Seaside Stories

Seaside Promenade

January 25, 2011 | by Becky Jensen

I walked along the Prom last weekend on a beautifully bright and sunny day and found myself surrounded by walkers, runners, people on all sorts of wheels, strollers, couples holding hands, and dogs of all sizes leading their people around. I also heard all sorts of accents and languages-and saw plenty of cameras.

It was a busy place, even on a January day, but I know that it is even more so in the summer. There is close parking and benches along the Prom to find a seat to enjoy a coffee from your favorite coffee shop, or eat an ice cream cone. I noticed that The Prom also gives access to those with mobility issues, getting them closer to the beach.

The Historic Seaside Promenade (known as the Prom) is one and a half miles long, stretching from Avenue U (on the south end of town) to 12th Avenue (on the north end of town), and of course it borders along the gorgeous Pacific Ocean. Taking a stroll along the Prom is an absolute must whether you’re just passing through Seaside, or staying for a few days to enjoy all Seaside has to offer. It is a 15-foot wide paved walkway that was built in 1920, and dedicated in 1921 (prior to that there was a wooden walkway).

Along the Prom there are many lodging options (hotels, vacation rentals and a bed and breakfast nearby), oceanfront dining and the 74-year-old Seaside Aquarium, which features living regional marine life (the harbor seals are the real stars of the Aquarium), a hands-on discovery center, and a 35-foot Gray Whale skeleton. I admit that I look in the window at the Gray Whale skeleton each time I walk by.

The Prom also includes the “Turnaround”. It’s a roundabout designed to turn traffic around when the street dead-ends at the Pacific Ocean. In the middle of the Turnaround stands a statue of Lewis and Clark. The statue signifies that not only tourists “turn around” to get back down Broadway in Seaside, but that Lewis and Clark turned again for home after reaching the Pacific Ocean.

The Turnaround is always busy, and full of people enjoying the view of the beach. I enjoyed sitting and watching people drive through the Turnaround, and caught the joy on their face as they looked upon the breathtaking view.

There are always things to see from the Prom. I love the constant flying of kites, the swing set just south of the turnaround, early morning clam digging, sunsets, incredible views of Tillamook Head and the constant joy of watching kids of all ages enjoy life at the beach. It’s a truly great place to people watch.

I stopped by the Seaside Museum to learn more about the Prom (they have pictures of the original one). In addition, the Seaside Visitors Bureau gave me a Seaside map. They highlighted the Prom for me and made sure I had all the information that I needed.

I definitely recommend that you grab comfortable shoes, your favorite snack, and loved ones (people or pooches), and take a stroll along the historic Prom, just as many thousands of others have done before you. I don’t do it often enough!

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