20 Things To Do In Seaside oregon

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Seaside was put on the map when the Lewis and Clark Expedition reached the Pacific Ocean not too far from the city’s downtown area and is today Oregon’s number one beachside destination.

The possibilities in Seaside are enticing, with a beautiful promenade overlooking the ocean, charming stores, and plenty of historic sites to see and explore. Whether you’re a fan of the outdoors, travelling with kids or looking for some peace and solitude, Seaside has everything you’ll need to have an awesome time in Oregon’s scenic northwest corner. Here are some of the best things to do in Seaside.

Seaside, Oregon

20 Things To Do In Seaside

1- Stop by The Turnaround

Depicting the final destination of Lewis and Clark’s famous voyage West and marking the end of the tail, The Turnaround is among Seaside’s most famous landmarks.

The Turnaround is situated at the intersection between the Seaside Promenade and Broadway Street overlooking the Pacific Ocean and was built in 1920 to memorialise the greatest expedition in US history.

It features the Lewis and Clark monument at its centre and a time capsule not to be opened until 2121, not to mention the incredible views of the Pacific.

The Turnaround is at 1 Broadway St, Seaside, OR 97138.

2- Tour the Lewis and Clark National Wildlife Refuge

things to do in seaside oregon harbor seal
Seeing wildlife is one of the things to do in Seaside Oregon.

The Lewis and Clark National Wildlife Refuge was created in 1972 to protect and preserve the Columbia River Estuary’s fish and surrounding wildlife habitats.

Spanning over 12,000 acres (4,900 ha) along the mouth of the Columbia River, the refuge is home to thousands of wildlife, including catfish and bass, tundra swans, California sea lions and river otters.

With 20 islands and a range of biomes, the refuge is an essential food resource for many endangered animal species native to the region.

Renowned for its natural splendour and off-the-beaten-path feel, the reserve is one of Seaside’s best outdoor attractions and a fantastic destination to stop by whenever you need to explore the great outdoors.

3- Walk along the Seaside Promenade

things to do in seaside oregon
Strolling along the boardwalk is one of the things to do in Seaside, Oregon.

“The Prom” is Seaside’s 1.5-mile (2.4 km) promenade, a paved walkway connecting North Seaside’s 12th Avenue with South Seaside’s Avenue U.

The promenade runs along the Pacific Ocean and some of the most sublime stretches of beach on the entire West Coast and was built in 1920 to attract more people to Oregon’s premier beachside town.

Today, the promenade is lined with vacation rentals, shops and eateries and ties together many of the town’s top landmarks and attractions, making it one of Seaside’s best free activities to enjoy.

4- See the Lewis & Clark Salt Works

The Lewis & Clark Salt Works was established in 1805 when a five-person detachment was sent out from the initial Lewis and Clark expedition to find a suitable location for making salt after the main expedition ran out of it.

Setting off from Fort Clatsop, where the expedition had been spending the winter, the group found the ideal location roughly 15 miles (24 km) from the fort along what is today the Seaside Promenade.

While little remains today of the group’s initial salt works, a rock cairn mimicking what the original salt oven must have looked like still stands, making it a worthwhile Seaside historic landmark to visit.

Lewis & Clark Salt Works is at 30 Lewis and Clark Way, Seaside OR 97138.

5- Relax inside the Fort Stevens State Park

top things to do in seaside oregon
Exploring shipwrecks like the Peter Iredale is one of the interesting things to do in Seaside, Oregon.

Situated at a former military post that once guarded the Columbia River mouth, Fort Stevens is a stunning 4,300-acre (1,740 ha) park estimated to be among the largest public campgrounds in the United States.

The park is renowned throughout the West Coast for its large offering of fun recreational activities, ranging from scenic nature trails to explore the shipwreck of the historic Peter Iredale, which ran ashore here in 1906.

Fort Stevens State Park is at 1675 Peter Iredale Rd, Hammond, OR 97121.

6- Hike the Saddle Mountain Trail

Situated inside the Saddle Mountain State Natural Area, the 2.5-mile (4 km) Saddle Mountain Trail takes hikers from the base of Saddle Mountain to its 3,290-foot (1,003 m) summit.

The trail begins at a picturesque picnic area, winding past forests and grassy hills to the top of the mountain, which provides visitors with jaw-dropping views over the Pacific and the Cascade Mountains off in the distance.

