: Don Frank

6 Surprises to Find in Seaside

March 26, 2020 (Updated September 7, 2021)

Editor’s note: Face coverings (ages 5 and up) are required at all indoor and outdoor public spaces statewide, regardless of vaccination status. Learn more here. It’s also wildfire season — plan ahead and do your part to prevent wildfires.

For a town so rooted in history and old-fashioned family fun, Seaside keeps visitors on their toes when it comes to new things to do. From the latest eateries and outdoor adventures to slick new boutique hotels, here’s a glimpse of Seaside’s latest.

Seaside's High Life Adventure Park offers dozens of obstacle challenges for kids age 8 and up and adults too. (Photo by Don Frank)

1. Catch Some Air

The octagonal wooden tower off Highway 101 on the south side of town is the all-new High Life Adventure Park — and it’s a must-visit. “Seaside hasn’t seen anything this big for a long time,” says the park’s general manager, Jana Dean. The aerial obstacle course features 50 challenges that you can do while dangling up to 40 feet off the ground. Navigate over logs and cobwebbed ropes and onto spinning barrels and swinging surfboards. You’re safely clipped in the entire time, but you have to be at least 8 years old to gear up.

Rock climbing, mini golf and more activities at Captain Kid Amusement Park offer endless hours of fun. (Photo by Don Frank)

2. Feel Like a Kid Again

Another family hot spot you can see from Highway 101, Captain Kid Amusement Park is better than ever. Play 18 holes on the all-new mini-golf course, test your belaying skills on the 26-foot climbing wall or take a tumble in the GyroXtreme (astronauts from NASA train in these). The old-school kiddie rides are perfect for tiny tots, too. “We’re putting in a longer go-kart track that will open this summer,” says owner Bruce Rath, also known as Captain Kid. Entrance to the park is free, and outside snacks are welcome.

3. Bite Into Seaside

The North Coast Food Trail offers culinary experiences and eateries along 80 miles of Oregon coastline. Seaside has recently been added as the northernmost town on the trail, and its restaurants are a foodie’s dream. Start with a chocolate tahini roll at Dough Dough Bakery. After a walk on the beach, recharge with a snack from Seaside Farmers Market (open Wednesdays June through September) or Sea Star Gelato. For lunch, Osprey Café offers a creative menu, and try Maggie’s on the Prom for an ocean-view dinner. Or grab a locally crafted brew and a burger on the covered patio at Seaside Brewing Co. or takeout at Sisu Beer — don’t forget the growler.

It's easy to tour Seaside by bike — on land and on the sand — with Wheel Fun Rentals. (Photo by Don Frank)

4. Pedal the Sights

Who needs a car to see Seaside’s greatest hits? The newest Wheel Fun Rentals, on South Holladay Drive, three blocks from the Prom, has something for everyone. Rent a beach cruiser or surrey bike and pedal around. You can also rent a fat-tire electric bike. “Our e-bikes are comfortable and make riding around town easy, even for older folks like me,” says owner Patrick Duhachek. While you’re there, check out the 1903 Oregon caboose and the mini-train track, too. All aboard!

The mysterious Tillamook Rock Lighthouse is lovely sight just off the North Coast, near Seaside. (Photo by Thye Gn / Alamy Stock Photo)

5. Set Your Sights on Terrible Tilly

The Oregon Coast has lighthouses galore, but none is more mysterious than Tillamook Rock Lighthouse, or Terrible Tilly. To get a glimpse of her perched offshore on her basalt rock, park at Elmer Feldenheimer State Natural Area on Seaside’s south side and hike the Tillamook Head Trail to the viewpoint and back. The round trip is about 6 miles, so wear appropriate shoes, bring plenty of water and don’t forget your Ten Essentials. It’s also a good idea to check weather conditions. 

A masked mother and child roast marshmallows over the firepit.
Seaside's new Saltline Hotel features an outdoor fire pit and a pool and hot-tub area that you can reserve for private 30-minute increments. (Photo courtesy of SaltLine Hotel)

6. Stay in Style

The boutique Saltline Hotel on First Avenue has been enticing even the most discerning day-trippers to stay a night or two. The hip family-friendly property offers both mountain and ocean views, an outdoor fire pit and luxurious amenities to help you recharge while adventuring. This beach hotel breaks away from your typical starfish and seagull decor with live plants, a fire pit and on-site massage services top off your stay. Complimentary breakfast to-go boxes are included, or just stroll into town for a bite.

About The

Michelle Kehm
Michelle Kehm is a writer and author whose work has appeared in Condé Nast Traveler, AFAR, Vogue, Glamour and the NewYorker.com. She’s a native Portlander and is loving rediscovering the Pacific Northwest after a long spell of living in New York City.

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