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!

7 places to maximize indoor fun in Seaside, Oregon

How to vacation in Seaside, Oregon when the weather is cool and wet; hint: food, culture and fun....

Learn More
Boogie Nights

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

Learn More
Golden Age Arcade

Seaside's classic golden age arcade.

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
Saddle Mountain State Park Excursion

A day trip to Saddle Mountain adds diversity to Seaside as a destination vacation.

Learn More
Antiquing in Seaside

Antique shopping in Seaside, Oregon

Learn More
Knights of Summer: Seaside’s Lifeguarding Tradition

Seaside has had a rich lifeguard tradition for almost 100 years.

Learn More
Crabbing at the 12th Avenue Bridge

The inside scoop on catching your dinner in Seaside.

Learn More
Playland: Amusements in the 1930s

Recognize this classic Seaside landmark? For just over sixty years, countless kids and adults have come to the Oregon Coast to get...

Learn More
Life in the Fast Lane

Riding bikes in Seaside in 1897.

Learn More
A Stop on the Art Walk

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

Learn More
The Daddy Train

The Seaside train depot was the major transportation hub before 1938.

Learn More
Seaside Library

A look at the humble beginnings of the Seaside Public Library

Learn More
Seaside Inside for Kids

Seaside is known for a variety of outdoor activities to enjoy during most of the year and it’s not uncommon to have a 60-plu...

Learn More
A New Year of Seaside Adventures

A new year in Seaside means you have 12 months of adventure ahead —  trekking through rain forests, watching whales spray and d...

Learn More
An early morning kayak ride

One kayaker's take on an early morning ride into the Necanicum Estuary.

Learn More
Establishing Another World Record

Seaside Beach Volleyball Tournament establishes yet another record during stellar event.

Learn More