Some say Seaside, Oregon, shines brightest in winter — warm chowder, cheerful shops, blustery walks on the beach, all without the summer crowds. With COVID-19 safety top of mind, a holiday escape to Seaside is perfect this winter. Plenty of outdoor options and adequate precautions make a holiday Coast stay ideal. Here’s a roundup of ideas for your coziest, most festive winter days in Seaside.
Where to Shop
Walkable downtown Seaside will be on full holiday display with window shopping and the annual Christmas tree glimmering on Broadway. Don’t forget to mask up when walking downtown. For a dose of warmth, there’s no better shop to duck into than Inca’s Inc., for all-Peruvian alpaca blankets, throws, gloves, socks and slippers. For seasonal decor and gifts, visit the year-round Christmas shop Tipton’s Decor. If you’re craving seasonal sweets, try one of Seaside’s many candy shops. When it’s coffee time, the charming Beach Day Coffee near the Turnaround on Broadway features Oregon-roasted beans, and Osprey Cafe is a lovely destination for a walk along the southern Promenade.
What to Do
Being outside and in nature is a safe bet this year. Try your hand at clamming and crabbing, and take advantage of the Coast’s winter bounty. Visit Trucke’s 1-Stop (1921 South Roosevelt) for licenses, equipment and tutorials. Trucke’s also offers bonfire kits for those somewhat-rare sunny and dry winter sunsets on the beach. View brave local surfers and wait for the sunset show at The Cove on the south end of Seaside. Biking is equally popular, and the Promenade — which marks its centennial in 2021 — is just one option for a self-guided cycle tour.
You can also make Seaside your home base for a scenic day trip along the North Coast. Your vehicle is a portable, socially distanced, weather-proof viewing pod. Pack a picnic, binoculars and playlist, and head 15 minutes south to watch marine storms roll in at Arcadia Beach State Recreation Site, or look for migrating whales from Neahkahnie Mountain’s south viewpoint, another 8 miles south. Or head 19 miles north of Seaside for a mild winter hike through the forest via the Cathedral Tree Trail, a mile out and back at the base of the Astoria Column.
What to Eat
Depending on whether you feel comfortable dining in or prefer to do takeout, seafood dominates Seaside’s winter season. This year many local restaurants are offering new options for takeout and meal kits. Don’t forget masks and 6-foot distancing in any establishment. Stop at Salmon River Smokehouse (261 South Columbia) to pick up local smoked salmon for your holiday table, or swing by Mo’s Seafood and Chowder (30 North Prom) for cook-at-home chowder bread-bowl kits. If you’re craving Oregon Dungeness crab, order a hot crab dinner with all the fixings from Bell Buoy of Seaside (1800 South Roosevelt).
Finns Fish House (227 Broadway) will continue with distanced indoor and outdoor dining this winter. Seaside Brewery (851 Broadway) also has distanced dine-in options and craft-beer growlers for takeaway.
Perhaps a locally catered dinner delivered to your vacation rental sounds relaxing. Sage Bleu Catering customizes completely ready holiday spreads, with drinks and settings, brought to your door for four to 10 people. If you want to do the cooking, owner Lavonne Simback can also do the shopping and ingredient prep and have a tailored meal, with instructions, ready for you to make yourself.
If You Go:
Find an abundance of lodging options in Seaside, many with great wintertime deals. Many have views, fireplaces and kitchenettes for easy meal prep. Be ready to change plans, and always follow local health regulations. Check tide charts and weather reports, and avoid sneaker waves. Never turn your back to the ocean, and always pick up your trash. Better yet, consider joining the ongoing Treasure the Beach clean-up event on the first Saturday of each month; it’s winter beachcombing with a greater purpose.
Photo by John Valls