Top 12 Best Things to Do in Seaside Oregon

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Seaside, Oregon, a hidden gem nestled along the Pacific Coast, offers an enchanting blend of captivating history, refreshing natural beauty, and heartwarming coastal charm. As someone who’s had the pleasure of immersing in its charm, I can assure you that exploring this coastal town is an adventure of a lifetime.

Best Things to Do in Seaside Oregon
Best Things to Do in Seaside Oregon

From savoring local cuisines, traversing through lush state parks, marveling at towering rock formations to dipping your toes in the Pacific’s cool waves, every moment spent in Seaside is a memory etched in time.

So, strap in as we journey through the best things to do in Seaside Oregon, highlighting the must-see spots that add to the allure of this coastal paradise.

List of 12 Best Things to Do in Seaside Oregon

Here is a recommended list of the best things to do in Seaside Oregon:

Visit the Seaside AquariumAquariumA great place to learn about the local marine life and see some cool creatures up close.
Walk along the beachBeachSeaside has a big open beach and a nice walking/biking “boardwalk” path.
Explore Ecola State ParkState ParkLocated just south of Seaside, this park offers amazing views and an easy walk from the parking lot.
Visit Cannon BeachBeachA nearby tourist area with a beautiful beach and Ecola State Park.
Check out the Seaside shops and arcadeShopping / EntertainmentA great place for families to spend time together.
Hike in Ecola State Park or other nearby parksHikingThere are many great hiking trails in the area.
Enjoy local restaurantsDiningSeaside has many family-friendly restaurants, including Pig ‘n Pancake, a popular coastal chain.
Seaside PromenadeBeachfront walkwayA 1.5-mile-long paved path along the coast that offers scenic views, shops, restaurants, hotels and entertainment options.
Haystack RockRock formationA 235-foot-tall basalt rock that rises from the sea near Cannon Beach. It is home to various birds and marine animals and is accessible by foot during low tide.
Seaside Inverted ExperienceSpecialty museumA museum that features upside-down rooms and objects that create optical illusions and photo opportunities for visitors.
Experience Seasisde NightlifeNightLifeA 1.5-mile-long paved path along the coast that offers scenic views, shops, restaurants, hotels, and entertainment options.
Saddle Mountain TrailHiking trailA 5-mile round-trip trail that leads to the summit of Saddle Mountain, where you can see five mountains and the ocean on a clear day. The trail is steep and challenging but rewarding.
12 Best Things to Do in Seaside Oregon

Visit the Seaside Aquarium

Immerse yourself in the kaleidoscope of marine life at the Seaside Aquarium, one of the oldest aquariums on the West Coast.

Seaside Aquarium
Seaside Aquarium

Every visit to Seaside Oregon should include this as one of the best things to do in Seaside Oregon.

Here, you can discover the astonishing diversity of Pacific Ocean life in a vibrant setting, where colorful sea anemones are juxtaposed with graceful octopi and playful seals.

Witness fascinating marine creatures in their natural habitat and even get a chance to feed the charming harbor seals.

Do not miss their interpretive center which has exhibits relating to marine conservation and the local aquatic life.

Here is a quick info on the entry fee at the Seaside Aquarium:

Children (6-13)$5.00
Seniors (+64)$8.50
Family (up to six paid admission)$34.00
Children five and underFree with paid admission
Entry fee at the Seaside Aquarium

For special group rates for schools, clubs, and other organizations, please call 503-738-6211.

Tip: The aquarium tends to get crowded during weekends and holidays, so plan your visit on a weekday if possible.

Best time to visit: The aquarium is open year-round, but it’s less crowded during the spring and fall.

What I loved: Interacting with the harbor seals was the highlight of my visit, as was learning about the aquarium’s work in marine rescue and conservation.

Walk Along the Seaside Promenade

The Seaside Promenade, fondly known as the Prom, is a delightful blend of nature and city life. Meandering along this 1.5-mile-long paved path is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Seaside Oregon.

Seaside Promenade
Seaside Promenade

It offers a panoramic view of the magnificent Pacific coastline, interspersed with charming shops, top-notch eateries, and an array of entertainment options.

Take a leisurely walk or bike ride on the path, watching the glistening ocean waves crash against the shore and the sandy beach that’s a playground for visitors of all ages.

This is the ideal spot to soak in the charm of Seaside, offering an unmatched blend of tranquility and bustling city life.

Tip: Don’t miss the sunset over the Pacific, it’s truly a sight to behold.

Best time to visit: The Prom is enjoyable year-round, but summer and early fall offer the most enjoyable weather.

What I loved: The combination of breathtaking natural beauty and vibrant city life, all in one scenic stroll.

Explore Ecola State Park

Home to lush forests, panoramic vistas, and invigorating hiking trails, Ecola State Park is a verdant sanctuary that transports visitors into an emerald paradise.

Ecola State Park
Ecola State Park

Easily ranking among the best things to do in Seaside Oregon, this park provides an exciting exploration opportunity for nature enthusiasts.

