Coast Explorer Magazine - The Explorer's Guide to the Oregon Coast and Washington Coast
Facebook Email Twitter Instagram Pinterest
Read Coastal Explorer Visit Destinations in Coastal Explorer Coastal Explorer Calendar of Events
Walking History
Published: 12/18/2009
Seaside's oceanfront promenade and main street of Broadway lead past attractions that have drawn visitors to this beach resort for generations.
Photo by Gary Hayes

Seaside's Broadway, Prom and Turnaround have attracted visitors to Oregon's original coastal resort town since the 1920s.

When Oregon was officially made a state 150 years ago, Seaside was already on its way to becoming the Northwest's first beach resort town. Visitors would travel down the Columbia River to Astoria, then ride a stagecoach to Seaside. By the 1870s, Seaside was the Northwest's premier coastal destination when Ben Holladay's Seaside House resort attracted prosperous clientele to the wild Oregon coast.

In the late 1880s, a rail line was finished and the stagecoach trip was replaced with a short train ride. A crude shell-paved road led from the railroad stop to the beach and as the destination's popularity grew, so did businesses along that shell-paved road. You can walk that road today with a stroll down Broadway, Seaside's main street that ends at the Pacific. Toward the east end of Broadway, at Holladay Drive, are some of the city's oldest buildings. The Gilbert Building was completed in 1915 and this historic district is now filled with shops, galleries and restaurants. Where Broadway ended at the beach, a wooden boardwalk ran parallel to the shoreline. In 1920, the promenade was paved with concrete and a unique roundabout was constructed at the end of Broadway. Today, these famous landmarks are known simply as the Prom and Turnaround and, along with Broadway, are the center of activity in this beach town. In 1937, the Seaside Aquarium opened on the Prom in a building dating from 1914 that had once housed an indoor saltwater swimming pool. Today, people walk, jog and bike along the 1.5-mile Prom and enjoy the broad views from the Turnaround. Visitors can still feed the seals at the aquarium as they have done for over 70 years. A statue of Lewis and Clark now sits in the center of the Turnaround commemorating the visit from the famous expedition in 1806. - By Stella Bennett

Between beach, estuary and forest, the natural areas of Seaside reveal abundant ecological wonders and outdoor recreation. Bring your... [read more]
On the beach, on the town or on the go, you'll discover a new adventure each time you set out... [read more]
Less than two hours drive from Portland, Seaside's attractions have made it a favorite destination for visitors seeking to experience... [read more]
Sponsored Links
  • Seaside Activities and Attractions
    More than 20 great stores all under one roof. Ride the carousel, have an old-time photo taken, get your portrait...
  • Seaside Activities and Attractions
    See live exhibits featuring regional ­marine life including the Pacific ­Octopus, Wolf Eel and giant Sunflower Starfish! See the 35-foot...
  • Seaside Activities and Attractions
    Indoor public swimming pool, ­spa pool, 20x40-foot warm water pool, youth center, fitness room and drop-in classes, community and senior...
to Coast Explorer
Subscribe to Coast Explorer Magazine now and don't miss another issue featuring our beautiful photography and design, interesting feature stories and guides to coastal attractions, events, dining, shopping, arts and lodging. Annual subscriptions (3 issues) are only $15