If you’re looking for a place to unplug for a bit and get away from all the texts and emails, head toward Seaside for an offline retreat. Sure, the Pacific Ocean is a calming experience in and of itself, but the town of Seaside offers many more offline activities for those seeking to disconnect from devices and reconnect with nature, Oregon Coast culture and beachside fun.
1. Explore the Historic Gilbert District
Turn your map app off and use your inner compass to take a stroll around the Historic Gilbert District. Located at the intersection of Broadway and Holladay Drive, it’s the oldest part of Seaside and is thriving with restaurants, art galleries, boutiques and antique stores. Pop into Beach Books for that title by the Oregon author you’ve been dying to read, and then wander next door to Dough Dough Bakery for an Oregon marionberry scone. Feeling thirsty? Walk north on Holladay and into The Whet Spot for 20 rotating beers and ciders on tap. Seaside Brewery, housed in the old Seaside city jail, is the perfect place to end your offline tour over a creamy cup of clam chowder and a pint of craft brew amidst the exposed brick interior, or grab a shady spot on the outdoor patio.
2. Go Back in Time
Peruse the vintage cookware and birdcages, old-time radios and wind-up toys, vinyl and other items that don’t need Wi-Fi to operate at the sprawling Seaside Antique Mall. With over 100 dealer spaces, you’ll take a walk back into history. And if history’s your thing, the Seaside Historical Society Museum is open Wednesday to Saturday and has some fascinating exhibits, including one about the days when Seaside was only reachable for visitors by ship and train.
3. Browse the Galleries
Seaside has several galleries and artsy shops — many of them within a few short blocks — so you don’t need an app to find them all. Pacific Heirloom is the place to pick up vintage glass floats; the stylish Fairweather House and Gallery is a must-visit for anyone who’s serious about Northwest artists, offering furnishings and decor crafted for chic coastal homes. TigerLily Gallery & Boutique has everything from original paintings by local artists to handmade jewelry and notecards. Looking for the perfect gift? The upcycled art at artist-owned SunRose Gallery includes mosaics, felted-wool art and other items you won’t find anywhere else.
4. Hop On a Bike or Take a Hike
Feel the ocean breeze on your face as you pedal along the 1.5-mile Promenade or on the packed sand at low tide. Seaside is a two-wheeler’s dream, and Wheel Fun Rentals or Prom Bike Shop will set you up for whatever offline biking adventure you crave — from fat-tire sand cruisers and e-bikes to four-wheeled covered surreys for pedaling the city streets with the whole family. The hills surrounding Seaside are also becoming a major hub for mountain bikers at Klootchy Creek. Pick the trail for your skill level and hit the dirt.
If a hike is more your pace, explore the 12.6-mile Tillamook Head Trail (or 6.3 miles if you shuttle a car to Indian Beach) and connect with the dense old-growth Sitka spruce. The trailhead sits on the south end of town, a half-mile uphill from the Cove, where you might take a moment to grab a bench and meditate on the surfers out in the waves.
5. Watch the Sunset and Catch a Film
Leave your phone in your hotel room and take a leisurely stroll along the Prom as the sky turns pink, orange and red. Plan your next day’s adventures among the families lighting beach campfires, couples strolling hand in hand and surfers catching their last rides of the day.
When you’re ready to settle in for dining, you’ll find several spots with sunset views, including fine-dining favorite Maggie’s on the Prom (try the local salmon or Pacific Northwest steamer clams). Instead of streaming a show in your room, return to an actual movie theater and catch a first-run film at Seaside Cinema. After a day of offline adventures, you’ll enjoy the big screen even more.