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On the Beach in Seaside
Published: 01/06/2012
 

The famous oceanfront promenade and long stretches of beach with dramatic ocean views and abundant recreational opportunities remain the star attractions in Seaside, Oregon, the Northwest's most popular seashore destination for well over a century.

ON THE SAND

Seaside's long stretches of pristine beach provide the setting for romantic strolls, family fun and outdoor adventure, set off by scenic views of the Pacific Ocean, Tillamook Head and Tillamook Rock Lighthouse. Between Tillamook Head and the mouth of the Necanicum River are three miles of beaches that make a great playground for dozens of outdoor activities.

Watch surfers ride the waves at area surf spots like The Cove on the south end of town, or for some heart-pumping, first-hand excitement, sign up for a surf lesson at an area surf shop. Cleanline Surf offers a variety of water sports equipment rentals and lessons for people of all skill levels.

Fly your kite on a Seaside breeze or visit the Northwest Wind Kite Shop downtown on Broadway for tips from the experts on flying precision stunt kites. Rent a low-slung funcycle to race over the sand on three wheels or ride a beach cruiser bicycle along the shoreline. Beachcombers love to look for seashells, sand dollars and other sea trinkets left scattered at the shoreline with receding tides. At lowest tides, sea stars, anemones, hermit crabs and other sea creatures can be observed along the lower rocky shores of Seaside's Cove south of town. During certain seasons of the year, the beach is great for clam digging, (check into license requirements). Razor clams are a sought after delicacy that is abundant in Seaside.

Don't forget to enjoy the simple pleasures of the beach while you're here, like a relaxing sunset walk at the water's edge, a beach bonfire or a picnic on the sand. Get your lunch or dinner to go and create the perfectly romantic picnic or find a local merchant who offers firewood or s'mores kits for creating those most classic of beach memories around a bonfire.

ON THE PROMENADE

Synonymous with Seaside are two famous Oregon landmarks: the famous oceanfront promenade, (known simply as the Prom), and the automobile roundabout at the beach, (referred to as the Turnaround). The intersection of these two is marked by a centerpiece statue of famous Northwest explorers Lewis and Clark and their furry, four-legged companion, Seaman.

The Prom and Turnaround are still the center of action in downtown Seaside, popular with strollers, joggers and bike riders as they enjoy spectacular views from the ocean's edge. Both also offer convenient oceanfront access for wheelchairs and child strollers.

The Prom was originally built as a boardwalk in 1908 and it was replaced with the current concrete structure in 1920. The vintage design and charm is still retained today with the addition of dedicated park benches and lampposts. Seaside's Prom has always been one of the more popular points for photos along Seaside's beachfront.

The Prom runs parallel with the beach; stretching from the south end of town at Avenue U, 1.5 miles to the north end at 12th Avenue. Travel south of the Turnaround on the Prom, and you can learn a few dance steps or check the time of day by playing your part in the human sundial built into the Prom itself. About 11 blocks south is a replica of the seawater boiling operation known as the Salt Works, where members Lewis and Clark's expedition camped while replenishing their salt supply. Each year in August, costumed re-enactors set up camp on the beach in Seaside and make salt round the clock for 48 hours.

Travel a few blocks north on the Prom from the Turnaround and you'll find one of the town's most historic attractions, the Seaside Aquarium, celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. Once a saltwater natatorium, the aquarium is now home to some of Seaside's most silly and entertaining residents. Feed the seals, check out the marine touch tank and the 35-foot skeleton of a Gray Whale.

Read more about the Seaside Experience.

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