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Seaside Stories

Only in Seaside

April 16, 2024 | by Margot Bigg

While you’ll find gorgeous beaches and beautiful views in Seaside, just like many places on the Oregon Coast, it’s also a coastal town like no other. Seaside’s known for some unique experiences that you won’t find anywhere else, from a century-old walkway to carnival-style games, ghostly events, and a razor-sharp clam. Don’t skip these unmissable and distinctive experiences on your next trip to Seaside.

Oceanside Strolls and Fascinating Games

Among Seaside’s best-known attractions is its Promenade — affectionately known as “the Prom” — a mile-and-a-half-long oceanfront walkway that was built in 1920. Its 1921 dedication ceremony drew thousands of visitors, effectively putting Seaside on the map as the premier Oregon beach getaway. More than a century later, the Prom continues to be a great place to mingle among the locals on an oceanside stroll, jog or bike ride. Since it’s paved and relatively flat, it’s also wheelchair-friendly.

Seaside offers plenty of indoor fun, too, and if you’re intrigued by vintage arcade games, you’ve come to the right place. Seaside’s downtown Funland Arcade is one of only a few places in the United States where you can play Fascination, a Skee-Ball-like game that first became popular in the 1920s. Roll a ball on a long table, and every time your ball falls into a hole, a light illuminates. The goal is to get your ball into five holes in a row (or black out the entire board, depending on the game being played) faster than any other player in the arcade. Once you’ve won your prize, head west down Broadway Street for a few hundred feet, where you’ll find Funland’s indoor miniature golf course, as well as the only indoor bumper car and Tilt-A-Whirl complex on the Oregon Coast.

 

Painted Rocks and Swan-Boat Rides

While rocky beaches are hardly an anomaly in Oregon, you’d be hard-pressed to find one as colorful as Seaside’s Painted Rock Beach, near the intersection of Avenue W and Ocean Vista Drive, in the southern part of town. Once a secret spot where residents with an artistic bent would deposit colorfully painted rocks, this little stretch has since grown to become a well-known and beloved community art installation. Feel free to bring your own painted rock and add your own contribution to the project. 

In the center of town in Quatat Park, Wheel Fun Rentals rents out kayaks, paddleboats and paddleboards from spring through early fall, along with modern iterations of swan boats that can seat up to five people — ideal for a romantic jaunt or a family paddle on the Necanicum River. A couple of blocks east of the park, relax on the Seaside Visitors Bureau’s front lawn on what might be the Coast’s only giant Adirondack chair. It’s perfect for a selfie before popping inside the center for a chat and a free visitor guide.

Events from Ghosts to Salt Makers

Seaside offers loads of quintessentially Oregonian beach experiences throughout the year, from winter whale watching and king-tide spotting to summertime fun in the sun. But where else can you experience some of these cool events?

Held annually in March, the Oregon Ghost Conference is the largest paranormal convention in the Northwest and features everything from seances to past-life regressions.

Every August the city hosts Seaside Beach Volleyball, the largest beach-volleyball tournament in the United States, complete with nearly 200 courts and 2,000 teams. While you’re sure to see some serious spikes, competitors of all skill levels and age groups are invited to participate.

Each September the Seaside Museum & Historical Society teams up with members of the Pacific Northwest Living Historians to throw the annual Lewis and Clark Salt Makers event. Here you can watch interpreters boiling salt out of seawater, re-creating a process used by members of the Corps of Discovery expedition over two centuries ago. If you can’t make it for the annual event, check out the park dedicated to the salt-making crew, which is part of the Lewis & Clark National Historical Park.

Another very Seaside way to get sustenance from the sea is by going razor clamming. About 90% of razor clams harvested in Oregon are found along the northernmost 18 miles of the state’s coastline, a stretch collectively known as the Clatsop Beaches, and Seaside is at the heart of the action. The best time to harvest razor clams is typically in late spring or early summer. Don’t forget the shellfish license! Find more information about gear, summer/fall conservation closures and shellfish biotoxin updates here.

and so much more!

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