Seaside Stories

Seaside Inside: The Historical Edition

December 21, 2016 | by Nicole Bailey

Above photo: A group plays the historic arcade game, Fascination at Funland Arcade in downtown Seaside, Oregon.

Seaside is a popular destination for outdoor activities during the warmer parts of the year. Yet, it’s not uncommon for us to have a beautiful day, even in the winter season. Still, there are a few months when people prefer to avoid the damper side of Oregon’s coastal climate and ask us for information on all of the things to do indoors. In response we created this series, “Seaside Inside.” In three segments we are highlighting indoor activities available in and around Seaside. Last month’s installment was “Seaside Inside for Kids.” This month, we are excited to showcase, “Seaside Inside: The Historical Edition.” View historic buildings and activities in our town from a “way back when” perspective and you will likely never see Seaside the same way again.

To begin, let us introduce a very unique side of Seaside’s history. The game Fascination, originating on the East Coast in the 1920’s, has been a Seaside staple since the 1950’s. Players roll a ball up a Skee-Ball style, wooden table to be rewarded by points and flashing lights. Funland Arcade, where the Fascination game resides, even has announcers on hand adding to the excitement. The arcade itself has been in Seaside since 1929, true to the town’s reputation for fun.

Where the highway meets Broadway Street, Seaside Brewing Co., built inside Seaside’s old city hall, still has original bricks, wood floors and a replica jail cell perfect for photos of your trip to Seaside. Right next door is the old fire station, now a restaurant called Firehouse Grill. West of these relics, and also on Broadway, is the historic Gilbert District. Each of the buildings on this corner intersected by Holladay Drive were built after the fire of 1912 by former Seaside mayor, Alexandre Gilbert. The buildings were made concrete to prevent another total loss caused by fire. They have been beautifully remodeled and are the backdrop for a favorite indoor activity in Seaside, the First Saturday Art Walk. The walk takes place on the first Saturday of each month from 5-7 pm. In addition to the chance to meet local artists, the walk is an excellent opportunity for those who appreciate historical architecture. See our Calendar of Events to learn about future art walks.

Another of Seaside’s many historic places also offers indoor fun. The Seaside Aquarium is situated inside what used to be the Seaside Natatorium (a fancy name for indoor bathhouse), built in 1924. In the 1920s, sea water was pumped in from the ocean, heated, and used as the water source for the pool. In 1937, the building was retrofitted to become the Aquarium. The ocean still serves as the water source for the Aquarium, which enters its 80th year of operation in 2017.

Many buildings in Seaside reflect almost 150 years of visitor history in the area. The best way to learn about that history is at the Seaside Museum. Created and run by dedicated volunteers, the museum, along with neighboring Butterfield Cottage, a fully restored Seaside Cottage built in 1893, are open for tours every day but Sunday. As visitors will quickly see, Seaside has always been popular for vacationers. Today, evidence of that history is plentiful and through a new perspective, visitors can appreciate the melding of the old and the new while enjoying this indoor fun.

Visiting in winter still offers some prime beach time between storms, but while waiting for those opportunities, why not take in some nostalgia around town? For more “Inside Seaside” look for our post next month when we describe, “The Spirit of Inside Seaside,” all the fun ways to enjoy adult beverages indoors in Seaside. In the meantime, for more information about these and other things to do in Seaside, give us a call at the Seaside Visitors Bureau at (503) 738-3097.

and so much more!

Seaside Beach Volleyball Tournament
World’s Largest Beach Volleyball Tournament

Come August, the “digs” along Seaside’s beach have nothing to do with razor clams. For the 36th year, Seaside will host the ...

Learn More
Snail Mail: the Agony & the Ecstasy

Snail mail in Seaside circa 1909.

Learn More
Riders of the Storm

Winter weather on the Oregon Coast is the flipside to flipside to golden summers, but it can be just as beautiful.

Learn More
Seaside Civic and Convention Center

The benefits and joys of life in our small coastal community are many. And just when you think you’ve seen it all, done it all and start thinking about heading to the big city you’re reminded that the Seaside Civic and Convention Center brings you the best of all possible worlds and you can stay right here

Learn More
Seaside Hotelier Recognized by ORLA as Operator of the Year

Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association names Oregon Lodging Operator of the Year

Learn More
Episode Three: the Seaside Aquarium

Take the audio walking tour of Seaside

Learn More
Seaside Holiday Spirit
Seaside Holiday Spirit

Seaside holiday spirit is more than evident around town beginning in early November. Ushered in by lights and decorations going up...

Learn More
Portland to Seaside by Bus

Visiting Seaside without a Car

Learn More
We’re Getting Crabby on the Coast

Dungeness crab season on the Oregon coast

Learn More
The Cove in Seaside

Rain or shine, the Seaside Cove is a must-see-stop whether you’re a tourist or a local. It’s a mixture of sandy and rocky beach. There are tons of parking spots, and Seltzer Park is just across the street. There are public restrooms and a shower to rinse off sandy feet. There are also plenty of benches for both wave watching and people watching.

Learn More
Seaside Skatepark

The Seaside Skatepark (also called the PTR “Hometown Park”) has a unique history. It was opened in June of 2007, and was built by Placed to Ride. The owner of Placed to Ride, Stefan Hauser, lives here in Seaside.

Learn More
Roaming the Sand for Treasures

The beach is often filled with unique finds, especially after a storm.

Learn More
Enjoying the Breaks in Weather

Seaside and Oregon Coast offer unique setting for the rising and setting of the sun.

Learn More
The Big Storm

The Oregon Climate Service calls it the Great Coastal Gale of 2007, but here in Seaside we just call it The Big Storm.

Learn More
“Fascinated” on Broadway

Fascination has been a staple in Seaside, Oregon since the 1950s.

Learn More
A Stop on the Art Walk

Capturing what goes on behind the scenes of a First Saturday Art Walk

Learn More
Still Room for Improvement in Customer Service

Excellence in customer service awards results for 2015

Learn More
Our timeless ocean

Enjoying the ocean can be a timeless endeavor.

Learn More