Oregon’s classic beach resort, Seaside continues to delight locals and visitors alike with diverse natural beauty stitched into its dense urbanity. Aside from the usual amenities, this proximity is convenient and useful for fans of wildlife and water — a wide beach, two rivers running through town and a large estuary lend a load of leisure for those of all skill levels, whether you seek kayak tours, beginner surf lessons or something else that might “wet” your watercraft-adventuring whistle.

Roam the Rivers

There are several boat-access points along the Necanicum River, including a recently installed ADA launch point at Broadway Park. North of Broadway Street and opposite the Seaside Convention Center, Quatat Marine Park offers picnic tables, a boat ramp and a fishing dock. For a bit of self-propelled urban wildlife viewing and overall aquatic fun, Wheel Fun Rentals offers kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, paddle boats, swan boats and multi-peddler boats (available March to September). You can glide south on the river, passing beneath a few bridges to the Avenue U Bridge at the town’s south end. For those with sufficient experience, ocean kayaking and the thrill of paddling from the mouth of the Necanicum Estuary into the Pacific’s roaring surf is hard to resist. Don’t forget your life vest and always reference local tide tables before venturing out.

Shred the Surf

The broad, flat, sandy beaches surrounding Seaside are ideal for surfing and surf lessons, plus skimboarding, boogieboarding and kitesurfing. The friendly staffers at Cleanline Surf and Ocean Surf Adventures provide surfing lessons, gear rentals and sales. They can also extend valuable advice regarding the best surf spots to suit your skill level. For all you “surf sisters,” Northwest Women’s Surf Camps, now in its 12th year, offers private and group surf and stand-up (SUP) lessons, day camps, surf weekenders and co-ed SUP excursions.

Explore the Estuary

At higher tides, rent a canoe or launch your kayak so you can glide around Necanicum Estuary Natural History Park, 451 acres of submerged lands and a large tidal flat, all surrounded by dunes, Sitka spruce forest, and residential streets. This is where the Necanicum River and Neawanna Creek join and greet the Pacific, comprising a watery playground rich with wildlife-viewing opportunities, the entire watershed covering about 87 square miles. And the local birds love it — pack your binoculars to spot whimbrels, western sandpipers, yellowlegs, semi-palmated plovers, dunlins and long-billed curlews.

 Story by Micheal H. Kew

Photo by Don Frank/Visit Seaside