Seaside Stories

King Tides Safety and Viewing in Seaside

December 17, 2019 | by Josh Garhofer

Seaside Cove in stormy conditions (photo by Don Frank)

** Story updated for the 2020/2021 King Tides **

King Tides come each year to Oregon. As one of the most easily accessible beach towns in the Pacific Northwest, Seaside is popular destination for the annual phenomenon. Whether you’re catching a ride on a surrey through our charming streets or walking the 100-year-old seafront Promenade, understanding these powerful tides and following safe viewing practices are key elements for a fun and memorable visit.

What Are King Tides?

A King Tide – known as a perigean spring tide in the scientific community – occurs when the new or full moon is closest to the Earth. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, this combination of gravitational force and the rotation of the planet creates a tidal flooding of the coastline. This phenomenon is both naturally occurring and predictable… and can make for some spectacular viewing from a safe distance.

The 2020/2021 spring tides will occur on:

November 15-17, 2020

December 13-15, 2020

January 11-13, 2021

Seaside’s many beachfront properties are a good bet for your King Tides visit. See our Stay page for a city-wide lodging directory and sort by Oceanfront/view rooms.

Necanicum Estuary during King Tides (photo by Dick Edwards)

For a deeper dive on the King Tides experience, check out the Oregon Tides Photo Project, an ongoing effort since 2011 to invite visitors and locals alike to photograph areas impacted by the King Tides. Users are encouraged to share their images on social media using the hashtags #kingtides and #orkingtides.

** Please exercise extreme caution when near the beach as King Tides bring unusually high water levels and even experienced tidal explorers can be caught by surprise. It is not advisable to drive through flood waters, which may be deeper than it appears and carry unseen debris. **

See our Seaside Tide Tables page for detailed predictions.

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