7- Discover the Seaside Museum and Historical Society

Owned and operated by the State of Oregon as a non-profit facility to educate and inspire visitors about Seaside’s history, the Seaside Museum and Historical Society has quickly become one of Seaside’s most visited historic and cultural landmarks.

The museum details the journey of Seaside becoming Oregon’s first seaside resort town as well as the town’s legacy since then through informative and interactive exhibits.

Since its inception in 1974, the museum has attracted native Oregonians and travellers looking to learn more about the region’s history, a role in which the museum still excels today, making it a fine destination to visit in Seaside.

Seaside Museum and Historical Society is at 570 Necanicum Dr, Seaside, OR 97138.

8- Hang out at the Arcadia Beach State Recreation Site

Located just outside Cannon Beach near Seaside, the Arcadia Beach State Recreation Site overlooks one of Oregon’s most picturesque beaches.

It features tide pools, gentle sand, rocky cliffs and crashing waves, among its other natural attractions.

The site is often overlooked for more famous Oregon beaches and state parks yet is one of the most scenic locations on the West Coast.

Beautifully preserved thanks to a lack of large towns and crowds, this recreation site provides visitors with unbridled seclusion without sacrificing the views and amenities of Oregon’s more popular outdoor spots.

9- Step back in time at the Times Theatre & Public House

First opened in 1940, the historic Times Theatre & Public House has been one of Seaside’s top attractions since its first movie screening.

Situated at the corner of Broadway and Columbia, the venue was permanently closed for almost 30 years before being reopened in 2018, delighting locals and visitors with all sorts of entertainment in the same historic venue.

The site hosts screenings of films, sports and other live events and even features the Sisu Brewing Co., an in-house craft brewery serving patrons locally produced beer and tasty food whilst enjoying a screening.

Times Theatre & Public House is at 133 Broadway St, Seaside, OR 97138.

10- Discover mystifying ocean creatures at the Seaside Aquarium

Established in 1937, the quaint Seaside Aquarium is a privately-owned venue, one of the oldest continually operating aquariums on the West Coast.

Housed within a building dating back to the 1920s, the aquarium is home to over 100 species of marine life, such as Harbor seals, Moray eels and Sunflower sea stars.

The aquarium is conveniently situated along the Seaside Promenade.

You can get close to a wide variety of animals, including feeding the seal population some fish.

Located close to Downtown Seaside and its many attractions, the aquarium is almost impossible not to stop by.

It promises all who visit a delightful day among some of the ocean’s most captivating creatures.

Seaside Aquarium is at 2750 Harding Hwy, Lima, OH 45804.

11- Goof Around At Seaside Inverted Experience

The Seaside Inverted Experience is one of Oregon’s most bizarre yet popular attractions, featuring eight unique inverted sets where visitors can have their photographs taken to appear as if they’re upside down.

Some of the location’s wacky backdrops include an upside-down kitchen and an upside-down saloon, which make for some hard-to-explain photos to astound friends and family back home.

The venue even has a gift shop where visitors can choose to have a photo printed on glossy paper to remember the experience.

Seaside Inverted Experience is at 111 Broadway St # 11, Seaside, OR 97138.

Seaside’s top shopping venue, the Seaside Carousel Mall, is a small shopping mall named after the carousel that proudly sits at the centre of the venue.

This small mall only has 15 stores but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in charm and historic significance.

Located right on Broadway, the mall is home to unique stores found nowhere else in the country, making it a truly one-of-a-kind place to visit in Seaside.

Seaside Carousel Mall is at 300 Broadway St, Seaside, OR 97138.

13- Head south to Cannon Beach

things to do in seaside oregon this weekend
Admiring the sunrise at Haystack Rock on Cannon Beach is one of the things to do near Seaside, Oregon.

Nine miles (14 km) south of Seaside, the coastal town of Cannon Beach is Oregon’s premier seaside getaway location and one of its most expensive too.

The city is peppered with things to see and places to go to, however, none are as famous as its stretch of beach, home to cascading waterfalls, the towering Haystack Rock and idyllic natural beauty that’s hard to find elsewhere.

Listed as one of the world’s top 100 beaches by National Geographic, no trip to Seaside and Northwest Oregon is complete without stopping by nearby Cannon Beach.

Cannon Beach is at Pacific Ave, Cannon Beach, OR 97110.

14- Discover Old Seaside

Encompassing the area surrounding Broadway Street, Old Seaside is the city’s cultural and entertainment capital, featuring restaurants, shopping venues, theatres and landmarks along Seaside’s main artery.

