Seaside Stories

How to Treasure the Beach

February 21, 2018 | by Shellie Bailey-Shah

No one owns the Oregon Coast — it belongs to everyone. Thanks to 1967’s landmark Beach Bill, Oregon has some of the most protected coastline in the country, where public beach access is guaranteed. We take our beaches seriously. And it doesn’t matter to us that some beach days may require hiking boots instead of sandals or a polar fleece instead of a bikini. Here’s how to love every minute of your time on Seaside’s beaches.

Get Gear and Snacks

First, gear up — beach chairs, towels, pails, shovels and a pop-up tent to protect against any wind or rain as a bonus. If you forget anything for the kids, just swing by Under the Big Top Toy Shop inside the Seaside Carousel Mall. Bring a cooler and pack it with lunch. I suggest stopping at Tsunami Sandwich Company on Broadway Street, where you can order the to-die-for pastrami sandwich and a bottle of Oregon-made Hot Lips fruit soda.

Claim a Sandy Spot

Now claim your spot on Seaside’s wide stretch of sandy shore. If you need to be near public restrooms, you’ll want to stick to the area around the Turnaround on Broadway Street. Have the kids grab shovels and buckets and get to work on those sandcastles. Whether you decide to actually go swimming will depend on your tolerance for cold water. Even in the summer, ocean temperatures don’t get higher than the mid-60s and more typically hover around 55 degrees Fahrenheit. If you’re feeling adventurous, take a surfing lesson from Oregon Surf Adventures — thick wet suits will keep you warm.

Play It Safe

If you’re near the water’s edge, especially with young children, be careful of sneaker waves — sudden, unpredictable surges of water that can pull you out to sea. As a rule, never turn your back on the ocean. And don’t allow your kids to climb on logs, as they can unexpectedly roll over onto a child. Watch for any special signs posted along the beach, which may, for example, alert you to unusual currents. Finally, when you leave the beach, take everything with you, including trash. We follow the “leave no trace” rules here.

Pay It Forward

If you really want to earn a gold star, visit Seaside in March or September for one of SOLVE’s beach cleanup days. The local group   host smaller cleanups the first Saturday of every month. You’ll be joining the scores of Oregonians who volunteer to protect one of our state’s most treasured resources.


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