Sidetracked in Seaside

September 28, 2016 (Updated September 30, 2016)

Even when on an adults-only anniversary trip, I still seem to do activities that are great for families and kids. And that’s just what we did.

Case in point: the Seaside Aquarium, a parent’s and child’s dream destination. This is no sprawling museum with one exhibit per room and seven gift shops like other places in Oregon. There is nowhere for your kids to get lost — here you can let your kids loose because most of the exhibits are close together.

You can smell the seals from the admission area, a scent that excites the child in everyone.

Also exciting are the multiple touch tanks, surrounded with plenty of staff to answer questions. Who knew sea animals had so many different textures? My husband enjoyed the underwater exhibit, which wraps around the room, providing ample space to stare in awe. I saw many kids on grownups’ shoulders, having meaningful conversations about the sea life.

Another cool part? You can buy small fish to feed the seals. Once a seal sees you with that little white envelope, they’ll do tricks and make noise. They’re fascinating animals who will grab the attention and laughter of children and adults alike.

Our next family-friendly anniversary destination was the Necanicum River. Seaside also has a river running through it, as do many Oregon Coast cities. Along the Necanicum is Quatat Park, where Wheel Fun Rentals offers kayaks, pedal boats and stand-up paddleboards for exploring. There’s also a middle-of-the-river dock that connects to a a street-side sidewalk.

We rented a two-person pedal boat; I had originally hoped to paddle a canoe or kayak, but my arms hurt from previous days’ adventures. The river guide told us we could go up and down the river for an hour. Within those confines, we went as fast or slow as we wanted, we turned around when we wanted and we docked when we wanted.

I found the calm water wonderfully relaxing. We were free of the constant yammering of our five-year-old son, but nonetheless, we missed him. Next time, we’ll bring him along.

About The

Kate Twitchell
Kate is originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico. As much as she’s learned to seek out the subtle colors of the desert, Kate has found that she really is a tree girl at heart. She spent seven years in Utah, where she got a bachelor’s degree, a husband, and a baby boy. She got her fill of mountains and then got out. Kate posts on parents’ tips for kid-friendly traveling havens from a curious newcomer’s perspective; Kate is a very recent resident of Salem. To read more about Kate and her adventures, she writes with more personal ties here: