Via magazine
Via magazine - Your AAA Magazine

Seaside, Ore.: Weekend Getaway

It’s not all arcade games, corn dogs, and kitsch in Oregon’s historic beach town.

  • a yellow hot rod at the Seaside Muscle & Chrome event, image
    Photo caption
    Hot rods take over Broadway during Seaside Muscle & Chrome each June.
  • Bell Buoy's bright sign, image
    Photo caption
    Bell Buoy sells a variety of local seafood.
  • French toast at Firehouse Grill, image
    Photo caption
    Firehouse Grill specializes in big breakfasts such as fruit-topped cinnamon French toast.
  • jars of candy at Phillips Candies in Seaside, image
    Photo caption
    Old-fashioned sweet treats fill the jars at Phillips Candies.
  • man flies a kite on the beach in Seaside, image
    Photo caption
    Steady breezes make the wide beach along the Prom perfect for kite flying.
  • view of the Prom and the Aquarium in Seaside, image
    Photo caption
    Stroll up the Prom for a visit to the 77-year-old Seaside Aquarium.

Fly a kite, eat fresh seafood, and take a stroll along the Prom. Area code is 503.

Seaside Beach Promenade Better known as “the Prom,” this paved path stretches 1.5 miles beside the town’s flat, sandy beach—perfect for an easy stroll or bike ride. Head north above 12th Avenue to leave the crowds behind in the sea of beach grass, or build a fire and watch the sunset; several beachfront hotels sell firewood and s’mores kits. Between 12th Avenue and Avenue U. Seaside Cove Purchase a shellfish license and dig for razor clams, or watch anglers and surfers negotiating the waves on the more secluded south side of town. Off Sunset Boulevard near Evergreen Drive. Seaside Helicopters Affordable aerial tours of Seaside and the surrounding region fly south over Cannon Beach or north above Astoria and the Columbia River. 2665 S. Roosevelt Dr., 440-4123, Tillamook Head Trail Follow in the steps of Lewis and Clark on a moderate 6.3-mile hike up the headlands overlooking the Pacific. Get detailed trail coordinates and find information on other local activities—including birding, kayaking, and cycling—at Seaside Naturally. Trailhead at Elmer Feldenheimer Forest Reserve adjacent to Ecola State Park, 436-2844,

To Do and See
Seaside Aquarium Kids love the touch tank and performing seals at one of the West Coast’s longest-operating aquariums, housed in a former natatorium. Don’t miss the small, quirky gift shop. 200 N. Prom, 738-6211, Seaside Muscle & Chrome June 13–14. Show-quality hot rods from 1960 to the present day line up on Broadway and its side streets for admiring appraisals, then cruise down the Coast Highway to Manzanita. 738-7637. Seaside Spring Downtown Wine Walk May 17. The yearly self-guided tasting includes nibbles along the way and a commemorative wine glass. Maps available at Carousel Mall, 300 Broadway, 717-1914.

Bell Buoy of Seaside A picturesque seafood store and local landmark offers freshly smoked fish for picnics, plus sustainable albacore, Dungeness crab, and razor clams that are canned on-site. Stop into the adjoining restaurant for golden fish-and-chips. 1800 S. Roosevelt Dr., 738-2722, J Rae’s Wines Specializing in bottles from Northwest family wineries, the shop features more than 100 labels and offers complimentary tastings. 608 Broadway, 791-1571, Northwest Winds Kites & Toys Beautiful kites for all skill levels—many designed by the shop owners—let visitors take advantage of Seaside’s ideal breezes. 19 Broadway, 738-6338, Pendleton Outlet Find discounts on heirloom-quality virgin wool blankets and clothing produced in Oregon’s venerable Northwest mills. Seaside Factory Outlet Center, 1111 N. Roosevelt Dr., 717-1692, Phillips Candies Sink your teeth into saltwater taffy that’s still crafted in massive copper kettles and packaged on the store’s vintage wrapping machine. 217 Broadway, 738-5402.

Firehouse Grill A cute breakfast-and-lunch joint in an old Seaside fire station serves homemade biscuits and omelets from an open kitchen. 841 Broadway, 717-5502. Relief Pitcher Pub & Grub The roadside bar specializes in albacore Reubens and fat burgers with hand-cut fries. Work off your lunch playing horseshoes out back. 2795 S. Roosevelt Dr., 738-9801. Saigon Deli Pho, bubble tea, and spring rolls add Vietnamese flavor to Broadway’s food court. 200 Broadway, 738-6628. The Stand A local favorite, this no-frills Mexican spot offers friendly service and bargain burritos, tacos, and chiles rellenos. 109 N. Holladay Dr., 738-6592.

Photography by Don Frank

This article was first published in May 2014. Some facts my have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.