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Seaside, Oregon, was the final stop for the Lewis and Clark expedition; it was at Seaside Beach where they finally witnessed the Pacific Ocean and were able to begin their trek back east.
Today, Seaside, one of Oregon’s first resort cities, is where locals and tourists delight in the convergence of where mountains meet the ocean, and a quaint and quiet historic town hugs the beach.
While here, you can shop, dine, hike mountains, swim in the Pacific Ocean, walk the beaches, get pampered in a spa, stay in excellent accommodations, tour interesting places, and make unforgettable, lifelong memories.
Here are the best things to do in Seaside, Oregon.
- Things to Do in Seaside, Oregon
- 1. Go to The Prom (Seaside Promenade)
- 2. Hiking Saddle Mountain
- 3. Take Your Kids (or Cool Friends) to Captain Kid Amusement Park
- 4. Get a Drink and a Meal at Hop and Vine Bottle Shop and Tap Room
- 5. Check Out Seaside Beach
- 6. Explore the Lewis and Clark National Wildlife Refuge
- 7. Feed Seals at the Seaside Aquarium
- 8. Get the Seaside Inverted Experience
- 9. Stay at The Starry Night Inn
- 10. Ride at Seaside Skate Park in Broadway Park
- 11. Take A Guided Tour of the Oregon Coastline
- 12. Learn about Logging and Grab a Bite at Camp 18 Museum
- 13. Ride the Carousel at Seaside Carousel Mall
- 14. Grab a Bite at Seaside Slushies & Dogs
- 15. Visit the Eerie Wreck of the Peter Iredale
- 16. Relax at Schooner’s Cove Inn
- 17. Stay at the Seaside Hillcrest Inn and Hillcrest House
- 18. Experience the Nightlife at Capricorn Pub
- Where to Stay in Seaside, Oregon
- What are the best things to do with kids in Seaside, Oregon?
- What are some fun things to do in Seaside, Oregon?
- What are some things to do in Seaside, Oregon, when it’s raining?
- What are the best tourist attractions in Seaside, Oregon?
- Most significant landmark – End of the Trail Lewis & Clark Statue
- Best park – Saddle Mountain State Natural Area
- Best free activity – Walk the Seaside Promenade
- Best activity for kids – Captain Kid Amusement Park
- Activity for adults – Take a Guided Tour of the Oregon Coastline
- Best food – Camp 18 Museum and Restaurant
- Best nightlife – Capricorn Pub
- Best all-around accommodation – The Starry Night Inn
Things to Do in Seaside, Oregon
1. Go to The Prom (Seaside Promenade)
Address: South Promenade Road, Seaside, Oregon 97138
The Seaside Promenade is a 15-foot-wide paved walkway right on the beach that stretches from 12th Avenue to Avenue U. It was paved in 1920; before that, it was a boardwalk. With many fun things to do, the Prom is always busy all year round; walkers, sunset strollers, cyclists, skateboarders, dog walkers, runners, and people in wheelchairs all frequent here.
It’s a great place for all ages and mobilities to have a gorgeous, unobstructed view of the Pacific Ocean and the Oregon coast. Consider grabbing a warm drink from a nearby coffee shop and enjoying one of the many benches along the way. Seaside Promenade is a lovely spot to admire the town and scenery together.
The Turnaround is part of the Seaside Promenade. It’s a roundabout at the end of Broadway Street and has a dual purpose: a place for cars to turn around on Broadway, but also to signify the place where Lewis and Clark turned around on their expedition to head back east.
In the center of the Seaside turnaround sits a tall statue of Lewis and Clark to mark the “End of the Lewis and Clark Trail.” This is one of Oregon’s most iconic landmarks.
Family vacationers: there is a modest playground and restrooms adjacent to the Turnaround. Feel free to stay a few hours and make lifelong memories here.
2. Hiking Saddle Mountain
Address: Saddle Mountain State Park Rd, Seaside, OR 97138
Hiking Saddle Mountain should be on every moderately active person’s bucket list. This trail is situated in the Saddle Mountain State Natural Area, and wow, does it have a lot to offer?