You can hike through verdant trails adorned with ferns and towering Sitka spruce, explore hidden coves and beaches, or enjoy a picnic with the stunning backdrop of the Pacific Ocean.

The park also carries historical significance as it was part of the route for the Lewis and Clark expedition.

Tip: Don’t forget to pack a pair of binoculars for some excellent birdwatching opportunities.

Best time to visit: The park is open year-round, but the trails are most accessible and enjoyable from late spring through early fall.

What I loved: The thrill of exploring the park’s many trails and the breathtaking coastal views from the cliff tops.

Hike in Ecola State Park

One of the best things to do in Seaside Oregon is to lace up your boots and embark on a trek through the verdant trails of Ecola State Park.

A lush, evergreen forest that leads to stunning coastal views, the park’s beauty is a testament to the wild charm of the Pacific Northwest.

The well-maintained trails in the park cater to hikers of all skill levels. Clatsop Loop Trail is a relatively easy, 3-mile hike that offers a glimpse into the historical route taken by the Lewis and Clark expedition.

The park’s crown jewel, however, is the challenging Tillamook Head Trail, rewarding those who traverse it with breathtaking views of the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse and the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean.

Tip: Remember to pack a picnic – there are several scenic spots to enjoy a meal in the great outdoors.

Best time to visit: The park is beautiful all year round, but visiting in spring lets you enjoy blooming wildflowers.

What I loved: The solitude and tranquility of the park, the lush greenery, and the postcard-perfect views from the trails.

Visit Cannon Beach

A visit to Cannon Beach is like stepping into a postcard, with its long stretch of sandy beach, the arresting sight of Haystack Rock, and the vast, unending Pacific Ocean. It’s no surprise it’s one of the best things to do in Seaside Oregon.

Cannon Beach
Cannon Beach

Walking barefoot on the beach, feeling the cool ocean breeze, and hearing the rhythmic sound of waves hitting the shore, is truly a sensory delight.

Don’t miss exploring the tidal pools around the base of Haystack Rock, home to fascinating marine creatures.

And remember to keep your eyes peeled for the colorful puffins nesting at the top of the rock.

Consider reading: Best Things to Do in Cannon Beach

Tip: The beach can be a bit windy, so bring a light jacket even on warm days.

Best time to visit: Year-round, though the tide pools are best visited during low tide, which often occurs in the morning.

What I loved: The peace and tranquility of the beach, the mesmerizing sight of Haystack Rock, and the thrill of spotting a puffin in the wild.

Check Out the Seaside Shops and Arcade

The colorful storefronts, the sound of arcade games, the hustle and bustle – the Seaside shops and arcade area is a sensory experience that offers a playful nostalgia.

Counted among the best things to do in Seaside Oregon, this area boasts an array of quaint boutiques, candy shops, and a plethora of vintage arcade games that both kids and adults will love.

You can savor the taste of fresh saltwater taffy from a local candy shop, or seek out unique, locally-made souvenirs to take home.

For a dose of excitement, try your hand at the vintage pinball machines or classic video games in the arcade.

Tip: Allocate a budget for the arcade games – they’re more addictive than you’d think!

Best time to visit: The shops and arcade are fun year-round. Summer weekends can be busy.

What I loved: The nostalgic feel of the arcade and the unique souvenirs available in the shops.

Enjoy Local Restaurants

One of the best things to do in Seaside Oregon is to indulge in the local food scene. The gastronomic landscape of Seaside offers a culinary journey that will satiate all types of taste buds.

From fresh-off-the-boat seafood to the much-loved coastal chain Pig ‘n Pancake, Seaside’s restaurants serve a plethora of delectable dishes.

The town is abundant with family-friendly restaurants where you can enjoy a relaxed meal after a day of exploring. Make sure you try some local craft beers and Oregon wines to complement your meal.

Tip: For seafood lovers, don’t miss the chance to try Dungeness crab, a local favorite.

Best time to visit: Most restaurants are open year-round. For seafood, the freshest catches are usually in winter and spring.

What I loved: The variety of delicious local food and the warm, welcoming atmosphere of the restaurants.

Marvel at Haystack Rock

Standing tall at 235 feet, Haystack Rock is an iconic natural landmark on Cannon Beach that makes your visit to Seaside Oregon worth every moment. It is one of the best things to do in Seaside Oregon and an absolute haven for wildlife and nature lovers.

Haystack Rock
Haystack Rock

During low tide, take a walk to the base of the rock and explore the vibrant tide pools teeming with starfish, anemones, crabs, and other marine life.

Birdwatchers would be thrilled to spot the Tufted Puffins that nest on the rock between April and July.

Tip: Visiting at low tide is crucial to be able to explore the tide pools.

Best time to visit: Year-round, but tide pool explorations are best during low tide and puffin spotting is best between April and July.

What I loved: The captivating natural beauty of the rock formation and the thriving ecosystem it supports.

Stroll on Seaside Beach

A quintessential coastal experience in Seaside Oregon is walking along the expansive Seaside Beach. It is, without a doubt, one of the best things to do in Seaside Oregon.

From wave jumping and surfing to beach volleyball and sandcastle building, the beach offers an array of activities for everyone.

