seaside Brewing Company start with rainwater! So don’t leave Seaside without getting out on the water yourself. Kayaking is easy and requires no previous experience. You can rent a single or double kayak from Wheel Fun Rentals (415 1st Ave.), as well as pedal boats. Take a half hour to paddle up the Necanicum River. However, for an even more satisfying paddle in a more natural environment, rent a kayak from Cleanline Surf Shop (60 N. Roosevelt Dr.) and cruise the Newawanna Creek to the Necanicum Estuary, home to many bird species. (Be sure to review tide tables before setting out on any water adventure influenced by tidal patterns.)