Seaside Stories

Why This Family Comes Back To Seaside Year After Year

March 29, 2019 | by Seaside Visitors Bureau

The calm waters of the Necanicum River in Seaside, Oregon. Photo: Alex Butterfield

There’s something comfortingly classic about Seaside, Oregon. The wholesome downtown that makes grandparents nostalgic, the outdoor offerings that keep kids and teens entertained, and the rugged beauty that makes it feel like both a relaxing getaway and an exciting adventure. Our family has been returning to Seaside for years, and as our kids grow, so does the list of things we love to do here. Here’s just a sampling of what keeps us coming back for more.

1. Start on the Promenade

Yes, the Promenade (I told you this town was a classic!), which locals call the Prom. We like to walk this oceanfront path in the evenings after dinner (when the kids were young, it was the perfect place to roll the strollers for an afternoon walk, lulling little ones into nap time). You also can visit the aquarium, which offers an intimate experience for visitors. It’s been around since 1937 and has kept up with the times. Visitors can feed seals, get hands-on with sea creatures at the touch tanks, and watch jellyfish (highly meditative in itself).

2. Don’t Miss the Funland Seaside Arcade

Honestly, this is just about the only arcade I encourage my kids to visit. The Funland Seaside Arcade is an absolute blast, and its location right downtown on Broadway (in the heart of town, instead of some tucked-away mall like many arcades) is convenient for letting older kids enjoy some free time. The arcade is an obvious choice for rainy days, but also nice for a break from the sunshine of the beach.

3. Rent Bikes or Surreys

For a fun way to tool around the Prom and the rest of town, opt for wheeled exploration. Bike rentals are available in multiple locations, or if you drive to Seaside like we do, just bring your own bikes, scooters, and skates. You can also pile the whole family into a surrey: a four-passenger bike. Laughs are all but guaranteed.

4. Go for a Paddle on Nearby Rivers

For a break from the beach, dip into Seaside’s riverways. Many visitors are surprised to learn they can grab a paddle and explore quiet flatwater instead of the ocean. Paddle boats, kayaks, and stand-up paddleboards are all popular ways to explore the Necanicum River and other nearby waterways, where you just might spot wildlife like blue herons. You’ll find several rental options available to get the boat that works best for you. Life jackets are always provided.

5. Roll Over to the Skate Park

Have teens craving some independence? Let them loose at Seaside Skate and Ride in Broadway Park, next to Sunset Pool. There’s no fee, and in addition to skateboards, inlines skates and bikes are permitted. (Just remember your helmets.)

6. Hit the Trails

Multiple day hikes are available within a 30-minute drive of Seaside, and our favorites include the network of trails at Tillamook Head. The Tillamook Head National Recreation Trail is six miles long and weaves through thick coastal forest to Ecola State Park (where you can best glimpse the Tillamook Head Lighthouse or “Terrible Tilly” on clear days). The North Coast Land Conservatory is also a great resource for hikes and themed days outdoors, and the Mill Ponds Trail, which is part of the Neawanna Creek watershed, is a prime place to spot wildlife.

7. Soak Up Some Local History

Seaside is a wonderful place to learn more about Oregon and U.S. history—so we’re “those parents” who always include a refresher when we’re in the area. Right in town, Lewis and Clark Way (between Beach Drive and the Prom) marks the location of the ­legendary explorers’ salt-making camp from 1806. And part of the Tillamook Head Trail traces the route they took to find a beached whale. On rainy days, we stop by the Seaside Museum, or you can drive not far out of town to make a day of the Fort Clatsop Interpretive Center, the site of the expedition’s winter camp in 1806 .

8. Great Local Eateries

One part logging museum, one part historic restaurant, Camp 18 is at the top of our list of favorite places to eat around Seaside. Located outside of town in the coastal range, the restaurant pays homage to the area’s logging culture and history. Peek into a historic caboose and check out old-fashioned logging equipment before or after your meal.

A newer addition to our must-do list is the Times Theatre & Public House. This historic theater and brewery, which also serves up a fun pub menu, dates back to the 1940s but reopened with a major renovation after being shuttered for 30 years in 2018. Classic movies and craft beer (at least for the adults in the group) make for an excellent way to spend a summer afternoon.

Seaside is a small town that rewards repeat visits. Every time you come back, the seasons, weather, and waves make for a new dynamic. You can understand why so many families make this their annual vacation. It’s a place where you can enjoy fun entertainment, affordable attractions, and plenty of ways to enjoy the outdoors. We always come home refreshed!

For more information, order a free Visitor Guide to help you plan your Seaside getaway.

Written by Amy Whitley in partnership with City of Seaside Visitors Bureau.

and so much more!

Boogie Nights

A look at Seaside's old dance hall and skating rink

Learn More
Seaside Lifeguards – Kicking off the Summer Season

The lifeguard tower in Seaside ensures a safe and fun beach experience.

Learn More
A Tradition of Tea

Seaside has a 26 year tradition it loves to share with visitors. Those in town for the holiday season are invited to step back in ...

Learn More
Measuring Seaside’s Success

The barometer for marketing and advertising success of a destination can be tough to measure. There are several metrics we have ac...

Learn More
View from the Tower

View from the old Seaside Hotel tower.

Learn More
Destinations Magazine: Great Escapes

Vacations are the “great escapes we need,” says Destinations magazine, “to relax, recharge and rejuvenate oursel...

Learn More
Episode Three: the Seaside Aquarium

Take the audio walking tour of Seaside

Learn More
Seaside Summer Event Guide

We know that Seaside’s stellar location is reason enough to visit. But summers here are jam-packed with events that you won’t ...

Learn More
Oregon Coast: Lodgings with a Tale to Tell

Historic coastal inn in Seaside, Oregon

Learn More
Episode Six: Phillips Candies

Take a walk down memory lane and discover one of Seaside's oldest establishments: the famous Phillips Candies on Broadway.

Learn More
Seaside Guide to Beachcombing

With one of the longest, sandiest, and most spacious beaches on the Oregon Coast, Seaside is the perfect spot to go looking for tr...

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
Times of Change…

Seasons of change in nature and life.

Learn More
Fall in Seaside

Experiencing the changing seasons in Seaside

Learn More
A Beach Bicycle Built for Two

Beach Bike Rentals in Seaside, Oregon

Learn More
COVID: What to Expect at Hotels and Vacation Rentals

Great news for those craving the revitalizing sea air and the sounds of the crashing surf from your balcony: Seaside’s hotels an...

Learn More
SOLV Beach Clean Up

When I look at our beaches I don’t see garbage. I see a breathtaking coastline, and I think how lucky we are to have such pristine beauty right in our own backyard. I believe most beachgoers, both locals and tourists, are conscientious about disposing their refuse properly after a day playing on the beach. So why do we have the SOLV beach cleanup twice a year?

Learn More
How to Build a Beach Campfire

It’s a longstanding Seaside tradition: listening to a crackling fire in concert with the crashing of the ocean waves. Campfires ...

Learn More