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Another Side to Seaside, a Rugged Oregon Coast Surrounded by Civilization

Published 06/06/23 at 6:50 a.m.
y Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Another Side to Seaside, a Rugged Oregon Coast Surrounded by Civilization

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(Seaside, Oregon) – There is more to this north Oregon coast town than meets the eye. (All photos Oregon Coast Beach Connection)

Seaside is a year-round carnival of fun and cool stuff for the kiddies along Broadway, while just a bit to the side sits the Gilbert District and some of its more refined recreation and culinary scene. The burgh that's crawling on 150 years old has lots that's legendary and full of repose for families in one way or another. Yet there's a more rugged side to it.

One could almost say parts unknown, like the old cowboy flicks. But they're not – they're less traveled.

The southern beaches are much less populated, even at the surfer haven called "the cove," where the beach turns to large cobblestones and it dead-ends at the neighborhoods and Tillamook Head. However, just a wee bit north of here, just past Avenue U, is where bustling Seaside seems to stand still.

Try the accesses from Avenue T through Avenue N, where the Promenade also empties out of other humans. These entryways are off-the-beaten-path enough that not many tread here very often. Even on super busy days it's not nearly as crammed with other beach-going souls.

At the Cove itself, there's surfers there in better weather, and the parking lot is definitely more active. But on weekdays or even stormier days it's not impossible to find yourself alone here.

For much more of a rugged beach feel, walk the strand from here to Avenue U, a few hundred feet of a stroll. Nary a soul touches this area, although you will find the slightly kooky Painted Rock Garden, where people have simply been leaving painted rocks for decades.

Up on Tillamook Head, there's gnarly hiking to be done. The Oregon coast landmark has trails throughout it, which are accessible from both the Seaside and the Cannon Beach sides (it's a 6-mile hike either way, however.) This is highly recommended for exploration, with numerous breathtaking views to be found on this cliff structure, and in such places there are always hidden spots in the brush and forest. Indeed, there are the remnants of an old radar station from World War II in the brush at some point along this magnificent trail.

At night, Seaside's Promenade and beaches make for a beautiful, calming stroll, with the retro lamplights of the Prom casting a soft glow on the concrete and the sands.

Hit the northernmost part of Seaside, however, for some interesting surprises. From 12th Ave., (where the Prom dead-ends), it's a chunk of seemingly untouched beach here, ending at the Necanicum River.

One of the most fire aspects of Seaside is that here you'll find a lot of unbroken sand dollars. It depends on conditions, but sometimes there's just gobs lying around – sometimes hardly any. Why are there so many sand dollars here? There's interesting science behind it. Curious Bits About Sand Dollars on Oregon Coast / Washington Coast You Didn't Know

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Andre' GW Hagestedt is editor, owner and primary photographer / videographer of Oregon Coast Beach Connection, an online publication that sees over 1 million pageviews per month. He is also author of several books about the coast.

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