Stress should get nowhere near your family’s spring break plans. As Oregon’s original classic see-and-do coastal resort city and one of the West’s oldest waterfront destinations, Seaside knows how to make the fun flow. It’s a quick and favorite destination for Portlanders, and a top choice for your last-minute spring fling — loaded with indoor and outdoor activities. (And heaps of sweets: Phillip’s Candies, Seaside Candyman, Schwietert’s Cones & Candy, Bruce’s Candy Kitchen, Zinger’s and Portland Fudge Company.)
Stroll and Skate
Seaside’s 1.5-mile-long beachfront Promenade is a paved boardwalk made for bipedal (and bike-pedal) fun, including its famous Turnaround and, yes, instant access to the beach. Forgot your kid’s cruiser? Rent one from Prom Bike Shop. For the alt-wheelers, there’s the state-of-the-art Seaside Skate ‘N Ride Park, where skateboards, inline skates, scooters, wheelchairs and BMX are all good to go.
Don’t let a little drizzle deter you. Setting aside the pleasure of a misty walk on the beach, many of Seaside’s biggest draws are found inside: Among a wealth of other awesome sea life, the 81-year-old Seaside Aquarium is full of shiny, silly, splashy harbor seals who love to be fed chopped fish. For gamers, there’s aptly named Funland, the Oregon Coast’s biggest arcade, offering nearly every type of game imaginable; and Seaside Shootout, an old-school gallery game that opened in early 2018. Captain Kid Amusement Park has miniature golf, go-karts, bumper boats and amusement rides. Also, check out the bumper cars, Tilt-A-Whirl and putt-putt golf on Broadway Street.
Other indoor activities include the Carousel Mall, where you’ll find the famous Seaside Carousel and its 24 full-sized animals, reproductions of the originals in the San Francisco Carousel Museum. Need something, or just feel like browsing? With no sales tax in Oregon, shopping is a popular diversion, and you’ll find a mix of shops in the Carousel Mall, on and off Broadway, and at the Seaside Outlets.
And naturally, there’s Seaside’s nature. A large flat ocean beach, two rivers running through town and a peaceful estuary all lend a load of leisure for visitors of all skill levels. Here you can try kayak tours, bracing surf lessons or something else that might “wet” your water-adventuring whistle. Wheel Fun Rentals offers kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, paddle boats, swan boats, and multi-peddler boats. The ADA kayak/canoe launch at Broadway Park offers experienced water enthusiasts and beginners an almost foolproof way to enter the water without getting wet. The friendly staffers at Cleanline Surf and Ocean Surf Adventures provide surfing lessons, gear rentals and sales.
For something a little quieter, the nine holes at Seaside Golf Course offer peace-on-the-green. Trail hiking is a big pastime around Seaside, especially on the woodsy Tillamook Head Trail, the birdy Mill Ponds Trail and, of course, the smooth, stroller-friendly Promenade.
By Michal H. Kew
Photo by Don Frank / Visit Seaside