Whether you’re driving your electric vehicle along the entire 363-mile Oregon Coast Electric Byway or the shorter but equally scenic North Oregon Coast Electric Byway, Seaside is the perfect place to stop, plug in and explore. You can take a quick hike through the rain forest and grab a bowl of smoked-salmon chowder before you hit the road — or you can stay at an ocean-view hotel and peruse Seaside’s boutiques and breweries while your EV charges overnight. However you’d like to pass the time while your car juices up, these Seaside walking tours let you plug in and play.
Shop Till You Drop
On the north side of town, Seaside Outlets offers an impressive lineup of discount retail stores, as well as a Tesla Supercharger in the parking lot. Pop into the Pendleton and Nike outlets, and then nab some Pacific Northwest outdoor gear — and throw an axe in the dedicated throwing lanes — at Scout Northwest Trading Company. When hunger hits, walk across the lot to Legends Public House for a hearty steak sandwich, or swing by Grizzly Tuna across the highway for the best albacore fish and chips you’ve ever tasted. (Dog owners, don’t forget to ask for a treat for your pup!) If you catch a matinee at the nearby Seaside Cinema, your Tesla should be fully charged by the time the credits roll, or if you want to hit the beach for an hour or two of playtime, walk west on 12th Avenue until you hit the Prom.
Stroll Along the Prom
Whether you’d like to stay the night or charge and go, The Resort at Seaside is located on the Prom and offers a level-two charging station that’s open to the public. Seaside’s downtown area is also walking distance from SaltLine Hotel, which offers EV charging for guests. Plug in and walk to nearby Wheel Fun Rentals for a beach cruiser to ride along the 1.5-mile Prom. Pedal through the bustle of activity at the landmark Turnaround, feed the seals at Seaside Aquarium, and soak up the panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and rain-forest-covered Tillamook Head. When you feel peckish, pop into Salmon River Smokehouse for a bowl of locally smoked salmon chowder. Across the street, both family-friendly Evoke Winery and Hop & Vine offer local wines and beers on tap, or grab a burger at the renovated Times Theatre, which is also home to Sisu Brewing. Be sure to check out the on-site brewing vats — and then sip a beer while you watch weekend sports on the movie screen. If you’re traveling with the kiddos, hunt for sand dollars on the beach, and the sprawling Funland is a great way for the whole family to spend the afternoon. Lastly, hit up Sea Star Gelato or Zinger’s before you hit the road, because no trip to the beach is complete without ice cream.
Explore the Historic Gilbert District
The River Inn at Seaside offers level-two EV charging for guests and is located just a few blocks from the shopping, galleries and eateries of Seaside’s historic Gilbert District. Located at the intersection of Broadway and Holladay Drive, the four-block district is the oldest part of Seaside. Walk to Broadway and hang a right to cross the Necanicum river, and you’ll see the 1914 Gilbert Block Building and the 1913 Kirwen Building. Explore the nearby C&R Mercantile, a must-shop for high-end clothing, and Fairweather House and Gallery, which has unexpected art galore. Next pop into Beach Books for the novel you’ve been dying to read, and wander next door to Dough Dough Bakery for a warm chocolate-tahini roll and cup of local Sleepy Monk coffee. If you’d rather wind down than caffeine up, The Whet Spot offers 20 beers on tap, many of them local, and light bites. Seaside Brewery, housed in the old Seaside jail, serves up heartier pub fare and an epic selection of IPAs, pilsners and stouts brewed on the premises. Sitting by the toasty outdoor fire pit with a pint is a great way to pass a couple of hours.
Hike and Surf at the Cove
Enjoy a chili cheeseburger and frosty milkshake while your EV charges for free at Ruby’s Roadside Grill, located on Highway 101 on the south side of town. If you’re looking for a sit-down breakfast, Ruby’s is also a stone’s throw to Avenue U and the tasty eggs Benedict at Osprey Café. After you grab a bite, it’s a short walk to Seaside’s most popular surf spot, the Cove. Seaside Surf Shop rents surfboards and boogie boards, in case you’d like to catch some waves while your EV charges. Just south of the Cove, the Tillamook Head Trail winds 1,000 feet above the Pacific through an old-growth Sitka spruce forest. Hike part or all of the 12.6-mile out-and-back trail and your car will likely have a good charge upon your return. If your EV still needs more juice after your adventures, challenge yourself on the aerial obstacle courses at High Life Adventure Park, located on Highway 101, before you unplug and drive into the sunset.
Photo courtesy of Travel Oregon