Seaside Stories

How to Explore the Historic Gilbert District

December 10, 2019 | by Michelle Kehm

While many visit Seaside to stroll the Prom, ride the carousel and load up on saltwater taffy, walk east on Broadway over the Necanicum River and you’re in a very different world — the oldest part of Seaside, to be exact. Seaside’s mayor from 1912 to 1916, Alexandre Gilbert, rebuilt the four-block Gilbert District at the intersection of Broadway and Holladay Drive after the city’s big fire of 1912. Today the Gilbert District is thriving with vibrant restaurants, art galleries, boutiques and antique stores. More than 30 local businesses call this historic district home. Here’s how to spend a few hours poking around. 

Stroll across the arched Broadway Bridge and you’ll see the Gilbert Block Building, est. 1914, and Kirwen Building, est. 1913. SunRose Gallery is full of colorful mosaic tables and whimsical local art. Next door, Pacific Heirloom is the place to pick up vintage glass floats, and the upscale Fairweather House & Gallery is a must-visit for anyone who’s serious about Northwest artists.

Continue toward Holladay and you’ll see Beach Books on the corner. Pick up that hardcover you’ve been dying to read and then walk through the adjacent French doors straight into Dough Dough Bakery for a chocolate tahini roll and a warm mug of Sleepy Monk Coffee Roasters drip.

Still thirsty? Walk north on Holladay and pick up a gorgeous cowl-neck scarf or other beautiful handmade gift at Seaside Yarn and Fiber, before making another stop at The Whet Spot, which offers a rotating selection of local brews and ciders on tap. Warm up with standout pumpkin curry or a spicy bowl of tom kha at YellowCurry Cozy Thai, a locals’ favorite, with traditional and regional dishes from all over Thailand.  

Next cross Holladay and grab a stiff espresso at Seaside Coffee House in the Wheatley-Desler Building, est. 1914. You’ll need the boost, because right around the corner on Broadway is the Seaside Antique Mall, where you can spend hours perusing everything from vintage birdcages to old postcards. Nearby Rust and Dust offers even more repurposed and antique collectibles. Next door visit the Westport Winery tasting room to pick up a bottle of red and sample the gourmet oils and vinegars. Across the street from the antique mall, the new Angi D Wildt Gallery is a beautiful showcase of local media artists that hosts a March Art Walk. And the End of the Trail Public House is a fun newish sports bar in town with darts, pool, shuffleboard and a patio — not to mention a cozy space to watch the game. 

All this exploring calls for immediate sustenance, and the family-friendly Seaside Brewing Company, housed in the old Seaside city jail, est. 1914, is the perfect place to end your Gilbert District tour. Sit down to a plate of fresh fish tacos and a pint of craft brew poured steps from where the “drunk tank” was once located. Come back for breakfast or lunch at Firehouse Grill. Kids will love the fact that they’re eating grilled-cheese sandwiches in the old Seaside firehouse, est. 1914.

and so much more!

Find a Beach Path Less Traveled By

A Sunday stroll along the beach at 12th Avenue in Seaside, Oregon

Learn More
The Best of Times News: The Beach at the End of the Trail

Travel writer for the fabulous 50-and-over set, Andrea Gross, spent some time on Oregon’s North Coast in the summer of 2014....

Learn More
Support Seaside Shops Online

We in Seaside appreciate the fact that visitors are honoring Governor Kate Brown’s executive order to stay at home in the wake o...

Learn More
View from the North Prom

Beautiful view from Seaside's north promenade.

Learn More
Paddle Neawanna Creek
How to Paddle Seaside

Spend a little time in Seaside, and you’ll find yourself itching to paddle on the rivers and ponds.

Learn More
Seaside OR: Beachside Weddings

The North Oregon Coast is home, and Seaside is an ideal wedding destination! Seaside has incredible scenery, diverse and amazing vendors, and is within close proximity to the Portland airport for those out of town guests.

Learn More
Color Now Bursting on the Coast

Pick up a colorful bouquet of summer dahlias at roadside stands along Highway 101 and other coast highways

Learn More
How to Sip Coffee Like a Local

Seaside has something for everyone — its coffee spots included. It has artisanal sit-down bakeries with locally-roasted pour-ove...

Learn More
Burgers and a beer at U Street Pub & Eatery
Big Burgers You’ll Want to Brag About

Seaside is, of course, known for its fresh seafood. Dozens of restaurants have clam chowders and local razor clams on the menu. Bu...

Learn More
Episode Five: The Historic Gilbert District

We explore the Gilbert District in this walk down memory lane

Learn More
Life in the Fast Lane

Riding bikes in Seaside in 1897.

Learn More
Saddle Mountain State Park Excursion

A day trip to Saddle Mountain adds diversity to Seaside as a destination vacation.

Learn More
Stop and Smell the Roses

Spending a little time with Seaside's pocket gardens

Learn More
Terrible Tilly

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

Learn More
My First Trip to Seaside

Recalling a memorable first trip to Seaside, Oregon

Learn More
A Little Kid on a Big Beach

At the beach, the world feels wild and young again. This photo of an anonymous 3 year-old boy in the early 1940s is an iconic portrayal of Seaside’s treasured experience.

Learn More
The Seaside Parade of Lights is one of many holiday festivities
Holiday Festivities in Seaside

Seaside is one of the Coast’s most beloved destinations for holiday shopping and seasonal celebrations. Plan a visit around thes...

Learn More