I love the Oregon coast – from Brookings in the far south to Astoria in the far north, each town boasting a distinct personality. After six-months of breast cancer “treatment,” I decided a week at the ocean was needed to celebrate my cure. A full-on absorption of negative ions to displace the nattering nabobs of negativism that had nestled in the neurons of my nutty noggin. A last minute call landed a cute Seaside beachfront home with 180 degree ocean views. Mother Nature delivered a week of sunshine and moderate ocean breezes.
Seaside is 80 miles NW of Portland. Its claim to fame, “the end of the Lewis and Clark trail.” We had passed through Seaside many times, but never stayed. Until now. It’s a busy place with about 7,000 full-time residents and a lot more tourists. The whole city is designed to accommodate families seeking fun on the ocean. Pizzas, burgers, fish & chips, ice cream parlors and taffy shops abound.
The promenade, known as The Prom, runs for a 1½ mile stretch along the beach. Seaside’s just north neighbor, Gearhart, pridefully maintains a natural coastline. In contrast, the city of Seaside pridefully clears the beach of foliage to increase the play area for visitors.
Our cute rental sits on the North Prom about 20 feet from steps down to the beach. A steady trickle of people, many with dogs, pass throughout the day. Walking, biking, skating, jogging, stroller pushing and skateboarding, all seemingly enjoying the experience. The kitchen is perfect for watching the sunset while cooking dinners of fresh fish and veggies. The bedroom windows showcase an unbroken beach vista. Long walks on the beach followed by a curl-up on the couch with a book and an afternoon nap, all the while listening to the waves from the ocean, make for a perfect day. Oh, and there is a haunted house next door broadcasting weird vibes that permeate my dreams!
The east and west sides of Seaside are divided by the Necanicum river. The river is spanned by a handful of attractive small bridges.
There is no shortage of family activities in the town.
The legend goes, five men worked for seven weeks boiling salt water to produce 28 gallons of salt. Captain Lewis wrote about the salt in his diary, “excellent, fine, strong & white; this was a great treat to myself and most of the party.”
The seaside aquarium is still housed in the same 1937 building as in this picture and is a popular attraction. You can hear the sea lions bark as you pass along the Prom.
This industrious young man created giant bubbles in city center. He played upbeat music as dogs and children chased bubbles while adults watched with smiles. His tip jar displayed in a prominent spot.
Ecola State Park looms above the ocean at the city’s southern end, separating Seaside from Cannon Beach. Ecola has wonderful hiking trails with stellar views. You can take a 7-mile hike between the two cities. If you shuttle a car to a parking lot on one end, you don’t have to turn a 7-mile day into a 14-mile round trip. Choices abound! Bell Buoy is a seafood institution on the south end of Seaside. It’s a good place to pick up a fresh catch of the day. The canned tuna is very good, as is the smoked fish. They have a tiny restaurant. I enjoyed the fish and chips – fresh, not greasy. Conde was not enamored with his crab cakes. But then, he makes the best crab cakes in the world.Seaside has visible civic pride. We stopped into the Historical Society museum which houses a funky collection, giving insight into the area. Next door is the Butterfield Cottage, formerly sited in the middle of downtown and owned by …. the Butterfields! The lovely volunteer docent clearly embraced her community as she pridefully led a tour of the cottage. She said y’all a lot, so won my heart. Astoria is 15 miles north of Seaside. The town reeks of Oregon history. I won’t digress into the multiple Lewis & Clark historical sites in the area, as that’s another story for another time. We drove over for lunch at the Buoy brewery.
We scored a window table overlooking the Columbia River, enjoying a great meal that included local steamer clams, fresh halibut cheeks and chicken salad. Conde indulged in an extra glass of fresh brewed beer. A good day.Cannon Beach is a 20 minute drive south of Seaside. There is no way we would come so close and not walk on the beach and say hello to my Haystack Rock. We walked on the beach for a couple of hours, then stopped at the local grocery for lunch provisions before heading back to the cottage.
Ari loves his off-leash beach runs. One of these days … for sure … he’ll get one of those crazy seagulls. It could happen.Sunsets are my favorite time of day. Nothing better than a nice glass of wine while watching nature strut her stuff. Thank you Oregon Coast for helping me re-center. Until next time.