9 Best Things to Do in Seaside, Oregon

Seaside, Oregon ocean

Seaside, Oregon

As one of the oldest tourist destinations in the Pacific Northwest, the small resort city of Seaside, Oregon, is a fun place both for families and the young at heart. Located along the Oregon Coast, Seaside is about a 90-minute drive from Portland, and it's top attractions include a huge sandy beach, lots of opportunities for play, a 1920s-era promenade, and places to find tasty treats of all kinds. From spending the day at a classic arcade and strolling leisurely along the beach to exploring a historic 19th-century lighthouse, there's no shortage of great ways to spend your vacation in Seaside, Oregon.

01 of 09

Stock Up at the Seaside Farmers Market

Seaside Farmers Market

Seaside Farmers Market

1120 Broadway St, Seaside, OR 97138, USA
Phone +1 503-738-3311

If you're visiting the area during the summertime, swing by the Seaside Farmers Market, which happens Wednesdays from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. from mid-June through late-September. With local artists performing live music and a variety of vendors selling everything from homemade jam, freshly roasted coffee, and artisan-crafted oils to cheeses, fruits, veggies, artwork, and hand-crafted jewelry, it's the perfect place to stock up on picnic supplies or souvenirs for the rest of your trip.

02 of 09

Stroll Along the Seaside Promenade

The beginning of the Seaside Promenade

TripSavvy / Jamie Ditaranto

200 N Prom, Seaside, OR 97138-5945, USA
Phone +1 503-738-6211

One of the most popular outdoor attractions in Seaside is the panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean you can enjoy while strolling along the historic oceanfront Promenade. Visitors can walk, jog, bike, or skate along the 1.5-mile paved promenade and enjoy great people-watching and beach views along the way.

The promenade is also where you'll find the Seaside Aquarium and the landmark automobile turnaround, the latter of which includes a statue of Lewis and Clark commemorating the end of their long journey to the Pacific Ocean. The historic Promenade and automobile turnaround are both free to access and welcome guests to bring along their dogs, strollers, and wheelchairs.

03 of 09

Get Outdoors and Play

A beach in Seaside, Oregon

TripSavvy / Jamie Ditaranto

1157 N Marion Ave, Gearhart, OR 97138-4072, USA
Phone +1 503-738-3538

The beach and waters in and around Seaside provide abundant opportunities for outdoor fun. Whether you want to bike or skate along the Promenade or fly a kite at the beach, you'll find plenty of ways to enjoy some fun in the sun at the waterfront, but there are also many other outdoor adventures in and around Seaside.

If you're a fan of golf, you can spend the day hitting the links at either the Seaside Golf Course or Gearhart Golf Links. If you'd rather paddle leisurely along one of the many waterways on a kayak, book an adventure with Sunset Empire Park and Recreation District, which leads group floats several times a year. Other outdoor adventures include learning how to surf from a certified instructor at the beach and hiking Tillamook Head.

04 of 09

Discover Amusement Parks and Games

Seaside Carousel Mall
201 Broadway St, Seaside, OR 97138, USA
Phone +1 503-738-7361

There are a number of old-school arcades located both in Seaside's central shopping district and elsewhere around town—skeeball, bumper cars, a carousel, pinball and video games, air hockey, miniature golf, and ​go-karts are among the available activities.

At Funland Arcade, you'll find a full range of games and activities including bumper cars as well as a cafe serving pizza. Just a little farther down Broadway, Interstate Amusement Company offers classic 1950s bumper cars, miniature golf, and a tilt-a-whirl ride. A few miles south of Seaside on Highway 101, you can also visit Captain Kid Amusement Park for a full day of family fun.

Continue to 5 of 9 below.
05 of 09

Shop for the Perfect Gift or Treat

Oregon Gallery
223 N Hemlock St, Cannon Beach, OR 97110, USA
Phone +1 541-684-0045

Whether you want to refresh your beachside wardrobe or you're looking for the perfect souvenir to take home to your loved ones, the shops in Seaside offer visitors plenty of opportunities to find some great local crafts, fresh candy, and unique clothing.

You can watch candy makers pull and wrap fresh taffy and other handmade sweets at Phillips Candy Kitchen, and choose from a huge selection of fresh and packaged candy, including old-time favorites like hand-dipped caramel corn.

Another fun shopping adventure can be found nearby in the Seaside Carousel Mall at Under the Big Top, a store full of toys, games, puzzles, and other novelties that make great gifts for kids of all ages.

