It’s difficult to imagine Seaside without the historic Promenade, the famous lamp-lined trail that stretches along the sandy beach for 1.5 miles. You’d be hard pressed to find a visitor that doesn’t take at least a few steps on the paved ADA-accessible path, if for no other reason than to take in the expansive view of the Pacific. But if you delve a little deeper, you’ll find that “the Prom,” as locals call it, can be an avenue to an entire day’s worth of activities — here’s how, step by step.
1. Have fun on wheels: First, let’s talk transportation. You can easily walk the full length of the Prom. But you can also have a blast exploring the Prom and downtown Seaside by bike. Both Wheel Fun Rental and Prom Bike Shop rent traditional bikes as well as four-wheeled surreys. Keep in mind that surreys — which are a lot of fun! — are not permitted on the trail itself, only downtown streets; you’ll need to stick to two-wheelers. The Prom is stroller- and wheelchair-friendly, as well.
2. Get the lay of the land: The Prom runs parallel to the beach between the dunes and town. Broadway Street intersects the Prom at the halfway point. North Promenade runs north from Broadway through Seaside’s numbered streets ending at 12th Street. South Promenade runs south from Broadway through Seaside’s lettered streets ending at Avenue U.
3. Fuel up for adventures: On the southern end, start your day with breakfast at Osprey Café. Just a block off the Prom, it’s a locals’-favorite spot for both classic brunch fare as well as vegetarian and international-inspired dishes. Try the arepas, Latin American corn-and-cheese cakes. Or grab one of the hot cinnamon rolls and a cup of coffee.
4. See the Salt Works: As you head north, look for Lewis and Clark Way and then take a right and walk a half block. Stop briefly at the Salt Cairn Historic Monument. During the rainy winter of 1805, the Corps of Discovery expedition spent time here boiling ocean water to extract salt used to preserve elk meat.
5. Make lunch or dinner plans: Back on walkway, note the location of Maggie’s on the Prom between Avenue E and G. Serving stellar seafood and New American standards, this popular dining spot offers the best beachfront tables in town. Consider returning for lunch or dinner and know that you can even bring your dog if you dine on the patio.
6. Take a selfie with L & C: At the Turnaround, don’t miss your opportunity for a selfie with Meriwether Lewis, William Clark and their dog Seaman. The bronze monument commemorates the end of the epic journey from St. Louis to the Oregon Coast. If you’re looking for a pick-up beach volleyball game, this spot is your best opportunity. Also take note of The Seashore Inn on the Beach: In the evening, you can return here to buy beach fire kits that include wood, kindling and matches plus marshmallows, graham crackers and chocolate bars for s’mores.
7. Feed the seals at the aquarium: Continue north and you’ll come to the Seaside Aquarium. This small and endlessly entertaining center for marine life is one of the oldest of its kind on the West Coast. Kids will love feeding the resident seals and touching sea anemones, sea urchins and sea stars in the touch pools.
8. Witness the colorful sunset: Finally, we arrive at my favorite spot on the Prom. It’s the beach on the far north end at 12th Street. If you’re looking to have a wide stretch of shore practically to yourself, you’ve found your happy place. Plop down on the sand and watch the sun set on a perfect Seaside day.