This almost whimsical part of Seaside is among the oldest neighbourhoods in the city.

It features historic buildings, many of which are in the Art Deco style of the early-to-mid 20th century.

Just as busy as it was when the town started gaining prominence as a premier seaside destination, Old Seaside is a delightful place to explore on foot, by bike or by car.

15- Unwind at Seaside Beach

hidden things to do in seaside oregon
Strolling along the beachfront is one of the things to do in Seaside, Oregon.

Seaside’s most famous attraction and the reason behind Seaside’s popularity as a vacation destination in the Pacific Northwest, Seaside Beach is a golden stretch of sand situated just 18 miles south of the Columbia River Estuary.

The beach is a short stroll away from the town’s central entertainment area and is lined with a promenade, vacation homes and endless amounts of stunning views.

Featuring sights such as the Tillamook Head and the Necanicum River, Seaside Beach is a must-visit destination in Seaside that no visit to this city is complete without experiencing at least once.

16- Enjoy the sunset at the Tillamook Head National Recreation Trail

things to do seaside tillamook rock
One of the things to do in Seaside, Oregon, is to go and see Tillamook Rock (or ‘Terrible Tilly’) at dusk.

The grandest and most visually appealing prospect Captain William Clark ever surveyed, Tillamook Head is famous for its stunning views across the Pacific and the most western point Lewis and Clark reached on their famous voyage.

Tillamook Head separates Seaside and nearby Cannon Beach and can be reached via the Tillamook Head National Recreation Trail, situated inside the Ecola State Park.

The trail is a 3.6-miles (5.8 km) loop and whisks hikers past some of the best vantage points in all of the Pacific Northwest, making it a great activity to do no that’s fit for all ages.

17- Have fun at the Captain Kid Amusement Park

The family-run Captain Kid Amusement Park is one of Seaside’s most popular attractions, featuring all sorts of amusement park classics such as go-karts and mini golf for visitors to enjoy.

Opened in 2008, the park provides visitors to Oregon’s coastal capital with something else to do instead of just going to the beach every day and is conveniently situated just as you enter the city.

Open Monday to Saturday, this family-friendly attraction is bound to delight visitors of all ages, making it an excellent Seaside destination to stop by.

Captain Kid Amusement Park is at 2735 S Roosevelt Dr, Seaside, OR 97138.

18- Tour the Clatsop County Historical Society’s Museums

Dedicated to celebrating and preserving the rich history of Seaside, the Clatsop County Historical Society features four museums throughout Seaside which history buffs can explore to learn more about Oregon’s Northwest corner.

The non-profit society’s museums include the Flavel House Museum, the Oregon Film Museum, the Heritage Museum, and the Uppertown Firefighters Museum, each aimed at telling a different part of the town’s past.

With rotating exhibits and unique displays, you can visit the society’s museums multiple times without feeling like you’ve seen the same thing twice, making them great attractions to tour whilst in Seaside.

19- See the Clatsop Plains

Featuring diverse biomes and landscapes ranging from wetlands to dunes, the Clatsop Plains stretches from the Columbia River mouth to Tillamook Head right through Seaside.

The plains are named after the native Clatsop tribe, who used to roam the area and spans over 18 miles (29 km) along the Pacific Coast.

Home to stunning collections of sand and rock formations and many endangered animal species, the plains are one of Oregon’s best outdoor attractions, thanks to their untouched beauty and accessibility.

20- Discover the Ecola State Park

best things to do in seaside oregon
Exploring Ecola State Park is one of the things to do near Seaside, Oregon.

Neatly wrapping around the famous Tillamook Head that separates Seaside from Cannon Beach, the Ecola State Park treats visitors to over nine miles (14 km) of unblemished coastline, endless hiking opportunities, and rare native animal species.

The park is home to several landmarks listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has even starred in films such as Twilight and Point Break.

The park is synonymous with the Lewis and Clark Expedition as the most westward point the group reached and is renowned for its stunning unobstructed views across the Pacific.

Ecola State Park is at Ecola Park Rd, Cannon Beach, OR 97110.

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Mark Westwood is a Seattle-based writer who writes for various online blogs and travel websites. In 2017, he went on a 12-month road trip across the USA visiting many iconic landmarks and small towns along the way. Having explored over 20 countries, his favourite places to date are along the west coast of the USA but he is happiest anywhere where there are mountains and ocean.