Seaside Stories

Flying Into the Seaside Airport

October 23, 2020 | by Lisa K. Anderson

Visitors often see an aerial photo of Seaside Municipal Airport and ask, “Are you sure that’s not Hawaii?” The lush green landscape, miles of sandy beach and iconic Tillamook Head promontory make for a spectacular flight for private planes flying into Seaside. (There are no commercial flights, but military, U.S. Coast Guard and emergency air-lift planes pass through.) Not only is the scenery beautiful, but there’s a strong camaraderie shared among pilots who frequent the airport. 

Whether you’re flying in for a short trip or a longer getaway, Seaside Airport offers a calm, inviting travel option. “It’s a very friendly atmosphere from the minute you touch down,” says airport manager Dale McDowell. “Everything is set up to make it as easy as possible to make your way into town.” Here’s what you need to know to plan your trip. 
 

Plan Your Flight

Seaside Airport sits a block from Highway 101, just 2 miles north of downtown Seaside and less than a mile south of Gearhart. Before flying, you can check real-time updates about wind conditions and cloud cover on airport weather cameras or the Lanai Cam. The airport’s rotating beacon will guide you into Seaside, while your radio can turn on the airport’s runway lights. 
 

Watch for Wildlife 

With the airport’s close proximity to Necanicum Estuary and Stanley Lake, it’s not unusual to encounter birds, deer and elk on the runway. Local pilot and airport committee chairman Randall Henderson recommends scanning the entire environment before you fly in. Once you’ve landed, the airport provides free short-term tie-down rings and chains. 
 

Venture Into Town 

Seaside Airport boasts a collection of bicycles and helmets you can borrow free of charge to venture around town and get you to your final destination, whether it’s a hotel, restaurant, shop or just a great spot on the beach. With the bikes enticing more and more fly-in visitors, plans are in the works for a bike shed that will double as a pilots’ lounge. Along with the bikes, taxi companies AAlpha Shuttle and Taxi Service and Seaside Roadrunners will get you to your favorite destinations in no time. 

An increasing number of visitors are flying into Seaside Airport from as far away as Billings, Mont., and Southern California. “It’s fun to see where people are from, what they’re up to and why they chose Seaside,” McDowell says. For Henderson, creating a sense of community at the airport hearkens back to his childhood. As a kid, Henderson dreamed of learning to fly as he gazed up at the planes flying into Seaside Airport.

When he received his pilot’s license in his thirties, Henderson flew his wife to Seaside for their wedding anniversary. Now a resident and airport mainstay, he advocates for new amenities and welcomes visitors. “There’s a proverbial $100 hamburger thing that pilots do,” Henderson says with a laugh. “You pay $100 for gas to go get a burger. Here it’s more like a $100 bowl of chowder or fish ’n chips.”
 


 

NOTE ON COVID-19: Stay Safe and Healthy 

You can rest easier knowing Seaside Airport has proactively followed Oregon’s COVID-19 protocols from the start. The airport is doing its part to keep the community safe by practicing social distancing and following expanded cleaning guidelines. Upon your arrival, you can pick up complimentary masks and disinfecting wipes to take into town.

and so much more!

Snail Mail: the Agony & the Ecstasy

Snail mail in Seaside circa 1909.

Learn More
Riders of the Storm

Winter weather on the Oregon Coast is the flipside to flipside to golden summers, but it can be just as beautiful.

Learn More
Lookout on Neahkahnie Mountain

Sometimes an Oregon Coast outdoor adventure doesn

Learn More
Views of Tillamook Rock Lighthouse are well within your reach thanks to the adventure of the Tillamook Head Trail just south of Seaside.
How to Get Epic Tillamook Rock Lighthouse Views

Your quest to see Tillamook Rock begins on the south side of Seaside at the end of Sunset Boulevard.

Learn More
The Pull of Progress – Seaside in 1921

Postwar Seaside saw a boom in growth and development.

Learn More
Where to P.L.A.Y. in Seaside

The park is nestled next to Neawanna Creek where ducks float lazily by, a tree lined mountainside looming in the distance. Do a 180 and you get a great view of Tillamook Head to the south.

Learn More
Celebrate the Holidays in Seaside

Celebrate the holiday season — Seaside-style! That means escaping the frenetic holiday bustle and slowing down to enjoy the sigh...

Learn More
A Weekend of Discoveries

Last weekend I went to the Pouring at the Coast Event with my boyfriend, and had the best time! We were given souvenir glasses to use during the event (and they had rinse stations to keep your glass clean between tastings). We tried craft beers from every brewery, and I discovered I really enjoy the dark beers

Learn More
Garden Circle Evolution

The evolution of Seaside's Turnaround garden circle.

Learn More
Postcards from the Past

Ancient postcards from Seaside's distant past

Learn More
Iconic Seaside in Stereo

by Joshua Heineman Director of Tourism Marketing This is something of a detective story. To fully appreciate it, you first need to...

Learn More
King Tides Safety and Viewing in Seaside

Seaside Cove in stormy conditions (photo by Don Frank) ** Story updated for the 2020/2021 King Tides ** King Tides come each year ...

Learn More
Terrible Tilly

A brief history of Tillamook Rock Lighthouse, or better know as "Terrible Tilly"

Learn More
Shopper’s Delight: Selnes Grocery

The hustle and bustle of Holiday shopping in Seaside circa 1926 was not nearly the same as it today.

Learn More
“Gee, the Water’s Fine”

A trip to the beach is not only fun, it's good for your health!

Learn More
Enjoying the Breaks in Weather

Seaside and Oregon Coast offer unique setting for the rising and setting of the sun.

Learn More