Seaside, OR: Weekend Guide to Oregon's largest coast town
Sonnenuntergang Seaside , Oregon

When driving to Seaside, Oregon I never get the song “Seaside” from the Kooks out of my head. The song immediately brings up visions of a long, wide, sandy beach, a fresh breeze, and the smell of delicious seafood. Indeed Seaside, the coastal town on the Oregon Coast is a popular weekend destination for Portlanders escaping the city and visitors spending a few days at the beach. 

Love from Seaside, Oregon mural

I’ve been visiting Seaside a couple of times and put together this weekend guide including things to do in Seaside, Oregon, where to eat, stay and play.

15 unique things to do in Seaside, Oregon

#1 Explore downtown Seaside

Seaside is the largest coastal town on the North Oregon Coast and together with Cannon Beach the closest to Portland. Besides spending time on the beach, for what you’ve probably come for, Downtown Seaside has some fun things to explore. Especially if you are into nostalgic things, Seaside holds some unique treasures for you! Think about an old-fashioned carousel mall with hand-painted carousels, candy shops, and a vintage theater – Seaside almost feels like time stood still.

Downtown Seaside Oregon
Broadway Street is the main street leading through Seaside, Oregon

#2 Take an expansive walk on Seaside’s beach promenade

Even though Seaside lacks a big Haystack Rock that can be found in Cannon Beach and Pacific City, just a few miles south of the Oregon Coast. Therefore, Seaside scores with its 1.5 miles (2,4 km) long beach promenade, also known as “The Prom”. If you don’t want to get your feet sandy but still love to enjoy walks along the beach and ocean views, this is your place!

Seaside Promenade at sunset
Seaside Promenade during sunset

#3 Seaside Turnaround

Seaside’s Turnaround marks the final stop of Lewis and Clark’s epic journey to the West. Located where Seaside’s Broadway Street meets the Pacific Ocean, the Seaside Turnaround sign is not only a great start to walk “The Prom” but also a must-stop to worth stopping to acknowledge the historical landmark.

#4 Leave a personal message at Seaside’s Painted Rock Beach

A tiny cove decorated with countless individual painted rocks became a hidden Seaside attraction over the years. Nearby homeowners started placing painted rocks in the 1980s. Since today locals and visitors leave behind hand-painted memories creating this unique selection. Painted Rock Beach is tucked away at the south end of town. Open to the public, this stretch might be a little difficult to find, but making the effort is half the fun.

Painted Rock Beach, Seaside, Oregon
A little path is leading to Painted Rock Beach in Seaside.

#5 Watch surfers hit the waves at The Cove or hit the waves yourself

Close to Painted Rock Beach is Seaside’s best surf spot: the Cove. No matter the weather, you’ll find surfers riding the waves here frequently. In case you are not surfing yourself, it’s still a nice spot to sit and watch the tiny surfers with Tillamook Head in the backdrop.

Seaside Oregon Surfer's Watch
The Cove aka Surfer’s Watch

#6 Go crabbing or clamming along the long beach

Fancy finding your own dinner, fresh from the ocean? According to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, 95 percent of Oregon’s razor clam digging occurs on the beaches between the Columbia River mouth and Seaside Beach.

Crabbers at the beach of Seaside, Oregon
Clammers on their way out to the Pacific Ocean.

Razor clamming is extremely popular from October through July. For crabbing, the most popular spot is the 12th Ave. bridge in Seaside. An Oregon Shellfish License is required and can be purchased at Bud’s Campground & Grocery, Trucke’s One Stop, or Rite Aid.

Very important to plan your crabbing or clamming adventure is to take a look at the tides. Check Seaside tides here.

#7 Find cute coastal cabins along “The Prom”

With Seaside being on the bigger size of Oregon coastal towns, there are many options to stay at. I’ll give you more details in the section below: Where to stay in Seaside. Especially further down the Seaside promenade, you can find individual coastal cabins and potentially not only one you’d like to stay at.

#8 Look for colorful murals around town

Did you know Seaside is full of colorful murals? The most famous mural probably is the “Love from Seaside” painting at 800 S. Holladay Drive. But there is more! But there is more! You can go on a self-guided Seaside Mural Walking Tour with the help of this guide and find your favorite Seaside mural.

#9 Go thrifting, find rare antiques and local products

Looking for vintage toys, 80s & 90s clothing, tapes, home décor, or video games? The thrift and consignment store Seaside’s Stuff and Random & Rare and Seaside Antique Mall on Broadway Street are great places to go. Also, watch out for small businesses along Broadway Street that sell local goods from Oregonian brands and Seaside locals.

Seaside Vintage Shopping
Vintage clothing and home deco at Random & Rare on Broadway Street.