This trail is breathtaking, literally and metaphorically. It’s a stunning hike that ascends to a 3,290-foot elevation summit. For the hike, you’ll gain 1,640 feet in elevation over two and a half miles (it’s a five-mile hike in total because it is an out-and-back trail). It’s moderately steep but well-maintained throughout.
On this hike, you’ll see Oregon’s coastal forests, the Pacific Ocean, up and down the coastline, and many mountains. On a clear day, you can spot Mount Rainier, Mount St. Helens, Mount Adams, Mount Hood, Mount Jefferson, and more.
In the warmer months, keep an eye out for rare species of wildflowers. During the Miocene era, basalt lava flowed to the sea, causing steam explosions. These explosions tossed thin and rocky basalt fragments up and into the mountains.
This higher-elevation soil was ideal for meadow wildflowers. When the last Ice Age happened, the flowers on the top of the mountain were more protected and survived into the modern day.
Early Blue Violet (which feeds the rare and beautiful Silverspot Butterfly, reintroduced in 2018) and Saddle Mountain Bittercress only grow on this mountain.
Many other rare species call the mountain home:
- Saddle Mountain Saxifrage
- Cope’s Giant Salamander
- Williamette Valley Larkspur
- Wandering Daisy
- Western Red Avens
- Frigid Shooting Star
- Queen of the Forest
- Alaska Long Awned Sedge
While on your hike, be sure to keep an eye out for these rare wildflowers, animals, insects, moss, liverwort, and lichen species.
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3. Take Your Kids (or Cool Friends) to Captain Kid Amusement Park
Address: 2735 S Roosevelt Dr, Seaside, OR 97138
This amusement park offers go-karting, an 18-hole mini golf course, a rock wall, a family roller coaster, kiddie old-fashioned car rides, rotowhips, gyroxtreme, wizzer, and several more rides and events for people of all ages.
They also have a fun mining sluice called the Shangrila Creek Mining Company, designed to be enjoyed by families. They’re open seven days a week; you can find the Captain Kid Amusement Park website.
4. Get a Drink and a Meal at Hop and Vine Bottle Shop and Tap Room
Address: 220 S Columbia St, Seaside, OR 97138
This underrated, little bottle shop and tap house doesn’t have a website, but it isn’t lacking in fans or loyal visitors. Here, you’ll find beer on tap, wine by the glass, beer coolers, prepackaged beer, growlers, growler fill-ups, ciders, and a few meals. Chips and salsa, sandwiches, and other light bites are available.
It’s a beautiful little tap room that features a turquoise and wooden color scheme, large flatscreen TVs, cool lighting, and many shelves loaded down with drinks to choose from. They also deliver! How convenient is that?!
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5. Check Out Seaside Beach
Address: 229-299 S Promenade, Seaside, OR 97138
During your stay at this west coast beach town, you have to catch a sunset from Seaside Beach. The beach is flat and wide, and the sand is clean, soft, and ideal for walking or jogging.
Of course, the Seaside Promenade walk is nearby too, if you’re wanting more solid ground. Kids love to play in the soft sands, and adults love to sunbathe here. Locals will swim, surf, and partake in ocean kayaking, but visitors may find the waters too cold to be enjoyable.
You’re likely to find sand dollars washed up on the shores. If you wade into the ocean at low tide, you can spot starfish, sea anemones, and even more living sand dollars. Mornings and evenings usually provide moody foggy, ominous, yet peaceful views.
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6. Explore the Lewis and Clark National Wildlife Refuge
Address: 46 Steamboat Slough Rd, Cathlamet, WA 98612
Getting to this refuge from downtown Seaside will take about forty-five minutes, but it is well worth the trip. Thanks to smart conservation, this cool place has remained nearly unchanged for the past two hundred years.
