Skip to content

Seaside Stories

Your Home Base for Saddle Mountain Hikes

February 20, 2024 | by Matt Wastradowski

Multitudes of wildflowers. Glorious ocean and mountain vistas. Some of the nicest trail time in the Coast Range. Reopened in 2023 after a nearly three-year closure for repair and rejuvenation, Saddle Mountain State Natural Area is once again open to the public. The rocky monolith — just a 20-minute drive east of Seaside on Highway 26 — welcomes visitors old and new for some of the North Coast’s most popular natural areas. 

If the park is on your bucket list, here’s what to know about making a Seaside adventure getaway, complete with recommendations for post-hike bites, outdoor activities and overnight stays. 

Wildflowers at Saddle Mountain (Photo courtesy of Oregon State Parks)

Hike Around Seaside

Saddle Mountain’s summit hike measures about 5 miles round-trip — with roughly 1,900 feet of elevation gain — for a solid day of hiking. The payoff is well worth it, with a 360-degree view that includes the Pacific Ocean to the west and the craggy peaks of the Cascades to the east. Since this hike is popular on a sunny weekend, staying in Seaside allows you to easily start your hike before 9 a.m. for a bit more solitude.

On this spectacular hike, enjoy occasional views of nearby Humbug Mountain while ascending through thick forests of Douglas fir. Near the summit, find meadows of rare wildflowers that bloom between late April and June. You may notice repaired sections of trail, new vault restrooms and other components of the work completed in the park. Note that the campground that once sat at the base of Saddle Mountain has been removed.

Saddle Mountain is just one of many outdoor adventures around Seaside, so feel free to stick around for a few days and explore the area. South of downtown, the Tillamook Head traverse hike totals 6.3 miles round-trip and features 1,350 feet of elevation gain as it ascends through a moss-covered forest of weathered Sitka spruce. Highlights include World War II building remnants along the trail and views of the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse — popularly known as “Terrible Tilly” — which sits on a basalt sea stack just offshore.

Looking for a quick, low-key adventure? In the heart of downtown, Wheel Fun Rentals at Quatat Park offers watercraft rentals on the Necanicum River between March and October, with options that include single and tandem kayaks for quiet bird-watching outings, pedal-powered swan boats, and more. For fun on solid ground, ride the Seaside Promenade with a cruiser or four-seat surrey rental — available year-round — from Prom Bike Shop

Osprey Cafe

Relax With These Post-Adventure Bites and Stays

Refuel after your outdoor adventures with ocean-to-table seafood at Bell Buoy of Seaside — which, for more than 75 years, has sourced most of its seafood from within 50 miles — or surf and turf at Finns Fish House, where you can relax on the patio around one of the natural-gas fireplaces. If you got an early start on the day’s fun, grab a late breakfast or lunch from Osprey Café, whose globe-trotting menu includes chilaquiles, Indonesian fried rice and pork-belly bánh mì alongside more familiar breakfast classics. 

Toast to the day’s adventure over beers at End of the Trail Public House on Broadway, with regional wines at CHēZ — a few blocks from downtown in a quaint converted house — or at River Bar in the Rivertide Suites hotel, with views of the nearby Necanicum River. The old-school Times Theatre & Public House sits in the heart of downtown and offers sporting events, its own house-brewed Sisu Beer, burgers and other pub-fare favorites.

You’ll sleep well wherever you choose to stay in Seaside. Situated at the base of Tillamook Head south of downtown, beachfront Lanai at the Cove has luxurious condo-style units with kitchenettes and stunning ocean views. SaltLine Hotel offers private balconies, spa services and a saltwater pool just a few steps from the Seaside Promenade and the Pacific Ocean. Budget-minded travelers appreciate Seaside Lodge & International Hostel, which sits along the Necanicum River and offers a mix of private rooms and dorm beds. Canoe and kayak rentals are available for an added fee.

and so much more!

The War Years in Seaside

Blimp patrols were a common feature in Seaside during World War II.

Crabbing & Clamming as Seasiders Do

“How have you lived here this long and never crabbed?” That’s the question I kept asking my friends and gracious hosts in Se...

Find a Beach Path Less Traveled By

A Sunday stroll along the beach at 12th Avenue in Seaside, Oregon

Pokémon Go: All You Need To Know in Seaside

Pokémon is a cultural phenomenon around the world. With adorable creatures, battle mechanics, an opportunity for healthy explorat...

Clam Chowder
Must-Eat Clam Chowders in Seaside

A look at five of the more than 20 clam chowders found in Seaside, Oregon

Read These Oregon Coast Page-Turners

A good book and the beach — there may be no better combination. Opened in 2005, Beach Books is a local institution where you ca...

Golden Age Arcade

Seaside's classic golden age arcade.

Feed Your Mind, Body and Soul in Seaside

Seaside is more than its well-earned reputation for fun and shopping along famed Broadway Street. It’s also home to pampering sp...

A Kid-Free Couple’s Getaway

We know kids love Seaside. And Seaside loves kids. But you can, of course, enjoy Seaside without the youngsters in tow. Whether yo...

Why This Family Comes Back To Seaside Year After Year

The calm waters of the Necanicum River in Seaside, Oregon. Photo: Alex Butterfield There’s something comfortingly classic about ...

Playland: Amusements in the 1930s

Recognize this classic Seaside landmark? For nearly 70 years, countless kids and adults have come to the Oregon Coast to get behin...

Tips for Whale Watching In and Around Seaside

** Story updated for 2022 ** While it’s possible to see whales all year along the Oregon Coast, visitors tend to flock to Seasid...

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 ...

Seaside Library

A look at the humble beginnings of the Seaside Public Library

Honeymooning in Seaside

Part of the fun of planning a wedding is also planning the honeymoon (and I’ve been collecting ideas for both)! Many couples dream of the ideal honeymoon location, and on the top of their list should be Seaside! Sand, sea, and surf, along with amazing places to stay, eat, and be merry.

The Daddy Train

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

Savor Oregon Wines at Seaside’s Tasting Rooms

In autumn, when the coastal air turns brisk and blustery, you can uncork and unwind in downtown Seaside with other wine lovers for...

Pedal Boating through Seaside

Paddle boating Seaside is another unique way to see Seaside while getting a little exercise in the process.