#10 Stroll along scenic waterways

While Seaside is all about its 1.5-mile (2.4 km) long beach promenade, there are also lovely waterways to explore around town. Especially if you want to beat the beach crowds, a stroll is a great alternative. Seaside’s waterways are also great for an urban paddle or kayak tour in summer. More info here.

Waterways of Seaside, Oregon
Seaside’s waterways with the coastal mountain range in the backdrop.

#11 Hike the Tillamook Head Trail and find “Terrible Tilly” out in the Pacific Ocean

If you feel like putting on your hiking boots, Seaside is a great starting point for some of the best coastal hikes in Oregon. Right from the southern tip of Seaside town, you can hike the Tillamook Head. You can either traverse the 6.3 miles (10,2 km) from Tillamook Head Trailhead to Indian Beach in Ecola State Park (north of Cannon Beach), or vice versa. Prepare for a 12.6 miles (20,4 km) roundtrip if you hike the Lewis and Clark Discovery Trail in and out.

The elevation gain of 1.350 ft (412 m) also isn’t a joke: But you’ll get rewarded with panoramic coastal views down to Ecola State Park and the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse aka “Terrible Tilly”.

Indian Beach, Ecola State Park Oregon Coast
View of Indian Beach and Cannon Beach from Ecola State Park

More coastal hikes near Seaside, OR

  • Lewis and Clark Discovery Trail (Tillamook Head Trail to Indian Beach)
  • Indian Beach Trail, Clatsop Loop, Crescent Beach, Ecola State Park
  • Saddle Mountain (temporally closed)

#12 Look for wildlife

With mossy forests leading all the way to the coast, the environment is the perfect habitat for wildlife. In Seaside and Cannon Beach, you’ll often see elk roaming along the beach – for sure a special scenery.

The Oregon Coast is also a great whale-watching destination in the winter months. In December gray whales migrate south and travel back north in March. More information and reasons why to visit the Oregon Coast in winter you’ll find in my blog post: Oregon Coast in winter

Gray whale at Oregon Coast
Gray whales are migrating along the Oregon Coast in winter.

Around Cannon Beach’s Haystack Rock, you can find the famous Tufted Puffins from April through July, as well as bald eagles, pelicans, and other shore and sea birds.

Seabirds at the beach in Seaside, Oregon
Seabirds at Seaside Beach

#13 Take a dip at Ashore Hotel’s heated saline pool

Need some time to relax? Ashore Hotel’s heated saline pool and dry sauna are the perfect place to soak and relax your muscles. Click here for more details about staying at Ashore Hotel.

Pool at Ashore Hotel, Seaside, Oregon
Relaxing at Ashore Hotel’s heated saline pool.

#14 Watch the sunset

No trip to the Oregon Coast without admiring the sun setting into the Pacific Ocean. With Seaside’s long and wide beach, it’s easy to find a secluded spot in the dunes or from the promenade to watch the sky turn pink and orange.

Sunset at the beach in Seaside, Oregon
Find a place in the dunes and watch the sun set in the Pacific Ocean.

#15 Explore the coastal towns close by

I know, Cannon Beach is the most popular and widely known Oregon coast town. So you might want to stop by when in Seaside. The good news is: Cannon Bach is only a 15 min drive down from Seaside. If you drive north, you reach Astoria within 30 minutes, Oregon’s northernmost coastal town.

View of Pacific City from Cape Kiwanda, Oregon
View of Pacific City from Cape Kiwanda

Check out my blog post about charming coastal towns near Portland for an overview of things to do, and where to stay from Astoria to Pacific City.

What is there to do in Seaside when it’s raining?

Yes, coastal weather can be unpredictable and no matter the season you should be prepared for rain showers, heavy wind, and much cooler temperatures than in Portland or other parts of Oregon. But Seaside got you covered for rainy days as well.

Times Theatre and Public House

After more than 30 years of being closed, the historic Times Theatre in Seaside has been reopened and reborn as the Times Theatre and Public House, half brewery, half cinema, all insight a historic theatre.

Seaside Aquarium

Seaside Aquarium is one of the oldest aquariums on the West Coast. Founded in 1937, the aquarium is privately owned and the descendants of some of the founders are still active in the aquarium operation. Honestly, I’ve never been so far, so I cannot give you any personal insights.

Seaside Carousel Mall

The Seaside Carousel Mall is pure nostalgia. Inside you can find a replica of a classic carousel, surrounded by shops to buy gifts, clothing, and souvenirs.

Seaside Carousel Mall

Funland Entertainment Center

North Oregon Coast’s largest arcade comes with a lot of nostalgic flairs. From arcade games, bumper cars to pinball, this place you’ll either love or hate, I guess.