About twenty islands in the Columbia River call this refuge home, and countless flora and fauna reside here. Local wildlife is abundant and thriving. At least 35 bald eagles nest and live here year-round. Migrating tundra swans, ducks, and geese have healthy populations here too.
In the river, you can spot American shad, bass, catfish, perch, Pacific lamprey, smelt, and starry flounder. Seaside harbor seals, California sea lions, beavers, mink, muskrats, river otters, and white-tailed deer can be seen where land and water meet.
The Lewis and Clark National Wildlife Refuge also encompasses the mouth of the Columbia River, where it meets the sea. Take the hiking trails or paddle the river as the Lewis and Clark Expedition once did, and see a whole new side of the Pacific Northwest that many people don’t take the time to appreciate fully.
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7. Feed Seals at the Seaside Aquarium
Address: 200 N Prom, Seaside, OR 97138
Seaside Aquarium, founded in 1937, is privately owned and known as one of the oldest aquariums on the west coast. It’s small, but affordable, friendly, and filled with fish and other sea creatures.
I love the small and intimate feeling overall. When visiting Seaside with children, be sure to stop here. It’s set up well to keep the whole family feeling included and making unforgettable memories.
Pro tip: Stop by a restroom before your visit because public restrooms are unavailable. The aquarium has fish species, crabs, snails, sharks, sea cucumbers, starfish, anemone, and two large octopi. They have captive seals you can feed, too. All of the marine wildlife is local to the area and not imported.
They have mock tide pools where you and your children can gently touch the small creatures and plants. While it’s not a long experience, it is a good one that will entertain and educate all ages. Find the Seaside Aquarium website here.
8. Get the Seaside Inverted Experience
Address: 111 Broadway St # 11, Seaside, OR 97138
If you like a good photo, you have to check out Seaside Inverted Experience. This is one of those fun places where you can embark on a one-of-a-kind photo adventure with vintage nautical-themed scenes.
Optical illusions, smart angles, staging, and clever editing (with professional help) are the name of the game here. This stop will elicit laughter and allow you to leave with great photographic evidence of your visit.
This is definitely marketed as a tourist attraction, but you’ll have so much fun you won’t care. You can leave with the photos on your phone, sent to you digitally, or printed out before you go.
The people who guide and assist you are fun, friendly, and energetic. Rates are very affordable. You can check out the Seaside Inverted Experience website here.
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9. Stay at The Starry Night Inn
Address: 811 1st Ave, Seaside, OR 97138
The Starry Night Inn is Oregon Coast’s only boutique art hotel, and it is a wonderful experience with Victorian rooms, cabins, private spas, soaking tubs, a full-body massage chair, and an infrared sauna. At the time of writing, the Inn has an impressive 4.9-star average rating with nearly 200 glowing reviews.
While here, you can schedule an art class; these classes can be as small as two guests and feature complimentary coffee, tea, pastries, and cocktails. You’ll learn how to paint aquatic life and landscapes with the guidance of an artist. All materials are provided; you can paint indoors in the lobby or outside in the fresh air on their front porch.
They have three second-story rooms and three first-floor cabins with all the amenities (and more) of a studio apartment. I must say that Room Five with the queen bed is my favorite. I love the forest mural and sophisticated Bohemian aesthetic.
What’s so great about this Inn is its proximity to the historical downtown Seaside. Once you arrive at the Inn, park your car and then walk everywhere you want to visit in Seaside. Book your stay at The Starry Night Inn.
10. Ride at Seaside Skate Park in Broadway Park
Address: 1140 Broadway St, Seaside, OR 97138
Seaside Skate Park is 11,000 square feet and is adjacent to the baseball field and indoor swim center. It’s small but optimal for intermediate riders.
Here, you have mild to challenging lines that connect intuitively. The pool-style bowl flows nicely, with smooth ground, good hips, and interesting twists.
Some people describe it as best for BMX-style skatepark, while others comment that it feels small enough that it feels like it’s designed for shorter adults or taller children. There are a few small ledges that are relatively easy, plus a down rail that is just plain fun to do.
