There’s just something about a Seaside trip that transports you back to simpler times. Memories of saltwater taffy, old-fashioned boardwalks, and great memories of vacations past linger. It’s no wonder then that Seaside, Oregon, is the perfect spot for a family friendly vacation.
Whether young or just young at heart, Seaside has plenty to offer. Here are six of our favorite ways to spend time in this unforgettable beach town.
Walk the Prom
Yes, Seaside actually has a Promenade, perfect for strolling after breakfast, during sunset, and all times in-between. Stretching 1.5 miles along the shoreline—with a famed automobile turnaround where it meets Broadway—the Prom is the place to set up your tripod for iconic photos of the Pacific Ocean, Tillamook Head, and the historic beachfront homes that still line the north and south ends. Enjoy a trip to the Seaside Aquarium, with its entrance on the Prom, or simply take in the views and keep an eye out for whales and other wildlife. The Prom and Turnaround, which were built in 1921, celebrate their centennial in 2021 and all visitors are eligible for the Great Prom Centennial Sweepstakes!
Brush up on History
Many people don’t realize that during their Seaside vacation, they’re walking in the footsteps of Lewis & Clark. The famous explorers have many ties to the American history of this area, including The Salt Works (also just off the Prom), their reconstructed salt-making camp date back to 1806. At the Seaside Historical Society Museum, enrich your understanding of Seaside’s history as the first resort town in Oregon. It’s worth the 30-minute drive to spend time in nearby Fort Clatsop, where a recreation of the expedition’s 1806 winter camp can be explored. You’ll also want to shop the historic Gilbert District, named for Alexandre Gilbert, a fascinating French expat who moved to Seaside in the late 19th century, building what is now the Gilbert Inn. The district is filled with art galleries, boutiques, antiques, a bookstore, yard shop, thrift store and restaurants, all housed in beautiful old buildings. It’s a step back in time to the founding of the town, and you’ll enjoy seeing the incredible architecture of the period.
Add hiking to your family friendly vacation. Seaside is situated amid Oregon’s beautiful rainforests, giving visitors excellent access to some of the state’s premier hiking trails. Walk the Tillamook Head Trail to the headland in Ecola State Park. At Fort Clatsop, the Fort to Sea Trail is a popular option. If you’re looking for a longer, more challenging day hike, however, don’t overlook Saddle Mountain, east on Highway 26. While the trail starts reasonably easy and level, you gain elevation quickly before leveling out at a saddle. The views are spectacular, allowing you to see as far as Mount St. Helens and Mount Hood on clear days.
Sample the Seafood
You can’t go to Seaside without eating fish and chips, chowder and oysters! Favorite local seafood eateries include Bell Buoy, known for delicious smoked salmon and razor clams; Dooger’s Seafood and Grill, where you’ll find crab cakes served in a casual diner environment; and The Crabby Oyster, housed in a classic Victorian building and well-known for serving up tasty clam chowder. And remember, you can always walk off your meal on The Prom.
View the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse
The Tillamook Rock Lighthouse—located more than a mile offshore—has to be one of the most dramatic-looking lighthouses on the West Coast, and perhaps anywhere. You’ve seen it in countless postcard depictions and posters, but the real deal is every bit as awe-inspiring. Imagine being a lighthouse keeper during a powerful Pacific storm back in the day! In addition to being incredibly photogenic, the lighthouse has become an important location for seabird nesting.
Ride the Carousel
Last but not least, everyone, of any age, needs to hop on the Seaside Carousel at least once during their stay in town. Located just a few blocks from the beach inside the Seaside Carousel Mall, this timeless attraction has been part of Seaside’s vernacular for more than a quarter century. Try to get the reindeer or the seahorse. Other fun options at the Carousel Mall include a laser tag arena, an arcade, a toy shop, gifts, restaurant and a portrait artist.
Looking for more fun things to do on your family friendly vacation to Seaside and the North Oregon Coast? Get a free travel guide in the mail.
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