Where to eat in Seaside? Best places for breakfast, lunch & dinner

Dough Dough Bakery

Currently closed due to repairs on the building, but hopefully soon back open to serve you the sweetest pastries.

Bagels by the Sea

New York Style Bagels made from scratch with organic products. 3 reasons why the line on weekends is long and you should be fast before your favorite choice is sold out for the day.

Finn’s Fish House

We love their outdoor patio because it’s one of the few places in town where you can enjoy the afternoon sun the longest.

Seaside Brewery

Recommending Seaside Brewery here as I really enjoyed their clam chowder. Made without bacon (which is rare) it is enjoyable for pescatarians, too.

Grizzly Tuna

Fancy fish & chips with a twist? Head to the tiny drive-through eatery that serves fish tacos and tuna fish and chips. Definitely worth trying out!

For the sweet tooth

  • Schwietert’s Cones & Candy – This is the place where you find all kinds of bulk candy, taffy, Jelly Belly, retro goodies, nostalgic candy, and ice cream.
  • Portland Fudge Co. has been making candy delicacies for over 20 years.
  • Sea Star Gelato – traditional Italian flavors in their homemade gelato, featuring all-natural ingredients.

Where to stay? Seaside Hotels & Airbnbs

Seaside is a tourist town on the Oregon Coast, which means you have plenty of accommodations to choose from: Hotels big and small, Airbnb and even camping is available at Fort Stevens State Park, 20 min. North of Seaside, or Nehalem Bay State Park, 35 min south of Seaside.

Ashore Hotel Seaside

We once stayed at Ashore Hotel, right in Seaside’s town center. It’s small enough to not feel overwhelmed as you would compare it to one of the big hotels on the oceanfront. You can enjoy the amenities of a dry sauna, and heated saline pool, plus they offer breakfast packages etc.

Airbnbs Seaside, Oregon

If you prefer staying in an Airbnb, where you have the opportunity to cook, hang out with friends and family, play board games, and just enjoy yourselves have two recommendations: Pikake House and Ilima Cottage.

Where to stay at Oregon's North Coast?

These two Airbnbs are located aside from the town center within the residential area of Seaside, Oregon. Close enough to the town center, so that you can walk to restaurants, shops and the beach. Located in 2rd row of Seaside’s wide beach, these cottages are in an ideal location if you prefer some tranquility, stay with friends, or family, and enjoy the quieter side of this Oregon coastal town.

Seaside, Oregon aerial view
Seaside from a bird’s eye view.

Pikake House, Seaside

This 1922 Beachside Bungalow hosts up to 6 guests in 2 bedrooms and bathrooms. Pikake House a big living room with a separate, fully equipped kitchen, and an attached dining room. Ideal for families or 2 couples. There is a backyard perfect for long summer outdoor nights with a grill deck and grassy lawn, which is fully fenced for kiddos and pets.

Airbnb Pikake House in Seaside, Oregon
Living Room at Pikake House
Airbnb Pikake House in Seaside, Oregon

Ilima Cottage

Ilima Cottage is located right next door and is perfect for individuals or couples to enjoy a beach getaway. With its high ceilings and studio style, the cottage is super bright without lacking any coziness. As Pikake House, Ilima Cottage offers free onsite parking, plus a micro lawn to sit out and enjoy the ocean breeze.

Airbnb Ilima Cottage, Seaside, Oregon
Airbnb Ilima Cottage, Seaside, Oregon

Are you ready to explore the Oregon Coast? Then plan your trip!

How to get to Seaside?

From Portland

Seaside and Cannon Beach are the closest coastal towns to Portland. You can reach both via Highway 26. Follow the so-called Sunset Highway for 70 miles (120 km) until you reach the intersection with Highway 101. For Seaside, turn right, for Cannon Beach turn left. The drive is 1:45 min.

From Seattle

From Seattle, Washington the drive to Seaside, Oregon is a bit longer, but worth it. Take the I-5 south until you reach Olympia, Washington State’s capital city. Then turn west towards Aberdeen before you follow Highway 101 south, cross the Astoria-Megler Bridge, and reach Seaside after approximately 3.5 hours.

Astoria-Megler-Bridge spanning over Columbia River
The Astoria-Megler-Bridge connects Oregon with Washington State

Want to explore more coastal towns in Oregon and Washington? Check out my articles:



Have you ever been to Oregon and explored the Oregon Coast? Do you like the article, and have suggestions, feedback, or recommendations? Leave me a comment and please feel free to share this article with your friends!



Travel tips Seaside, Oregon

Things to do in Seaside, Oregon



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