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11. Take A Guided Tour of the Oregon Coastline
Address: Seaside, OR 97138
Just 14 minutes and 8 miles south of Seaside, you’ll find the stunning Cannon Beach. Check out the famous Haystack Rock, take in the dramatic sweeping views of sharp cliffs, beaches, lighthouses (including Tillamook Lighthouse), forests, the ocean, and sandy beaches.
Check out Neahkahnie Point, stroll downtown Manzanita, visit art galleries and antique shops, or grab a bite to eat. Your guide can pick you up from Seaside, and the tour will last approximately 8 hours. Claim your guided land tour here.
12. Learn about Logging and Grab a Bite at Camp 18 Museum
Address: 42364 Sunset Hwy, Seaside, OR 97138
Camp 18 Museum encapsulates the Camp 18 Restaurant. It’s well worth a stop to stretch, stroll through the outdoor museum, and get a bite to eat after the seaside museum.
You’ll find antique machinery (logging trucks, tractors, bandsaws, a Dolbeer donkey, a steam crane, a wooden water tower, and more), great information about the pieces, and the history of logging in Oregon. I like the Clark and Wilson wood-sided red caboose that used to trail logging trains.
Charming chainsaw carvings dot the property at random. I find them so whimsical and impressive. This is one of the best local restaurants to visit on your way to Seaside, and it’s disguised as a gorgeous rustic log cabin.
It has a distinct home style of cooking, which I find comforting and super cozy. Get the marionberry cobbler. It is simply perfection!
Something interesting about the restaurant is the 85-foot-long ridge pole in the main room; it’s the largest known structural member in the United States. And those massive fireplaces were constructed using 50 tons of local rock.
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13. Ride the Carousel at Seaside Carousel Mall
Address: 300 Broadway St, Seaside, OR 97138
Built from the old Bungalow Dance Hall, Seaside Carousel Mall is a hotspot for locals and tourists alike. It is a small quaint mall with plenty of fun things to do. Ten shops, two restaurants, and four activities are called Seaside Carousel Mall home.
The shops are By the Sea Shells and Gifts, Your Store, North Coast Leather, Oregon Coast Portraits, Rascals, Caffe Latte, Seaside Mostly Hats, The Aspirin Shop, West of the Moon, and Under the Big Top.
Your restaurant options are New Asian Garden Cuisine (which offers more than 175 menu items) and Caffe Latte (a coffee shop and small bakery doubling as a gift store).
Activities include laser tag, an arcade, a shark ride, and a famous carousel ride. This carousel ride is exceptionally well-maintained with lively colors and several animals (a cat, bear, seahorse rabbit, deer, giraffe, pig, ostrich, and several horses). These animals are reproductions of the originals at the San Francisco Carousel Museum. As you can imagine, this is a very family-friendly place to explore and enjoy.
14. Grab a Bite at Seaside Slushies & Dogs
Address: 550 Broadway St A, Seaside, OR 97138
Seaside Slushies & Dogs is in downtown Seaside, with close access to the sandy beach and coast range views. They have some of the best all-beef hog dogs, chili dogs, corn dogs, corn dog nuggets, chili, slaw, slushy drinks, chips, mac and cheese, baked potatoes, loaded tots, and slushy drinks. This place even offers vegan brats and gluten-free buns.
Looking for slow things to do in Seaside, Oregon? Grab a dog, drink from here, and then walk to the Seaside Promenade to enjoy your day. Grab a bench or sit on the sandy shores to people-watch, smell the fresh, salty ocean air, and take a moment to relax.
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15. Visit the Eerie Wreck of the Peter Iredale
Address: Fort Stevens State Park, Peter Iredale Rd, Hammond, OR 97121.
This excursion will take you 15 miles north of Seaside to Fort Stevens State Park. History buffs will enjoy this one.
