Seaside's descriptive and accurate name tells you everything you need to know about it. Nestled in the northern corner of Oregon, Seaside is the perfect place to experience all that the Pacific Northwest has to offer. State parks provide ample hiking and exploration opportunities, and the town itself is full of activities ranging from horseback riding to kayaking. Plus, the local eateries can serve you some of the best seafood you'll find on the Pacific coast.
When looking at Seaside travel guides, you'll find references to something called "the prom." This nickname refers to a longstanding favorite of the town: a promenade that lines the ocean. Each day, you'll discover people taking a leisurely stroll across the prom and plenty of joggers, dogs, cyclists, and strollers. Since its creation, the nearly 100-year-old promenade has remained a favorite spot of both locals and visitors.
Hikers with a bit of experience under their belts shouldn't miss trekking up the Saddle Mountain path. Once you conquer the nearly 3300-foot climb, you'll discover an unbelievable vista. On a clear day, you can see from the Pacific Ocean all the way to Mt. Hood, Mt. Rainier, and Mt. St. Helens from Saddle Mountain's peak. If you're not up for such a vigorous climb, there is the simpler Humbug Mountain Viewpoint trail about a quarter-mile from the start of the main path.
Oregon is home to several amazing state parks, but Fort Stevens stands out as one of the best — you could fill an entire vacation with adventures. Fort Stevens is where the sea, river, and forest collide, bringing the best of all they have to offer. Walk, hike, bike around the nine-mile loop surrounding Fort Stevens or head off onto one of the many branching pathways. Discover the haunting shipwreck that lies on the beach or enjoy some serene whale-watching. Plenty of other wildlife call this 4300-acre park home, so there really isn't a bad time to visit.
Though it's not technically in Seaside, the Necanicum River is only a mile away. It also happens to be a fantastic place for fishing or kayaking. These scenic waterways give visitors a whole new view of the area, enhancing an already beautiful region. Depending on when you visit, a simple boat ride down the Necanicum may include run-ins with elk, otters, beavers, and a whole host of migratory sea birds.
Oregon's north coast possesses some of the best breaks in all of the Pacific Northwest, so Seaside has become a bit of a haven for surfers, and local surf shops offer lessons and rentals, so even beginners can get a taste of the thrilling waves. Seaside Cove is the most popular surfing spot in the region, but be aware: the water can be extremely cold.
As you might expect from a literal seaside town called Seaside, you can taste some incredible Pacific seafood from many of the local restaurants. Don't leave without sampling the smoked salmon or the clam chowder. However, the bounties of the sea aren't all that you can find here. Seaside is famous for its mouthwatering street foods, including saltwater taffy, elephant ears, and ice cream.
Why wait for Halloween when you could experience something spooky right now? Seaside belongs to a stretch of land known as the "Graveyard of the Pacific." This area earned its title thanks to the rocky terrain and foggy waters that have led to thousands of shipwrecks. In Seaside, the most famous wreck is the Peter Iredale. The massive four-masted ship met its demise in 1906 and has slowly decayed, leaving behind only a haunting skeleton.
If you're okay with a bit of a drive, you can experience what many people consider to be Oregon's best beach. Cannon Beach lies just a short distance south of Seaside and has the traditional offerings of a good beach: swimming, picnicking, and even horseback riding. However, it is also the site of many festivals and fairs throughout the year. Check your vacation dates and fill up your weekend with tons of fun events.
Unlike most cities, Seaside doesn't have a zoo, but that doesn't mean animal lovers have to miss out. The Lewis and Clark National Wildlife Refuge is a collection of natural swamps, mudflats, and forests that are largely free from human interference. In these remote areas, you can meet local critters like wild salmon and migratory birds.
Every year, the Seaside Civic and Convention Center hosts the statewide beauty pageant to find Miss Oregon. Over two days, many contestants compete with their talents, poise, and looks. Anyone can watch, but you have to buy your tickets ahead of time. A beauty pageant can be a truly unique way to make the most of your vacation in Seaside. Plus, the winner of your pageant might just go on to become Miss U.S.A.