If you're hoping to take home a piece of art, Oregon Gallery offers a selection of photography and other gift items including poster-sized prints of some of the breathtaking scenery found in and around Seaside.

06 of 09

Spend Some Time at Seaside Aquarium

Seaside Aquarium

TripSavvy / Jamie Ditaranto

200 N Prom, Seaside, OR 97138-5945, USA
Phone +1 503-738-6211

Located on the Promenade, this privately owned aquarium occupies a former natatorium. Open daily starting at 9 a.m., Seaside Aquarium welcomes guests year-round to discover a variety of unique exhibits including the Feed the Seals attraction, where kids of all ages can purchase fishy treats to give these creatures throughout the day.

Seaside Aquarium also features a variety of touch tanks, where guests can touch creatures like sea anemones, sea stars, and sea urchins. Live and preserved marine specimens are among the other exhibits featured inside this modest aquarium. Admission is required to attend but special family discount packages are available for up to six guests.

07 of 09

Tour the Seaside Historical Society Museum and Butterfield Cottage

Town Model at the Seaside Historical Society Museum in Seaside Oregon © Angela M. Brown (2010)
Seaside Historical Society Museum
570 Necanicum Dr, Seaside, OR 97138-6040, USA
Phone +1 503-738-7065

Seaside definitely has some interesting local history: It was one of the Northwest's first resort towns, is part of the region the Indigenous Clatsop people call home, and is the place where Lewis and Clark expedition members once established a salt-making camp during the winter of 1805.

If you're looking to learn more about the unique origin of this popular destination, The Seaside Historical Society Museum offers interesting exhibits, artifacts, and photographs about all these topics. Displays at the museum cover topics such as the area's rich American Indian history, the history of logging, Seaside's historic hotels, a scale model diorama of the city in 1899, and an exhibit dedicated to the now-collapsed Pacific Pier.

Although the museum is relatively small, you can spend some more time checking out the adjacent Butterfield Cottage, a rooming house for summer visitors recreating the early 1900s in Seaside.

08 of 09

Attend Special Event and Festivals

Relay run in Oregon
Hood to Coast Relay
Seaside, OR 97138, USA

Seaside, Oregon, hosts a number of special events and festivals throughout the year. Depending on when you're visiting, you can enjoy festive holiday celebrations, car shows, craft beer festivals, and even beach volleyball tournaments. Here are some of our favorites:

In early May, the Pouring at the Coast Festival features a full day of craft beers from nearly 30 breweries, presented by the Seaside Chamber of Commerce and Seaside Brewing Company. The Spring Downtown Wine Walk is an annual celebration of local vineyards that typically takes place in mid-May.

In June, the Seaside Muscle 'n' Chrome car show brings dozens of classic automobiles to the Promenade, while the Miss Oregon Pageant features the official selection of the state's representative in the Miss America Pageant.

If you're around for the Fourth of July, there's a full-day celebration with a parade and a fireworks show over the Promenade. Also in July, the Seaside Beach Run includes several 5K and 10K races that take place to raise money for local charities.

An annual beach volleyball tournament featuring more than 1,000 teams happens each August—the largest amateur competition of its kind in the world—as does the Hood to Coast Relay, a 200-mile race that stretches from Mount Hood to the finish line at the beach in Seaside, complete with a beer garden, live music, awards, and plenty of food.

Continue to 9 of 9 below.
09 of 09

Discover Historic Sites and Monuments

The Tillamook Rock Light

U.S. Coast Guard

Cannon Beach Trail, Seaside, OR 97138, USA

While Seaside is known for its promenade where the Lewis and Clark Trail ends, it's also the home of a number of other historical sites, artifacts, monuments, and attractions. Stop by the Seaside Visitor's Center to learn more about the area's local historic sites or else just wander around town until you happen upon a statue, plaque, or sign.

Whatever you decide to do, you won't want to miss out on a great view from the coastline in Seaside, Tillamook Rock Lightouse, a decommissioned 1881 lighthouse that had to be shut down in 1957 because it was too treacherous for anyone to commute out to Tillamook Rock to maintain it.

The oceanside city is also home to a number of nature parks you can spend the whole day exploring. Tillamook Head features the best view of the lighthouse as well as plenty of opportunities to hike, camp, and fish. Nearby, Ecola State Park stretches down seven miles of coastline with views of Haystack Rock and access to more isolated beaches.

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9 Best Things to Do in Seaside, Oregon