Good old-fashioned fun never goes out of style, especially here in Oregon’s original beach resort. Seaside has charmed sightseers for more than a century, and it remains the North Coast’s see-and-do hub. You only need to stroll the city’s compact downtown to get a sense of what keeps beachgoers coming back year after year. Here is a stop-by-stop, east-to-west walking tour of the classic Seaside experience —its sticky-sweet Americana spirit shines even brighter than ever.
Get a Taste of History
From the beachfront Turnaround (which marks the end of the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail) to the Highway 101 intersection, Broadway is less than a half-mile long, hence perfectly walkable. At the east end, start with a little history: Seaside Brewing Company is a glimpse into Seaside’s past, with many old photos on the brick walls of what once housed city hall and the town jail. If you’re more inclined toward caffeine over booze, Seaside Coffee House, just down the street from the brewery, offers not only great coffee — delicious breakfast and lunch items fill its menu.
Peruse Antiques, Galleries and More
Also on the road’s north side, you’ll find Seaside Antique Mall, loaded with a wealth of things from high-end to vintage. Next door there’s a novelty shop, Pandora’s Box, and a tasting room for Westport Winery. Stepping west, the historic Gilbert District is popular among art lovers who seek a one-of-a-kind experience. Many artists live in the restored buildings here that date back more than a century. With 20-plus businesses, the district hosts art galleries, some of Seaside’s best restaurants (sushi!), antiques, a tattoo parlor, yoga and a salon/spa, home decor, boutiques and a legendary bookstore.
Pause for Fun and Games
Across the bridge over Necanicum River, bloat your belly at Pig ‘N Pancake, a classic Seaside fixture since 1961. Have an insatiable sweet tooth? Cross the street and gorge at Schwietert’s Cones & Candy. Fun, food and shopping mark the Seaside Carousel Mall, where you’ll find the famous carousel and its 24 full-size animals, reproductions of the originals in the San Francisco Carousel Museum. For gamers, there’s the aptly named Funland Arcade, the Oregon Coast’s biggest arcade, offering nearly every type of game imaginable. Test your skills at Seaside ShootOut, a fully animated shooting parlor that easily elicits nostalgia.
See Seaside’s Iconic Sites
Nearing the beach, you will find many more eateries and shopping opportunities, including Ter Har’s and the Freedom Shop. A local tip: grab a two-hands-needed pastrami from the Tsunami Sandwich Company. Ending your westward journey, you will have reached the pinnacle of the Broadway experience — the Turnaround, the Lewis and Clark statue and the iconic Promenade. Here you can hit the sand, too.
By Michael H. Kew
Photo by Jason Kaplan