Don’t miss the historic automobile turnaround and the statue of Lewis and Clark that marks the end of their epic expedition.

As the sun sets, light a bonfire and indulge in some classic beach s’mores for a perfect end to your day.

Tip: Don’t forget to pack your sunscreen and a picnic blanket.

Best time to visit: Year-round, but summer offers the warmest weather for swimming and other beach activities.

What I loved: The endless opportunities for fun and relaxation, and the stunning sunsets over the Pacific.

Seaside Inverted Experience

In a town full of natural attractions, the Seaside Inverted Experience stands out as a distinctive and innovative man-made wonder. It’s a fun and unique place to visit, making it one of the best things to do in Seaside Oregon.

The moment you step into the museum, your world is literally turned upside down. The rooms and objects within are inverted, offering incredible photo opportunities and a memorable experience.

This unusual, whimsical museum challenges your perspective and is sure to leave you amused and intrigued.

Tip: The more creative your poses, the better your photos will be, so don’t hesitate to let your imagination run wild.

Best time to visit: The museum is a great place to visit anytime. On rainy or overly hot days, it’s a perfect indoor activity.

What I loved: The uniqueness of the concept, the laughter it sparked, and the fantastic, unforgettable pictures I got.

Experience Seaside’s Nightlife

After a day of exploring, one of the best things to do in Seaside Oregon is to experience the city’s vibrant nightlife.

Whether you enjoy listening to live music, having a drink with friends, or dancing the night away, Seaside has something to offer every night owl.

Seaside is home to a number of bars, lounges, and clubs, each with its unique atmosphere and specialties.

From craft cocktails and locally brewed beers to live bands and karaoke nights, there’s always something fun happening after the sun sets in this bustling beach town.

Tip: Always check the event schedules of local bars and lounges, as many host live music or trivia nights.

Best time to visit: Nightlife on the Seaside is liveliest during the summer season and weekends.

What I loved: The energetic atmosphere, the variety of entertainment options, and the chance to meet locals and fellow travelers alike.

Hike the Saddle Mountain Trail

The Saddle Mountain Trail is a hidden gem for outdoor enthusiasts. It’s a bit of a challenge but hiking this trail is one of the best things to do in Seaside Oregon.

Saddle Mountain Trail
Saddle Mountain Trail

This 5-mile round-trip trail takes you to the summit of Saddle Mountain, where you can enjoy panoramic views of the region.

On a clear day, you can see five mountains and the ocean, a sight that will leave you awestruck.

Tip: The trail is steep, so wear sturdy hiking shoes and bring plenty of water.

Best time to visit: The trail is most accessible and enjoyable from late spring through early fall.

What I loved: The challenge of the climb, the diversity of the flora and fauna along the trail, and the awe-inspiring view from the summit.

Final Thoughts on Best Things to Do in Seaside Oregon

Uncovering the best things to do in Seaside Oregon offers a delightful exploration of a destination where vibrant history meets natural grandeur.

Whether you’re trekking through lush trails, capturing memories at a quirky museum, or relishing the serene beauty of the beach, each moment in Seaside echoes with unique charm.

You’ve journeyed with me through the bustling arcades, local eateries, intriguing wildlife, and stunning panoramas that make this coastal town a captivating destination. As our journey concludes,

I hope the vivid tapestry of experiences we’ve shared inspires you to craft your own adventure in Seaside, Oregon.

FAQs on Best Things to Do in Seaside Oregon

What are the top attractions in Seaside Oregon?

Seaside Oregon is replete with attractions for every type of traveler. Some of the top ones include Ecola State Park, Haystack Rock, the Seaside Promenade, Seaside Beach, the Seaside Aquarium, and the Seaside Inverted Experience.

What outdoor activities can I do in Seaside Oregon?

Outdoor enthusiasts will love the range of activities available in Seaside Oregon. You can hike in Ecola State Park, walk along the Seaside Promenade or the beach, try surfing or paddleboarding in the Pacific Ocean, or explore the rock formations at Haystack Rock.

Are there any unique attractions in Seaside Oregon?

Yes, the Seaside Inverted Experience is a unique attraction in Seaside. It’s a museum where rooms and objects are inverted, creating fun photo opportunities. The Seaside Aquarium, one of the oldest aquariums on the West Coast, is another unique attraction.

Is Seaside Oregon family-friendly?

Absolutely. With activities ranging from visiting the aquarium, exploring the beach, hiking through state parks, and enjoying the arcade, Seaside Oregon has a plethora of family-friendly attractions and activities that will keep both kids and adults entertained.

What are the best local foods to try in Seaside Oregon?

When in Seaside, make sure to try the local seafood like Dungeness crab. Also, you can’t leave without trying the locally beloved coastal chain restaurant, Pig ‘n Pancake.

When is the best time to visit Seaside Oregon?

Seaside Oregon can be visited any time of the year. However, for outdoor activities like hiking and beach visits, the summer season from June to August offers the most pleasant weather. For wildlife enthusiasts, April to July is a great time for birdwatching at Haystack Rock.

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