A Closer Look at Seaside: North Oregon Coast Town's Hidden Assets
(Seaside, Oregon) – At least six generations have been bumping around the beaches of Seaside – more if you start the count at the town's beginning in the 1870's, and even more if you go back 200 years to Lewis & Clark's first visit to the area. Now, the town floods with visitors every spring and summer, primarily as a family destination, often interested in its huge array of man-made attractions.
They may be heading to an Oregon coast town called Seaside, but ironically, many miss out on its greatest natural aspects. Sure there are the sands and sights directly in front of the Turnaround (shows above), but there's even more lurking in all sorts of hidden corners.
Among these are the town's southern beaches, between the Cove area and the downtown section that is the most populated. It's here where the landscape starts to turn from the fluffy sands typical of most of the town to the rubble and stoney beach found at the Cove. It's also much more deserted around here.
Look for the southern side of the Prom and streets with just letters for names. Wander this part of the Prom, where the railings have stopped, and you'll find a quieter, more serene existence that hosts bundles of historical homes and a tree-lined path full of charm.
Quatat Park and the Necanicum River are a bit on the neglected side as well. Rent some funky watercraft and go cruising around the river – Flintstone's style, as they're pedal-driven contraptions.
Also pictured above is the 12th Avenue bridge, where crabbing is king.
At night, beach bonfires are a time-honored tradition here, with the ethereal, looming presence of Tillamook Head in the dark and the surreal yet pretty lights of fishing boats in the distance.
Still more surprises await at the very northern end of Seaside, at 12th Ave., where the Prom gives way to big, soft sand dunes. The estuary and the mouth of the Necanicum River lay just beyond here. But the coolest secret of them all is that this area – and much of the southern end of Gearhart on the other side – are where you'll find the most untouched sand dollars along the entire Oregon coast.
Because of various nutrients poured into this area by the currents and the Columbia River, this chunk of the coastline is rich with sand dollars (it's also why clamming is best in this part of Clatsop County). Then, given the fact far fewer people walk this beach next to the south side of the Necanicum, the sand dollars that are whole and unbroken are enormous in number.
Just south of town sits Cannon Beach, and then Manzanita about 15 miles south of that. Just north of Seaside are attractions like the Wreck of the Peter Iredale and the ancient town of Astoria.
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