The wreck of Peter Iredale took place on October 25 1906. Despite thick fog, the ship had managed to maneuver to the mouth of the Columbia River successfully. Unfortunately, while waiting for a pilot, strong wind ruined the day. Captain H. Lawrence recalled: “a heavy southeast wind blew and a strong current prevailed. Before the vessel could be veered around, she was in the breakers and all efforts to keep her off were unavailing.”
Luckily, all 27 members of the ship, plus two stowaways, could safely escape to shore. The next day, tourists began flocking to the site at Fort Stevens. The ship is still there today. Though quite distressed, it is still an excellent place to stop and take the scene in. Visiting at low tide makes getting up close to the ship easier.
16. Relax at Schooner’s Cove Inn
Address: 188 N Larch St, Cannon Beach, OR 97110
About 15 minutes from Seaside, this oceanfront hotel offers suites with full kitchens, gas fireplaces, wifi, flat-screen TVs, HBO, and oceanfront decks or private balconies. The hotel also has a hot tub, barbecue facilities, picnic areas, loungers, and free parking. Rooms are tastefully decorated with spacious vaulted ceilings and stunning ocean views from the big glass doors and windows.
It also prides itself on being child-friendly with kids books, DVDs, and music, plus kids stay free here. They also offer family suites that feature two queen beds, a hide-a-bed, a kitchen, a spacious deck, and some have fireplaces to enjoy those cold and rainy days inside.
All rooms are accessible by the elevator, making them wheelchair and child-stroller-accessible. The hotel is a short drive from Ecola State Park, Cannon Beach Coaster Theatre, and Indian Beach. It is 40 minutes west of the Jewell Meadows Wildlife area. This magnificent inn may leave you wishing for a rainy day and an excuse to stay indoors.
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17. Stay at the Seaside Hillcrest Inn and Hillcrest House
Address: 118 N Columbia St, Seaside, OR 97138
As the name suggests, Seaside Hillcrest Inn and Hillcrest House is on the crest of a hill in the middle of beautiful Seaside, Oregon. It has 26 units. Some are private rooms, while others are spacious cottages accommodating families.
The rooms and cottages are arranged nicely, with a courtyard in the center, giving groups and families a great place to mingle, enjoy lunch on the picnic tables, play in the grass, or have tea in the fresh ocean breeze.
This precious inn is only two minutes from the beach and within walking distance of anything you want to see or do in Seaside.
It is very child-friendly, with complimentary sand toys, wagons, beach blankets, towels, board games, movies, and kids’ toys. They also have a cute little play area for children in the yard. They’re also dog-friendly too!
Hillcrest is the most accessible and affordable accommodation in Seaside, yet it still has much to offer. The rooms are clean and well-maintained, with quite a few amenities. Some amenities include fireplaces, saunas, in-room spas, kitchens, freshly brewed coffee, teas, and various pastries every morning.
Popcorn, cookies, and cocoa are available in the lobby all day—wifi, cable TV, DVD players, free parking, laundry facilities, and complimentary newspapers. Book your stay at the Seaside Hillcrest Inn here.
18. Experience the Nightlife at Capricorn Pub
Address: 118 N Columbia St, Seaside, OR 97138
If you’re looking for a friendly, welcoming atmosphere with excellent food, drinks, and people, Capricorn Pub is the place for you. It’s a full bar with sports, karaoke, a wide selection of drinks and foods, plus a great overall vibe.
You’ll find that your bartender is fun, interesting, and makes you feel like you belong right from the start. If you aren’t sure what to order (because that menu is so diverse), they will help you with a smile.
Local tap beers, cabbage rolls, tequila shots, and Moscow mules are popular. Capricorn Bar has karaoke, pool tables, and several fun events, like comedy shows and live music.
Where to Stay in Seaside, Oregon
We have selected the three best accommodations for all price points for Seaside. Two of these inns (Starry Night Inn and Seaside Hillcrest Inn) are located in the heart of Seaside, so the entire town is easily accessible by foot or wheelchair. The third, Schooner’s Cove Inn, is a few minutes away from Seaside but offers an incredibly elegant and luxurious stay.
