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Multiple Layers to Seaside, Oregon Coast Go Deep, Beyond Obvious: Part I

Published 12/28/20 at 11:45 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Multiple Layers to Seaside, Oregon Coast Go Deep, Beyond Obvious: Part I

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(Seaside, Oregon) – Part carnival, part natural wonder and part living history, Seaside has more than one side. If you take the family-oriented kitsch of your basic state fair and combine it with a beach town where you can walk on – and touch – history, well, you get the idea.

The town is often maligned for its more obvious commercial sides, but the interesting thing to note about such towns on Oregon’s coast is that they have their clandestine natural aspects. Sometimes, these are more of a hidden pleasure than other beaches that are less populated.

Seaside is an ancient town by Oregon coast standards, going back over 140 years now. And it has many levels. The one thing many don’t know about Seaside is that if you don’t dig its commercial sides, it has other layers to explore. If you skip it because of the obvious aspects, you’re missing out on its more tantalizing rugged facets.


Photo courtesy Seaside HIstorical Society: the beaches were vastly different 100 years ago

This is only part one of three parts that explore Seaside. Look for parts two and three shortly.


The main drag, Broadway, is filled with a variety of touristy shops and attractions, restaurants of varying degrees of finery and a few bars that are legendary hotspots during any time of the year. At the beachy end of the street is the historical “Turnaround,” which sits in the middle of the also ancient Promenade – a mile and a half walk along a charming path that overlooks the strand. You’ll find another Lewis & Clark landmark just south of the Turnaround, and the Gilbert District lets you disappear into the past a bit.

Then there’s the beach, which includes the deserted northern end, the somewhat deserted cove area at the south of town, and the hiking path that meanders over Tillamook Head some six miles to Cannon Beach.

For most people coming into town, the whole expedition of discovery begins at the southern end, where various roadside attractions, shops, coffee shacks and eateries are interspersed with the occasional farmer selling flowers and such. Close to the biggest chunk of Seaside proper, Seaside Helicopters provides flights of fun over the area, starting at $55 per person. You’ll spot wildlife cavorting around the top of Tillamook Head, see the ocean and other Cannon Beach and Seaside landmarks from a new and particularly breathtaking point of view, plus you may get an aerial peak at Goonies Rock near Cannon Beach – which was used in the cult film “Goonies” in some famous, integral scenes. www.seaside-helicopters.com. (503) 440-4123.

From there, Highway 101 zips through town – or crawls, depending on the time of year – amid various big stores and eateries. Some of Seaside’s best cuisine lies here, such as the stunning, scrumptious fresh seafood and unforgettable tuna melts of Bell Buoy, the award-winning Mexican fare of Mazatlan, along with wine shops, a big brew pub and a heady handful of indie fast food joints that can be surprisingly yummy.

This part of Highway 101 is known as Roosevelt Drive, a distinct leftover of its deep history. Hotels in Seaside - Where to eat - Seaside Maps and Virtual Tours





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