Seaside is Oregon’s oldest ocean resort city. It lies northwest of Portland on the Pacific Coast. It remains a go-to destination for families to enjoy fun on the beach, a stroll on the promenade, as well as shopping and games. The kids will love Seaside’s fascinating aquarium and museum. The area also offers abundant opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling, fishing, kayaking, and other sports. Book a stay at a vacation rental in Seaside today. With that said, here are just a few exciting, family-friendly things to do in Seaside.

1. Stroll the Promenade

Seaside’s famous Promenade is 15 feet wide and extends 1 1/2 miles along the oceanfront, offering spectacular views of the dunes, the beach, and the deep blue waters of the Pacific. The Promenade invites casual, contemplative strolling and photography. Midway along the Promenade is the turnaround, where the city’s main street of Broadway reaches a dead end and turns traffic around. It features a monument of Lewis and Clark, whose expedition reached this point in the early 1800s. If the kids are in the mood for excitement, just a block up Broadway is Funland, which has bumper cars and arcade games. Across the street is Interstate Amusement, which has a tilt-a-whirl ride and a mini-golf course.

2. Ride the Carousel

The Seaside Carousel is in the midst of Seaside Carousel Mall, just a couple of blocks from the beach on Broadway. This beautiful replica of historic classic carousels indulges your fantasy by featuring 24 different colorful animals on which you can ride. The mall has numerous clothing, gift, and souvenir shops. Of special interest to the whole family are the ice cream treats at Flashback Malt Shoppe and delicious salt water taffy at Rascal.

3. Hit the Beach

Seaside’s long stretch of sandy beach is perfect for splashing in the waves along the shoreline, enjoying some relaxing sunbathing, beachcombing for shells, and building elaborate sand castles. You can also play beach volleyball, throw Frisbees, or fly a kite. The offshore breakers provide excellent surfing conditions, so if you’re feeling adventurous, rent a board from a surf shop and learn how to ply the waves.

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4. Visit the Aquarium

The Seaside Aquarium is among the oldest aquariums on the Pacific coast. It’s renowned for its family of harbor seals, which perform a number of tricks for the amusement of visitors. Your kids will enjoy feeding them after they go through their routines. The aquarium also has displays of local marine life such as octopuses, wolf eels, sea anemones, and starfish. The Discovery Center has a touch tank where you can reach in and touch the animals.

5. Ride a Bike

Seaside is a haven for cyclists, with plenty of paths and trails ranging in difficult from easy to challenging. For a relaxing family-friendly activity you can ride bikes along the seaside Promenade. If you want to explore the coast, follow the bicycle lanes along Highway 101. Inland are numerous cycling trails through scenic hills and forests, including the Lewis and Clark Mainline, the Crown Camp Loop, the Little South Fork, and the Davis Point Summit.

6. Hike the Trails

Seaside offers a number of pleasant hiking trails that the whole family can enjoy together. For instance, Mill Ponds Trail on the south side of town is a short, lovely walk around a natural watershed where you can view orange-crowned warblers, wood ducks, kingfishers, ospreys, and other bird species. On the north side, Gearhart Ridge Path Trail follows a ridge above the coastline where you can sometimes see a local herd of elk. From historic Fort Clatsop to the east you can take the more strenuous Fort to Sea Trail, which goes through forested hills down to the coast, or the Netul River Trail, which follows the path of the famous Lewis and Clark Expedition.

7. Learn Local History

For a fascinating look at local history, explore the Seaside Historical Society Museum at Butterfield Cottage. The Native American exhibit has a model of an Indian longhouse, uncovered artifacts, maps, dioramas, and other displays. Antique photographs highlight the history of logging, railroads, and hotels in the region. Other displays recreate historic newspaper rooms, school rooms, and firefighting equipment. Don’t miss viewing the notorious Tillamook Rock Lighthouse, which stands prominently offshore on a large rock. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, this iconic lighthouse took over 500 days to build, and violent storms often damaged its windows, lens, railing, and platform. It’s deserted now, and rumors say that it’s haunted.

8. Paddle the Waters

Waterways abound around Seaside, and to enjoy them fully, you can rent a canoe, paddleboat, or kayak and explore them. For a pleasant, easy route, start at the Broadway Park landing dock or the boat ramp at Quatat Park and follow the river south. You can also follow the long shoreline of Sunset Lake to the north. For a more challenging experience, kayak along the shore of the Pacific Ocean. Along the way on your kayaking adventure, you can observe bald eagles, blue herons, and many other species of birds.

9. Go Fishing

Seaside has some great opportunities to take the whole family fishing. On the Neawanna and Necanicum Rivers, which flow through the city, you can catch steelhead trout, largemouth bass, bream, and bluefish. Along the beach are some choice spots for surf fishing. For unique experiences, try crabbing with crab pots off the 12th Avenue Bridge or digging for clams on the beach at low tide.

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