For a high-end room, suite, or cottage, go to Schooner’s Cove Inn. It has stunning oceanfront views on the beach with vaulted ceilings, ultra-plush bedding, and top-notch service.
If you’re craving a more intimate Seaside experience at a fair middle-ground rate, go to the lovely Starry Night Inn. This place offers six rooms, each art-inspired, colorful, cozy, and interesting.
Finally, if you’re looking for a steal of a deal spot, the Seaside Hillcrest Inn is perfect. While very affordable, this inn has many amenities, a great location, and kind service, and the premises are quite safe, secure, and clean.
This riverfront accommodation offers a gym, spacious guest accommodations, and is just a 5-minute walk away from the Seaside Aquarium. Each unit at Rivertide Suites is furnished comfortably and includes a full kitchen and an in-unit launderette. Guests can relax in front of the gas fireplace, or take a soak in the spa bath. All units also have a balcony with stunning views of the river. A flat-screen TV with extended cable is also included for your enjoyment.
This hotel offers a free transfer service to the convention center, making it easy to get where you need to go. Plus, they have an indoor pool and hot tub, so you can relax after a long day of meetings or exploring the town. And in the morning, start your day right with their continental breakfast. Each room comes equipped with air conditioning, a satellite TV, a microwave, a refrigerator, a coffee maker, and ironing facilities. Plus, the Pacific Ocean is just a 10-minute walk away, and Gearhart Golf Links is only 9 minutes’ drive.
This beachfront hotel offers guests free Wi-Fi, an indoor swimming pool, and a fitness center with sauna. The on-site Shilo Restaurant and Lounge serves American cuisine featuring fresh seafood, and there is also a business center on site. The Seaside Family Fun Park is less than 3.2 km away, and the Seaside Antique Mall and Seaside Museum and Historical Society are less than half a kilometer away. Gearhart Golf Links are 4.8 km away from the hotel. Book your stay tday!
What are the best things to do with kids in Seaside, Oregon?
Take your kids to the Seaside Aquarium, ride the Seaside Carousel, or walk the historical Seaside Promenade or Captain Kid Amusement Park. There are dozens of great child-friendly places in Seaside, Oregon.
What are some fun things to do in Seaside, Oregon?
Visit Ecola State Park, walk the historic Seaside Promenade, play at Captain Kid Amusement Park, check out the Lewis and Clark National Wildlife Refuge, see Tillamook Lighthouse, or hike part of the Oregon Coast Trail or Saddle Mountain.
What are some things to do in Seaside, Oregon, when it’s raining?
Go to local coffee shops, explore the Oregon Film Museum, the Seaside Aquarium, do the Seaside Inverted Experience, check out a restaurant or bar, shop, or stay inside at one of the many historic hotels. It would also be a good time to check out the Seaside Carousel Mall.
What are the best tourist attractions in Seaside, Oregon?
Some of Seaside’s best tourist attractions include walking the Seaside Promenade, checking out the End of Trail monument, or exploring the Lewis and Clark Wildlife Refuge. For fun photos, stop in the Inverted Experience. Other excellent choices are feeding sea lions at the Seaside Aquarium or seeing sandy dunes and sunset at dusk on the Seaside Beach.
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Kyle Kroeger is the Founder and Owner of ViaTravelers.com. He is a full-time traveler and entrepreneur. Kyle started ViaTravelers.com to help travelers experience a fully immersive cultural experience as he did initially living in Italy. He’s a converted finance nerd and Excel jockey turned world wanderer (and may try to get lost on purpose). After visiting 12 countries and 13 national parks in a year, he was devoted to creating and telling stories like he’d heard.
Plus, after spending more time on airplanes and packing, he’s learned some incredible travel hacks over time as he earned over 1 million Chase Ultimate Rewards points in under a year, helping him maximize experiences as much as possible to discover the true meaning of travel.
He loves listening to local stories from around the world and sharing his experiences traveling the globe. He loves travel so much that he moved from his hometown of Minneapolis to Amsterdam with his small family to travel Europe full-time.