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Oregon Coast Play 'n Stay: Seaside's Prom Walk and Its Legendary Inns

Published 03/31/23 at 6:35 AM
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Oregon Coast Play 'n Stay: Seaside's Prom Walk and Its Legendary Inns

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(Seaside, Oregon) – By far and away one of the Oregon coast's more popular – and sometimes populated – attractions is the Promenade at Seaside. The construct just recently celebrated 100 years of existence, and something not everyone knows: it started off as a wooden boardwalk. That walkway came about in 1908, not long after they built a scenic pier about where the Turnaround is now. (Photo Oregon Coast Beach Connection: beach access at the north end of the Prom)

Yes, believe it or not, someone had that bright idea. That, predictably, failed a few times, and still they created the first Prom around that area. The first concrete was poured in 1920, and in 1921 it opened with much fanfare – all 1.5 miles of it.

Now, Seaside's Prom is quite a walk through time, not just on the concrete itself but along the route where historic homes lie. There's a lot of incredible scenery here too, and a couple legendary, oceanfront lodgings on the way as well.

The Turnaround is the hotspot, with the road allowing cars to wander through and take a ganderat the beachy wonders, but there's so much more to the Prom than that center of attention.

Start at the extreme southern, at Avenue U., and it's amazingly quiet. It's more wide open here on this end, with straight and quick little concrete paths that lead onto more rustic trails to the beach. But about Ave. S the tree-lined areas start, with sometimes thick, even atmospheric foliage overhead. Curious little groves pop up, created by sometimes wind-ravaged trees that clump together. A bench or five are on the way, allowing you time and opportunity to check out the waves of the Oregon coast.

Make your way to Lewis & Clark Way and you'll really see this green action kick in, as well as the famed monument to the Corps of Discovery and the actual spot they set up their salt-boiling operation.

From about Ave. U to Ave. I, the beaches are far less visited and are often quite bereft of anyone else. In a town often crammed full of others, this is the truly natural side of the north Oregon coast town.

All along this way a host of oceanfront homes press your envy buttons, but many are historic to varying degrees. From elder wonders that may be nearly 100 years old to those clearly built in the '70s or even '60s.

Oregon Coast Play 'n Stay: Seaside's Prom Walk and Its Legendary Inns

About Ave. K is when the concrete railing begins. Then the recognizable, memorable Oregon coast icon has appeared.

Fun fact: none of the Seaside Prom has ever had to be replaced or rebuilt. All this concrete is still from just a little over 100 years ago. History of the Seaside Prom, parts I and II.

There's a little secret around here: the mysterious path and wall. Quirky Oregon Coast History Embedded in Seaside: Mystery Wall, Fishing Pier

You hit the Turnaround and there's the hub of all activity. In the winter, when there's hardly any folk here, the thin light of dusk on sunny days is a photographic no-lose opp.

It's about here you get to the Seashore Inn on the Beach, one of Seaside's more outstanding properties with not a bad view in the catalog. A beautiful bit of architecture on its own, there are some interesting lines that appear while looking at it from the back, especially around blue hour with a fairly clear sky.

They've got a complimentary light breakfast, an indoor heated pool, a hot tub and a sauna. There is one stunning, outdoor patio that's protected from the winds, made of glass so you can see everything, and the Seashore Inn at the Beach is pet friendly. The elevator and other aspects accommodate those with accessibility issues.

There's a large range of pricing in there too for various budgets. 60 North Promenade, Seaside, Oregon. 503.738.6368. 888.738.6368.

Practically next door is the Seaside Aquarium, the 80-plus-years attraction that lets you feed the seals. They're involved in a lot of different areas of marine science and the place is fascinating. The building goes back about 100 years. Seaside Aquarium site.

Soon, you're entering an area of the Prom that few get to. By the time you're up around 12th Ave., this is the end of the Promenade, and it hosts its wonderful secrets. Among them: hardly any people wander here. Another of its surprises is the amount of unbroken sand dollars you'll find.

Another semi-historic beauty sits near here: the Inn of the Four Winds. This stately hotel shut down around the beginning of COVID and only recently opened with new owners. Dynamic, powerhouse ocean views are found from inside exceptionally-appointed rooms, sometimes with a sweeping elegance. Inn of the Four Winds also features wet bars and mini-fridges, comfortable spa robes, gas fireplaces, in-room safes, and even bicycles to borrow to hit that Prom with. 820 North Prom. Seaside, Oregon. 503-307-8431. See the Inn of the Four Winds website.

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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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